Flaws with RAW Files

February 26, 2008

If you’ve been reading our CorelDRAW Unleashed magazine over the past few issues, you’ve seen that we’ve had a running series discussing the usage of RAW files from your digital camera. There is no doubt that they give you the highest quality images.

The downside is that the camera makers have created so many different flavors of RAW that it can be difficult to have a single piece of software that can work with all flavors of RAW. Recently there was a post in the coreldraw.com discussion forums complaining that Corel PHOTO-PAINT X4 didn’t support the RAW from a fairly new digital SLR model. The poster was correct, it was not supported. Given that it was a popular model, there is no doubt Corel will add support with the first service pack for CorelDRAW X4.

You might think that Corel just isn’t keeping up with RAW. So what if a company with what seems to be an unlimited supply of money didn’t support current RAW formats? That’s exactly the case with Google’s Picasa software as Stephen Shankland recently described in his blog.

The real problem is that camera manufacturers need to standardize on a RAW format. Even if each manufacturer would agree to a single format that worked on all of their models, the processing of the files would be much simpler. But when every new camera, and even every new firmware version, brings a new format; it is just impossible for software developers to keep up.

Adobe tried to propose a standard with its Digital Negative (DNR) format, but it has not gained any steam at all. We can only hope that some sanity appears soon and somehow the camera manufacturers simplify things.

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Foster D. Coburn III is author of 13 best-selling books on CorelDRAW and has been a contributor to numerous technology and graphics-related magazines. Foster has taken many projects, including this Web site, from the early design stage through to a finished piece. He has been a featured speaker at many graphics conferences. His first Web site was built in 1995 and he has been working exclusively in WordPress since 2013.

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