Digital RAW Photography – Introduction September 2006 What is RAW and should I care? REVIEW - How most still camera sensors capture a photo. (Sigma’s Foveon sensor works differently, but we’ll ignore it in this discussion) REVIEW
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· Digital raw captures have linear gamma (gamma 1.0), a very different tonal response from that of either film or the human eye. So the raw converter applies gamma correction to redistribute the tonal information so that it corresponds more closely to the way our eyes see light and shade. (More discussion later)
Vendors make a subjective determination of what the best “look” is, and then adjust their converter to produce that result. (In-camera process variation is limited to the camera’s preset options). Also to save processing time, given the limitations in the camera’s small CPU, the converter uses only 8 bits of the available 10 or more bits of pixel information. The unused bits are discarded. When the RBG file is encoded and written, either as a TIFF or JPG, the original raw file is discarded.