Apr 25, 2005

OpenRAW Web Site Launched

Most camera manufacturers use a proprietary file format to store the raw data from their digital cameras. In the short history of digital photography, manufacturers have dropped support for asset management applications, abandoned settings from older RAW processor versions and changed the methods of storing basic camera settings without documentation. The undocumented changes in RAW file formats have already cost users of RAW images time and money.

Enter openRAW.org

The OpenRAW Solution
We want camera manufacturers to publicly document their RAW image formats — past, present, and future. The goal of OpenRAW is to encourage image preservation and give creative choice of how images are processed to the creators of the images. To this end, we advocate open documentation of information about the how the raw data is stored and the camera settings selected by the photographer.

If the current practice of hiding data and dropping support for older models of cameras continue countless images will be unreadable with no software to decode them. Only openly documented RAW formats will make it possible to decode RAW files in the future.

Many have suggested (and Adobe has created) a common, open file format for RAW image files for all camera makers to use as a solution to the RAW problem. A common, openly documented RAW format used by all manufacturers could fulfill the goals of OpenRAW, but it is not the only way to reach them. Open documentation of all RAW files by manufacturer's is the quickest way for OpenRAW's goals to be reached.
Click to visit openRaw