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Should ePHOTOzine support the OpenRAW survey?

theorderingone 13 2.4k
3 Feb 2006 2:29AM
The OpenRAW survey is part of a campaign to establish a common digital camera RAW format so that images taken on today's digital cameras will still be accessible in the future.

The campaign is asking for websites that agree that there should be a standardised RAW format established to register with them as a supporter.

We thought that it would be a good idea to find out what you think about it before registering as a supporter. That way we can be sure that we are representing your views properly.

I have posted a news story which gives futher details of the survey so you can make your mind up properly for yourself.

If you think we should or that we shouldn't support this campaign, please leave a comment at the bottom of the OpenRAW news story so we can tally the yay and nays next week.



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keithh Plus
13 25.3k 33 Wallis And Futuna
3 Feb 2006 2:56AM
While I have no problems with there being an Open RAW Format, I have to weigh any concerns by noting that every RAW file I've ever taken...and that's from Day One...is still editable with todays software...and indeed with software available at the time, which I've still got.
Westers 12 3.9k 1 Burkina Faso
3 Feb 2006 3:00AM
Open standards are always a good thing.
JohnJo 11 145 United Kingdom
3 Feb 2006 3:05AM
I am fully behind the initiative and filled in the survey yesterday. There are a number of advantages in an open format and legacy support is just one of them. Another is the ability for other software producers to take advantage of *all* embedded information captured at the time of exposure and, with my experience of tools from camera manufacturers compared against tools from independed houses, I think it's a necessary step to drive technology forward.

Closed systems rarely exceed our expectations and often fall short of them.
theorderingone 13 2.4k
3 Feb 2006 3:07AM
Keith - At the moment it is just an 'if'. I think they are talking about a longer time span than even you will have been working with digital RAW formats.

Like if the Tony Robinson of the future unearthed a load of extrnal harddrives, DVD's and CF cards. Wink
keithh Plus
13 25.3k 33 Wallis And Futuna
3 Feb 2006 3:10AM
I don't want Tony Robinson muckin' about with my RAW files.

I would still support it.
lobsterboy Plus
13 14.9k 13 United Kingdom
3 Feb 2006 3:17AM

Quote:Open standards are always a good thing.

I take it you have never used XForms then Smile
ahollowa 13 1.1k England
3 Feb 2006 3:34AM
As I have commented on the news item. Open standards normally bring everything down to the lowest common denominator. To get a new concept included takes ages in commitee meetings. The best option is for manufacturers to have their own formats but publish them for the independant software vendors to support. This is like the database world where there is an open standard of base SQL (structured query language) which all vendors conform with for basic operations. However this doesn't stop them all coding their own new SQL functions to give them a competitive edge. As Orwell (almost) said all SQL is equal just some is more equal than others. So should it also be with RAW to stimulate development.


randomrubble 12 3.0k 12 United Kingdom
3 Feb 2006 3:35AM
I think the idea of a standard RAW format is ludicrous. Interchange of RAW is not an imperitive, it's a format used to gain maximum performance not a format that will ever be in common use. Standardising the format will potentially stifle innovation as there is no way that we can predict what information will be derived from the sensors etc of the future, and the processing that is required will vary between manufacturers anyway.
UserDeleted 14 3.6k
3 Feb 2006 3:52AM
I'm all for it - providing it is the Canon standard Wink

For me I would rather the manufacturer of my sensor and processing hardware and firmware worked out the best RAW format.

Otherwise, as has been said, the lowest common denominator sets the standard and I don't want to be bound by that.

That said if I need a standard format I'll convert my Canon RAW to DNG and make an additional backup with it. So I have the best of both worlds.

mdpontin 13 6.0k Scotland
3 Feb 2006 3:53AM

Quote:Standardising the format will potentially stifle innovation

I disagree. The intention isn't to lock down RAW with no thought for future technology advances. Also I imagine the way this would work would be that camera manufacturers would have input into the development of the standard, and for any future extensions. The only 'limitation' that I can see would be ensuring backwards-compatibility, so that your old RAW files don't become obsolete.

I'm currently a Konica Minolta user. Given the departure of KM from the camera market, I don't want to find that all my RAW files eventually become obsolete because it ceases to be a current, widely supported format (MRW). I expect to be able to work with all my RAW files, past, present and future, in the software of my choice - for example C1, Adobe CR/Lightroom, Aperture, or whatever. I see an open standard as the best way to guarantee that capability.

Kris_Dutson 14 8.2k 1 England
3 Feb 2006 3:59AM
I support it.

As long as my backup media is future proof too - backwards compatability of RAW software won't be much use if you can't get your old files off a CD/DVD in the first place. Wink

JohnJo 11 145 United Kingdom
3 Feb 2006 4:04AM
Open standards does not mean a single standard format that will never change forever and ever. The world wide web runs on open standards and represents one of the fastest moving technological innovations of our times. And yet the earliest web pages can still be viewed. That is open standards and readers should understand that before declaring that this site should not support them.
sabretalon 13 1.9k United Kingdom
3 Feb 2006 4:25AM
I think it will be good, but more from the point of view that people like Adobe can concentrate on developing their software rather than reverse engineering raw formats.

It may get a little bulky if it does have to be backwards compatible with all of the existing types out there at the moment. I would like to think they would build it so that you can upload a plugin, for your particular raw format.

Anyway it would have my support, provided they can deliver!
randomrubble 12 3.0k 12 United Kingdom
3 Feb 2006 4:34AM
I think if you want a non propreitary - in the sense of not tied to a manufacturer you can convert to adobe DNG, format at the point where you upgrade to a system that does not support your camera. If it's good enough for Hasslebald!

Even accepting that... pretty much all file formats change over time if you want files that you can access for ever you'll have to work at anyway it so where is the benefit of a common RAW format.

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