RAW is a file format used in digital photography that contains unprocessed, uncompressed image data as it was captured by the camera’s sensor. It is sometimes referred to as a «digital negative,» as it is meant to be the starting point for editing and processing the photograph.
RAW files are generally larger in size than other file formats, such as JPEG, because they contain more data and are not compressed. They are often used by photographers because they offer more flexibility and control when editing the photograph.
When a photograph is taken in the RAW format, the camera records all of the data from the image sensor, including color information and luminosity values for each pixel. This allows the photographer to make adjustments to the image, such as adjusting the white balance or changing the exposure, without losing image quality.
RAW files are typically edited using photo editing software, such as Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom. The edited version of the photograph is then typically saved in another file format, such as JPEG or TIFF, for sharing or printing.
Using the RAW format can be helpful for photographers who want to have more control over the final look of their photographs, as it allows them to make more adjustments to the image during the editing process. However, it does require more time and effort to process and edit the images, and the larger file sizes can be more difficult to work with and store.