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  • Writer's pictureWes Simpson

Windows 10 RAW Support

If you have been taking photos using "RAW+JPEG" on your still camera, you should consider adding support for RAW in Windows 10. Here is a quick view of the same photo in two different file formats:

The image on the left is in the ARW format, which is the RAW filename used by my camera. Not only is is possible to see the photo, the color representation is much closer to what I experienced though my eyes. Even though the image appears darker, the colors are much richer and more saturated in the RAW file as compared to the JPEG. Without the extension, Windows 10 can't even display the raw photos, and they would show up with a blank icon like this image:

Of course, to make the RAW images look their best, it's a good idea to open up a real photo editing program and make some adjustments to optimize the image coloration for display or printing. That's what the camera does when it captures a JPEG, and most times it does a pretty good job. About the only downside of capturing RAW files is that they take up considerably more storage in the camera. On my setup, each ARW file is about 24 Mbytes, whereas the JPEGs range between 5 and 8 Mbytes, depending on the subject complexity. When you store both file versions, you can still get close to two thousand photos on a 64 Gbyte SD card that costs around $20.00. That's a heck of a bargain as compared to the costs of film-based photography.

To get built-in Windows 10 support for a variety of RAW formats, just look for and download the "Raw Image Extension" on the Microsoft Store.

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