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ASMP vision on RAW formats for digital cameras
Ilse Jurriën : July 11th 2005 - 17:25 CET
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ASMPASMP vision on RAW formats for digital cameras : The American Society of Media Photographers is deeply concerned at the developing crisis that is threatening continued access to the world’s photographic heritage. The RAW format is fast becoming the standard for professional and other serious imaging. Encryption and the abandonment and termination of support for older RAW formats put in jeopardy the future use of many digital photographs. As a result, the ability of photographers, clients, librarians, educators, and the public at large to access, use and control the photographs that make up our historical heritage and the economic livelihoods of professional photographers is at serious risk.
ASMP vision on RAW formats for digital camerasExplanation of RAW format
A RAW file is a digital format to store light-sensor data from a digital camera. Like film, a RAW file must be “processed” in software before it can be viewed as an image. Unlike TIFF or JPEG files, which are the same everywhere and are defined by published standards, RAW files are defined differently by each camera maker. Some manufacturers are willing to reveal how their data is structured, but others keep that information secret.

Digital camera manufacturers - Act now!
It is urgent that the manufacturers of digital cameras look beyond their respective, short-term business plans and act for the good of future generations. ASMP implores them to do so and offers to work with them and all other interested parties towards ongoing and open access to images without regard to proprietary technology. The visual history of the world requires no less.

About ASMP
ASMP promotes photographers' rights, educates photographers in better business practices, produces business publications for photographers and helps buyers find professional photographers.ASMP was founded in 1944 by a handful of the world's leading photojournalists and is recognized internationally for its leadership role. ASMP has over 5,000 members, including many of the world's greatest photographers, in 40 chapters nationwide.

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