An Investigation into the Practicality of Using a Digital Camera's RAW Data in Print Publishing Applications

Zuliyanti H A Azyan


RAW file formats were introduced to the photography industry more than five years ago. However, not much information about their functionality, capabilities, or advantages in different situations has been made available. Some digital camera users are not aware of their existence and, if they were, they would not know what to do with them. RAW file formats functions are viewed as a concern of the professional photographer and not of the average user (Fraser, 2005). RAW file formats are unprocessed digital image data - the type available from many current digital cameras. There is no standard RAW format. Each camera captures RAW data in a proprietary fashion. Thus, special camera-specific software is needed to access the RAW files. The widely used TIFF and JPEG file formats are processed within the camera right after shooting each image. TIFF files are uncompressed and therefore large. JPEG files are spatially compressed and smaller than TIFF files for images with the equivalent number of pixels. RAW file formats contain all the original data, uncompressed, with no adjustments to image sharpness, white balance, contrast, and saturation, but they are incomplete as images because they need to be processed using