Glossary

RAW image format support

What is RAW image format support?

The fact that RAW image format support allows you to take photos in RAW format may seem obvious, but the meaning of RAW may not be all that clear. RAW is a designation for uncompressed file formats – formats, plural, because names and specificities differ among manufacturers. Unlike the universally standardized JPG format, RAW files require specific image editing software to be processed. Moreover, file size is typically two to six times larger than of a high-resolution JPG image. You may be now asking yourself: "so why would I choose to take photos in RAW format?" Well, there is logic to this choice!

If you were to compare the same photo in RAW and JPG formats, they wouldn't look the same. This happens because JPG files are automatically compressed, and the data is processed according to image profiles that make photos more vivid and ready to be shared. If you intended to post-process this image, possibilities would be more limited for the JPG version, in comparison to the uncompressed RAW file; the reason is that RAW files (sometimes referred to as "digital negatives") store as much data captured by the camera's sensor as possible.

Opting for RAW format does, however, call for further consideration. Firstly, RAW files require, as already mentioned, considerably more space on your device or memory card. Moreover, RAW photography demands editing via specific software for images to be visualized or used for any purpose. Besides, these days we often need something more instant, not more complicated – be it for social media, sharing with friends, or due to time-sensitive photography activities.

The downside of compression is less editing flexibility, as files contain less information, and adjustments made by the system when generating the file can't be undone. However, considering the ever-increasing capacity of memory cards, you may want to choose the option of saving JPG and RAW versions of the same photo (a feature now available on many photography devices, from professional cameras to smartphones).

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