This camera RAW image is an unprocessed photograph that has been captured with a digital camera.
It contains raw image data captured by the camera’s sensor (or CCD), which is saved in the proprietary file format specific to the same camera manufacturer.
By the way, most digital cameras process and compress photos according to JPEG files. When they capture an image, now in the processing step, it automatically applies the appropriate color correction, and together, the JPEG compression reduces the file size significantly. Resulting in an efficiently processed JPEG image.
Although JPEG images are suitable for almost all tasks, professional photographers and photography experts prefer how they can control the processing of each image.
So most high-end cameras can shoot in RAW mode and not in JPEG. These raw files are unprocessed, allowing the photographer to adjust its settings such as exposure, white balance, and saturation once the image is captured.
Here lossy JPEG compression is not applied, as it may reduce image quality, whereas RAW mode saves files in losslessly compressed format.
Since Camera RAW files are uncompressed, they take up a lot more space than typical JPEG images, especially because RAW files need about 5 to 10 times more disk space when they capture an image.
So if you want to shoot in RAW mode, you will need a large size memory card for your camera in such a situation.
How to view Camera RAW Files?
Since Camera RAW files are not saved in a standard image format, many image viewing programs do not recognize them. If a program supports Canon RAW format, then there is no guarantee that it will recognize a RAW file that has been saved in a newly released Canon camera.
That’s why camera manufacturers often include proprietary RAW photo editing software with their high-end cameras. At the same time, all popular operating systems and software programs also update themselves regularly to support new RAW formats.
.ARW (Sony), .CR2 (Canon), .DCR (Kodak), .DNG (Adobe), .ERF (Epson), .NEF (Nikon), .ORF (Olympus), .PEF (Pentax), .RAF (Fuji), .RW2 (Panasonic)