.ARW File Extension

Sony Alpha Raw Digital Camera Image

Developer Sony
3.9  |  57 Votes
NEW: Open your .ARW file online with File Helper.View Online

What is an ARW file?

An ARW file is a camera raw image captured by various Sony digital cameras, such as the a6300 and a7R III. It contains raw, uncompressed image data captured by the camera's sensor in the Sony Alpha Raw (ARW) format based on the TIFF specification. Several image editors can open, edit, and convert ARW files, including Adobe Photoshop Elements, Apple Preview, and XnViewMP.

More Information

Screenshot of a .arw file in Sony Imaging Edge Desktop 3.1
ARW file open in Sony Imaging Edge Desktop 3.1

ARW is a raw camera image format proprietary to Sony Alpha digital cameras. Other proprietary camera raw formats include the Canon Raw 3 Image format (.CR3) and the Nikon Electronic Format (.NEF).

Professional photographers and camera hobbyists utilizing Sony Alpha digital cameras will most likely encounter ARW camera raw files. The files store more image data than compressed images, such as .JPG or .PNG, which allows photographers to capture higher-quality images and edit them more accurately.

The sensor on one Sony camera model may differ from the sensor on another camera. Also, some Sony camera models store RAW images with the .arw file extension but in different formats. Therefore, you should check the documentation of your photo editing software before assuming that it supports a specific camera model.

NOTE: To ensure that your Sony Alpha camera captures images as ARW files, verify that the image quality section in the camera menu is set to "RAW."

How to open an ARW file

You can open ARW files with various image-editing applications. Microsoft Photos (Windows) with the free Raw Image Extension codec and Apple Preview (macOS) are free applications that support ARW images and are bundled with Windows and macOS. Sony also provides Imaging Edge to open ARW files in Windows, macOS, Android, and iOS.

Other, more advanced image editors that support ARW files include Adobe Photoshop (Windows and macOS) and Corel PaintShop Pro (Windows and macOS). Also, you may be able to view ARW images with Google Photos (Android, iOS, and Chrome OS) depending on the Sony Alpha camera model that captured the image.

How to convert an ARW file

Several image viewers and editors, including Adobe Photoshop, Sony Imaging Edge Desktop, and Corel PaintShop Pro, can convert ARW files to other formats.

For example, Adobe Photoshop can convert ARW files to many file types, including the following formats:

  • .JPG - JPEG Image
  • .PNG - Portable Network Graphic
  • .TIF - Tagged Image File Format
  • .GIF - Graphical Interchange Format
  • .WEBP - WebP Image
  • .BMP - Bitmap Image
  • .EPS - Encapsulated PostScript
  • .PDF - Portable Document Format
  • .PSD - Adobe Photoshop Document
  • .AI - Adobe Illustrator Artwork

Programs that open ARW files

ArtStudio Image

Developer DrawingHand
3.1  |  14 Votes

Image file created by ArtStudio, a drawing program that allows users to paint images using brushing and mixing techniques; contains a raster image and its properties.

More Information

ArtStudio can import images from .JPG, .PICT, .PSD, .BMP, .TIF, .TGA, and .WMF files in ArtStudio.

Programs that open ARW files

DrawingHand ArtStudio
DrawingHand Artwork Player

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