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Chapter 15. Creating a Dream Image from ... > Everything You Wanted to Know About ...

Everything You Wanted to Know About RAW—But Were Afraid to Ask!

Before finishing this chapter, you need to be aware of an important plug-in built into the new Photoshop CS interface. It's known as the Camera RAW plug-in. Adobe first announced this plug-in around February 2003. It was originally sold as a separate product to install for version 7 of Photoshop. But, thankfully, Adobe decided to bundle the plug-in within the Photoshop CS interface—and if you haven't had the opportunity to use this plug-in yet, you're in for a real treat.

What Is RAW?

RAW format, by definition, is the raw data information. This means it is a high-quality lossless file format that contains all the information (in its entirety) that comes off a digital camera's sensors before it is worked over by the camera's interpretations for white balance, sharpening, compression, and so on. What does this mean to you? Well, it's the equivalent of a digital negative. All the information is preserved within the RAW format, and the best part is that the RAW format takes up less file space on a memory card than the TIFF format (which is the next best possible format for saving high-quality images on a memory card). Many digital cameras support the RAW format, and if you're thinking about buying a digital camera sometime soon, make sure that the camera does indeed support RAW.


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