Digital Camera RAW Compatibility Updates

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by rrm74001, Oct 20, 2015.

  1. rrm74001 macrumors 6502


    Nov 11, 2008
    What is the deal with these RAW compatibility updates? Is there no standardization? Is one RAW format significantly different to another?

  2. chrfr macrumors 604

    Jul 11, 2009
    Raw files are never standardized. By their very nature, they're unique to every camera model.
  3. kenoh macrumors demi-god


    Jul 18, 2008
    Glasgow, UK
    Apart from the .dng (digital negative) format which was an attempt at a standard but it failed to become standard across all manufacturers and even dng had variations by way of custom sidecars - files with extra meta data...
  4. simonsi macrumors 601


    Jan 3, 2014

    Yep, they are derived from the sensor ("RAW" data is where the name comes from). As soon as the sensor changes, the data from it will change so the resulting file format will change. Once you have the RAW compatibility update to support your camera's then there is not really any need to update unless you get a new camera which isn't supported until a later update, or you get some other issue for which a later RAW Compatibility update is indicated as a resolution.
  5. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    Same idea as with 35mm lens mounts. Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Olympus all have their own physical lens mounts. No standardization there either. The closest you get to an open standard is the micro four thirds world where the physical interface is open and published. You can mix bodies and lens from Olympus, Panasonic, Tamron, Zeiss, and others. By the format of the raw files is still up to the camera body makers.
  6. ApfelKuchen macrumors 68030

    Aug 28, 2012
    Between the coasts
    RAW is more akin to film emulsions than it is to computer file formats. You could look at those RAW compatibility updates as the equivalent of time and temperature charts (if you're at all familiar with chemical film processing), with each image editing program as the equivalent of a different chemical developer. (I know, it's a very loose analogy.)

    Essentially, each image editing program needs to know how to interpret what came off the sensor in terms it can manipulate. In Apple's case, that conversion is built into the operating system, available to all of Apple's image editors and any independent apps that want to take advantage of them.

    We wouldn't want RAW to stand still, since it means sensor development has also come to a standstill.

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5 October 20, 2015