Apr 25, 2006

OpenRAW Releases Initial Results of 2006 RAW Survey

OpenRAW Releases Initial Results of 2006 RAW Survey – Over 19,000 Photographers and Imaging Professionals Provide Data on their Experiences, Preferences, and Concerns regarding RAW Imaging Technology

Will the digital camera you buy tomorrow fairly serve the future of photography? Are today’s camera manufacturers making decisions that may adversely affect the preservation of photographic works for future generations? More than 19,000 digital photographers and preservationists from around the world have now weighed in with opinions on RAW imaging technology, a concept that many compare to a “digital negative.”

The OpenRAW initiative is a one-year-old international organization representing the interests of photographers and digital imaging practitioners. From January 31 to March 15, 2006, OpenRAW conducted an international online survey ( designed to give photographers and other interested parties a voice in the further development of RAW imaging technology. The response was outstanding. During the six-week 2006 RAW Survey, over 19,000 individuals – professional photographers, dedicated amateurs, and other imaging specialists – answered all 25 of the survey’s targeted questions. The average respondent had 19.5 years’ experience in photography.

Although RAW imaging technology is routinely discussed in photography forums, until now no systematic information had been gathered about the experiences, requirements, preferences, and concerns of users of digital images regarding RAW technology and its future. At the same time, many photographers and archivists believe that camera manufacturers are making important decisions about RAW image technology with little or no input from the people who buy and use their equipment, or who are involved in the preservation of photographic works.

“The massive changes that have occurred since the founding of OpenRAW only one year ago – continued proliferation of proprietary RAW formats, encryption of camera settings in RAW files, and the disappearance of camera brands from the market – have greatly increased uncertainty for photographers,” says Juergen Specht, leader of the RAW imaging advocacy group. “Unless RAW file contents are openly documented, no one – from photography’s top professionals to the family amateur – can be sure that their RAW images will be useable in the future.”

The 2006 RAW Survey responses have now been analyzed and a detailed report of the results will be published on the OpenRAW Web site ( over a five-day period beginning on April 25, 2006.

These results will be released as follows:

*April 25th, 2006 – Chapter 1: Who responded to the 2006 RAW Survey?

*April 26th, 2006 – Chapter 2: Perceptions of the Advantages and Disadvantages of RAW Imaging Technology

*April 27th, 2006 – Chapter 3: Preferences about RAW Image File Conversion and Editing Software

*April 28th, 2006 – Chapter 4: Experiences, Beliefs, and Preferences Concerning RAW Imaging Technology

*April 29th, 2006 – Chapter 5: Preferences among Camera Features in a Hypothetical Camera Purchase Decision

Each chapter will be accompanied by a brief summary of responses to survey questions related to the topic covered. Additional analyses of survey results will be reported in a series of articles published at

“We believe that decisions by the digital photography industry should take account of the requirements and preferences of the photographers and those who make their living or pursue their artistic vision through this medium,” adds professional research statistician Calvin Jones, who developed the survey and analyzed responses. “OpenRAW will continue to share the results of this information gathering effort in the hope that we can serve the future of the art and craft of photography.”

The following organizations support OpenRAW and the 2006 RAW Survey:

Dave Coffin (
Foto.iFokus (
Digital Imaging and Photography Blog (
Luminous Landscape (
PhotoShopNews (
Udi Fuchs (
Digital Photo Blog (
350D (
Absolute Stock Photo (
Arkiv Inc. (
Internet Archive (
Atlantic Software Exchange Inc. (
Beaux Arts Photography ( (
Bibble Labs Inc (
DataRescue (
Digital Domain Inc. (
Deutsche Gesellschaft für Photographie (DGPh) (
DPGR (Digital Photography in Greece) (
dpMagic Software Inc. (
Digital Photography Review (DPReview) ( (
DxO Labs (
Dyxum (
Earthbound Light (
European Color Initiative (ECI) (
Extensis Inc. (
National Association of Professional Photographers – Italy
( (
Glass Lantern LLC (
Petteri Kettunen (
Irfan Skiljan (
Iridient Digital Inc. (
Jaewook Chung (
Joneshouse (
D1scussion (
Lemke Software GmbH (
Molinaripixel ( (
NikonCafe (
Nikonians ( ( (
Photos of the Year (
Pixmantec ApS (
Leo Davidson (
ProFotoSoftware Ltd (
Pro Shooters LLC ( (
Rawformat ( (
Script Software (
StockPhotoTalk (
Tidalwave (
Vinland Corporation. (

For more information please visit the OpenRAW web site:

Email: Juergen Specht, or Calvin Jones,

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