As we know, the basic meaning of word "RAW" is "something that is not processed or refined, and in a natural condition". The "RAW" we mentioned in this article is used nowadays to refer to a new image format, which contains unprocessed or undeveloped data from the image sensor of either a digital camera, image scanner, or motion picture film scanner.
RAW files are also called digital negatives, for they play the same role as the negative does in film photography. If you choose to shoot in RAW format with a camera, it means that only the camera which captures the photo can understand the information collected on the sensors. Many of the camera settings associated with them are not applied, and stored with minimum loss for later use. For instance, the aperture, shutter speed, sharpening, white balance, levels and color adjustments can be undone, and the information is preserved and recalculated based on the raw data.
The RAW format remains uncompressed and contains almost all the information from the CCD or CMOS, with which those professional photographers can enjoy the creativities in their artistic works. It can be adjusted and edited with a kind of conversion applications and then be converted to TIFF, JPEG and other image formats which are more convenient for printing and sharing.
RAW format is often considered as a single image file format, which is known as .raw files. As a matter of fact, there are a variety of different types for RAW format depending on the different digital devices (such as digital cameras and scanners): Adobe (.DNG), Canon (.CRW, .CR2), Casio (.RAW), Fuji (.RAF), Hasselblad (.3FR), Kodak (.DCR, .KDC), Leica (.DNG and .RAW), Minolta (.MRW), Nikon (.NEF, .NRW), Olympus (.ORF), Panasonic (.RAW, .RW2), Pentax (.PEF), Ricoh (.DNG), Samsung (.DNG), Sigma (.X3F), Sony (.SRF, .SR2), and etc.
ArcSoft PhotoStudio Darkroom 2 fully supports importing and editing popular RAW photo formats by Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Adobe (DNG), Sony, Kodak, Olympus, Sigma, Epson, etc. The newly released formats will continue to be updated once available.