RAW files are proprietary to each camera manufacturer

How does Photoshop open RAW files if they’re proprietary?

Adobe has to buy each camera as it comes out in order to reverse-engineer the ability to open these files. Crazy I know, you’d think they could share the RAW format as open-source, but alas.

That said, Adobe does have an open-source RAW file format called DNG (short for digital negative), and using the DNG converter (which is free) you can convert your proprietary RAW files over to an open-source format.

Because RAW files from your camera are proprietary

It’s best to convert them to Adobe DNG as part of your workflow. This gives you a backup and also stores an open-source version that is less likely to be unsupported in the future.

Is it worth shooting RAW? It sounds like a PITA

It really depends on what you plan to use the images for. If you’re shooting images for a coffee table book or images that you want to push further in post-production, then yes. However, if you’re on vacation and taking family pictures at the beach? High-res jpegs are a great option. Photography is full of compromise and it’s a matter of figuring out what the up-side / down-side is for your particular application.

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Austin Goodman

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