.RAW File Extension

File Type 1

Raw Image Data

Developer N/A
Popularity
3.8  |  227 Votes
Category Camera Raw Files
Format Binary

What is a RAW file?

A RAW file is an image generated by digital cameras such as Panasonic, Leica, and Casio cameras. It contains uncompressed, raw image data captured by a digital camera's CCD. Professional photographers often work with RAW files since they can more accurately edit images stored in the format.

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Screenshot of a .raw file in Adobe Photoshop 2021
RAW file open in Adobe Photoshop 2021

RAW files store higher-quality images than more common image files, like .JPG and .PNG, because they do not lose data like JPG and PNG files do when they are compressed. However, because RAW files are not compressed, their file sizes are often very large. This is the tradeoff between lower-quality, smaller images and higher-quality, larger images.

RAW files are one of many raw camera image formats. Some other common formats are Digital Negative Images (.DNG files), Canon Raw Images (.CR2 files), Sony Digital Camera Images (.ARW files), Kodak RAW Images (.DCR files), Nikon RAW Images (.NRW files), and Nikon Electronic Format Images (.NEF files).

NOTE: RAW files may also be created by image generation software instead of digital cameras, although this is not as common.

How to open a RAW file

You can open RAW files with various image-editing and -viewing applications. Some options include Adobe Photoshop (Windows and macOS), Adobe Photoshop Elements (Windows and macOS), Corel PaintShop Pro (Windows), ACD Systems ACDSee (Windows), and RawTherapee (multiplatform).

How to convert a RAW file

Many image editors, including Adobe Photoshop and Corel PaintShop Pro, can convert RAW files to other formats. For example, Photoshop can convert RAW files to the following formats (and several others):

  • .PNG - Portable Network Graphic
  • .JPEG - JPEG Image
  • .GIF - Graphical Interchange Format
  • .PSD - Adobe Photoshop Document
  • .BMP - Bitmap Image
  • .PCX - Paintbrush Bitmap Image
  • .TGA - Targa Graphic
  • .TIFF - Tagged Image File Format
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Programs that open or reference RAW files

Updated September 14, 2022
File Type 2

Dolphin Virtual SD Card

Developer N/A
Popularity
3.5  |  31 Votes
Category Game Files
Format Binary

What is a RAW file?

A RAW file is a virtual SD card created for use with the Dolphin video game console emulator. It contains data that would typically be stored on a Nintendo Wii's SD card, such as saved games. RAW files are typically named sd.raw.

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Dolphin is a multiplatform program that allows gamers to play Nintendo GameCube and Wii video games on their PCs. It allows players to load game- and console-related data from, and save data to, many different types of files, including RAW files.

Each RAW file acts as a virtual Nintendo Wii SD card. Dolphin can load data from and save data to this file, just as a real Wii would load data from and save data to an SD card. For example, players can load saved games from an sd.raw file. They also can load data required by certain homebrew applications, which need an SD card (and data stored on that SD card) to function.

How to create an SD.RAW file

Gamers can use Dolphin itself or the Virtual SD Card Maker utility (multiplatform) to create an sd.raw file. For complete instructions, refer to Dolphin's documentation.

Common RAW Filenames

sd.raw - The typical name assigned to Dolphin virtual SD cards.

How to open a RAW file

To mount an sd.raw file in Dolphin (multiplatform):

  1. Open Dolphin and select Options → Configuration → Wii.
  2. In the SD Card Settings section, click the ... button that appears next to SD Card Path:.
  3. Navigate to and select your sd.raw file.

You can also use Dolphin to edit an sd.raw file's contents as though the file were an actual SD card. For more information, refer to Dolphin's documentation.

Programs that open or reference RAW files

Windows
Mac
Linux
Updated November 16, 2022
File Type 3

Raw Audio Data

Developer N/A
Popularity
3.3  |  28 Votes
Category Audio Files
Format Binary

What is a RAW file?

A RAW file contains uncompressed digital audio created using Pulse-Code Modulation (PCM). This raw data is saved in a binary format. RAW files do not contain a file header or use an audio codec.

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Because RAW files do not contain a file header, you may have trouble playing them in some media players. These media players require metadata that would typically be stored in an audio file's header to play audio correctly. Thus, they cannot play RAW files.

Many more-common types of audio files, including .WAV and .AIFF files, contain audio data created using Pulse-Code Modulation. However, these files contain a file header and use a recognized audio container format, allowing most popular media players to play them correctly.

How to open a RAW file

You can open a RAW file with Audacity (multiplatform), MPlayer (multiplatform), or Adobe Audition (Windows, Mac).

How to convert a RAW file

Audacity, Adobe Audition, and FMJ-Software Awave Studio can convert RAW files to other audio formats. For example, Audacity can convert RAW files to the following formats:

  • .AIFF - Audio Interchange File Format
  • .WAV - WAVE Audio
  • .OGG - Ogg Vorbis Audio
  • .FLAC - Free Lossless Audio Codec
  • .MP2 - MP2 Audio
  • .M4A - MPEG-4 Audio
  • .AC3 - Audio Codec 3
  • .AMR - Adaptive Multi-rate Codec
  • .OPUS - Opus Audio
  • .WMA - Windows Media Audio

Programs that open RAW files

Linux
Updated November 16, 2022
File Type 4

Fedora Linux Disk Image

Developer The Fedora Project
Popularity
2.0  |  1 Vote
Category Disk Image Files
Format Binary

What is a RAW file?

A RAW file is a disk image used to install a Fedora Linux operating system. It contains a raw, binary copy of the operating system's data. RAW files are typically named for the operating system they are used to install and the architecture of the machine on which they are meant to be installed.

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Fedora Linux is a popular Linux distribution. Users can install various versions of the operating system on PCs, servers, and other devices.

Users install Fedora Linux using disk images that contain a raw copy of the operating system. These images are saved in many formats, including .ISO, .QCOW2, and RAW.

RAW files' filenames include the operating system they are used to install and the architecture on which they are meant to be installed. For example, a RAW file named Fedora-Server-25-1.2.aarch64.raw contains a copy of the Fedora Server operating system that is meant to be installed on an AArch64 machine.

How to open a RAW file

You can use a RAW disk image to install the Fedora Linux operating system it contains on an appropriate device. To do so, boot your device from a USB or other drive containing the RAW disk image.

Programs that open or reference RAW files

All Platforms
Boot your device from a drive containing the RAW file to install Fedora Linux
Updated April 29, 2022

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