.ARW File Extension

.ARW File Extension

File Type 1

Sony Alpha Raw Digital Camera Image

Developer Sony
3.9  |  51 Votes
Category Camera Raw Files
Format Binary

What is an ARW file?

An ARW file is a digital photograph captured by various Sony digital cameras, such as the a6300 and a7R III. It contains raw, uncompressed image data as captured by the camera's CCD and is saved in the Sony Alpha Raw (ARW) format based on the TIFF specification.

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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 camera raw image format proprietary to Sony Alpha digital cameras. Other proprietary camera raw formats include .CR3, which is used by select Canon digital cameras, and .NEF, which is used by Nikon digital cameras.

ARW camera raw files are typically used by professional photographers or camera hobbyists that utilize Sony Alpha digital cameras. The files store more image data than compressed images, such as .JPG or .PNG, which allows photographers to capture higher quality images and more accurately edit them.

Different Sony camera models may store RAWs using the same .arw file extension, but with a different format. This is because the CCD on one camera model may differ from the CCD on another camera. Therefore, you should check the documentation of your photo editing software before assuming that it supports a specific camera model.

NOTE: To make sure 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 do I 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 do I convert ARW files?

You can convert ARW files to other image formats, such as .JPEG and PNG with several image editors. In Windows, you can convert ARW images with Sony Imaging Edge Desktop, Adobe Photoshop, Corel PaintShop Pro, and ACD Systems ACDSee.

On a Mac, you can use Apple Preview by selecting File → Export.... Or you can use Apple Photos (bundled with macOS), Sony Imaging Edge Desktop, Adobe Photoshop, or Corel AfterShot Pro.

Open and view .ARW files with File Viewer Plus.Free Download

Programs that open or reference ARW files

Updated April 14, 2021
File Type 2

ArtStudio Image

Developer DrawingHand
2.9  |  13 Votes
Category Raster Image Files
Format Binary

What is an ARW file?

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.

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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
Updated January 19, 2010

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