It's no secret that OS X is way ahead of Microsoft Vista. One example is the Core image built into OS X. One of the advantages of having image support built into the OS is that you can handle large image files with less strain on the cpu and memory. It also ensures that the user experience is consistent across multiple applications. I'm no expert, but there is a reason many graphics professionals choose the Apple platform.
An example of this is the way OS X deals with RAW photo files. All of the work is handled at the OS level rather than each application interpreting the data separately. This can be a really great experience unless you have a brand spanking new DSLR. When Nikon introduced the new D80 and Canon let loose with the xti digital rebel I was ecstatic. However, I soon started reading reports that the RAW files were not compatible with the my shiny new Mac Pro. In fact no application on the Mac could open the new file formats since this is an OS level activity. What a disappointment. I certainly didn't want to wait for the next OS iteration to include new RAW support. Then I found this release from Apple.
Apple quietly to the rescue again. They released an update just to handle the new camera formats. But why is this not just available in the software updates? It's hard to complain, considering that Microsoft doesn't even provide vulnerability patches this quickly. I guess I just expect more from Apple.
This update allows iPhoto and all other Mac applications to handle RAW file formats from the latest Canon, Nikon and Pentax DSLR's.Â Couple this with a 30 day free trial of Aperture, and I'm in SLR heaven.
Note: Apple keeps moving the installers. Here are both versions