Group wants camera OEMs to document RAW image-file formats.
The OpenRAW Working Group has launched a website designed to educate photographers and others about RAW camera file formats. The group wants camera manufacturers to publicly document all of their RAW image file formats"?past, present, and future. By doing so, says the group, manufacturers will provide photographers with a maximum set of processing choices and the best guarantee of future image decoding.
"Our primary strategy is to educate the public and the manufacturers," says Juergen Specht, the German photographer spearheading the Open RAW group. "Once photographers understand what is at stake, and once digital-camera manufacturers understand how their profitability will be enhanced by the release of the RAW file-format specifications, our goals will be realized."
Undocumented RAW file formats present a number of challenges, says the group, including: limitation of image-processing choices that meet differing workflow and quality needs; increased probability that, over time, a RAW file will become unreadable or unable to be properly processed; and the waste of third-party software-development resources. (OpenRAW Working Group: www.openraw.org)