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ARW file format

File extension
.arw
File category
Description
ARW is a format used in the storage of raw captured photos by Sony digital cameras without their compression to other file formats such as JPEG. The format adopts basic specifications from TIFF and maintains the full set of image data and in some cases the data is minimally adjusted depending on the camera type or model. Unlike image file formats that are compressed like JPEG, files using ARW are larger in size, details and cannot be easily viewed. This means they require special programs that can be used in opening and converting them.
Technical details
The ARW format provides its users with the freedom of making changes or adjustments to an image as they see fit. Converting ARW images allows viewing of images on internet browsers. The camera model used determines the type of format captured despite using similar .arw file extension. This is possible due to presence of sensor variations in cameras. The differences presented are major determinant of the software that can be used for viewing, converting or storing an image.
Programs
Adobe Photoshop
Adobe Photoshop Elements
GIMP
Paintbrush
Google Picasa
XnView
Developer
Sony
MIME type
image/arw
image/x-sony-arw