The RAW format - depending on your camera - applies either no compression or lossless compression and no image processing, resulting in Olympus’s own proprietary file format (.orf). Because RAW files are not compressed to the extent of JPEG files, the file sizes are much larger. The file size trade-off is often worth it, since shooting in RAW offers the most control by allowing you to adjust exposure compensation, white balance, sharpness, contrast, saturation, and color space as you convert the image to a file format such as TIFF or JPEG.
RAW (.orf) files need to be opened in the current OLYMPUS Viewer, Olympus ib or older Olympus Master1 and Olympus Studio2 software or a supported third-party programs to view and convert the image to a standard file format such as TIFF or JPEG.
Images shot in the Art Filter or Scene modes will lose the automatic adjustments made by the camera in RAW, therefore use RAW+JPEG as your setting when shooting in the Art Filter and Scene Modes. This will give you both the fully editable file and the creative file for later use.
Rule of Thumb
Shoot in the highest quality setting you can, depending on your card size and how fast you need to be able to take consecutive shots. Larger file sizes, like those created when shooting RAW format, require more time for the camera to process and save the image to the card. Keep in mind, you can always downsize an image to a lower quality file size if needed, but you can’t do the reverse. Shooting in one of the “RAW+JPEG” modes will result in two files saved on your memory card – a version in *.orf (RAW) format for advanced processing and a JPEG version for immediate viewing, printing, and distribution.
Edit Modes for RAW Shooting
RAW Development in OLYMPUS Viewer – Exposure compensation, White Balance, WB Fine Adjustment, Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation, Color Space, Noise Cancellation, False Color Suppression and add Art Filter effects.
RAW Development in ib software – Exposure compensation, White Balance, WB Fine Adjustment, Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation, and add Art Filter effects.
RAW Development in OLYMPUS Studio – Exposure compensation, White Balance, WB Fine Adjustment, Contrast, Sharpness, Saturation, Color Space, Noise Cancellation, and False Color Suppression. Studio also allows for camera control from the computer.
In-camera Editing, RAW Data Edit
Newer Olympus cameras support editing certain aspects of RAW files right in the camera. This feature is typically found in the camera’s “Edit” menu. Raw editing options include image quality, White Balance, Sharpness, Contrast, Saturation and Art Filters. Please check your camera manual for available RAW Edit functions.