In June 2006, the OpenRAW team sent out printed hardcopies of the 2006 RAW Survey report to the top management of Canon, Nikon and Sony in Japan and a few days ago we received a "thank you" letter from Sony.
The translation follows:
Sony CS Center
Service Quality Department
Yasuo Takagi, Manager
The letter and the survey report that was sent to our chairman was read
throughly. Our chairman has instructed me to send an answer to you, so
please kindly excuse that I am writing on his behalf.
We have carefully read your "2006 Raw Survey results," which describes the
opinions and preferences of consumers. Thank you very much. We have also
visited the OpenRAW web site using the information you provided. The web
site also displays a great many views and preferences from people in fields
related to photography. We admire your effort to gather so much valuable
information and for making it available on the World Wide Web.
Some of the information is useful for planning and designing new products.
We believe using this information will enable us to create products that
will meet our customers' desires. We have already instructed our production
section to refer to these data. We will make every effort to meet customers'
desires to become their preferred company. We are grateful to you for
sending us such valuable information.
Thank you very much. Please pardon the delay in writing to you.
Thank you for favoring us, and we wish business success and good health for
Mr. Juergen Specht and Mr. Calvin Jones.
Finally the 2006 RAW Survey Report is available as PDF file. Download it from here:
On January 31, 2006, the Open RAW initiative launched an international survey on this Web site to collect information about the experiences, requirements, preferences, and concerns of digital photographers and other interested parties regarding RAW imaging technology and now we published the results in 5 chapters.
More than two-thirds of the 19,207 participants expressed concern that they won't be able to open or edit raw files created by older digital cameras. The most telling statistic is the 90% of respondents who agreed: 'Once a digital image is written to a file by a camera, data in all parts of the image file should belong to the photographer who captured the image. Camera makers should publish full and open descriptions of all parts of the raw image files their camera produce.'
The full reports are available at:
and the individual chapters are here:
- Chapter 1: Who responded to the 2006 RAW Survey?
- Chapter 2: Perceptions of the Advantages and Disadvantages of RAW Imaging Technology
- Chapter 3: Preferences about RAW Image File Conversion and Editing Software
- Chapter 4: Experiences, Beliefs, and Preferences Concerning RAW Imaging Technology
- Chapter 5: Preferences among Camera Features in a Hypothetical Camera Purchase Decision
On January 31, 2006, the Open RAW initiative launched an international survey on its Web site (http://www.openraw.org/survey/) to collect information about the experiences, requirements, preferences, and concerns of digital photographers and other interested parties regarding RAW imaging technology — a concept that many writers are comparing to a "digital negative."
RAW Technology Issues
As the digital properties of RAW image files became better understood, many digital photographers embraced RAW technology as the best means to obtain maximum image quality for themselves and their clients. As the use of RAW image files increases, imaging professionals and devoted amateurs are faced with a proliferation of proprietary RAW formats, often different for each successive camera model from each camera manufacturer. The absence of a robust, common standard for RAW image file formats has resulted in significant disruptions in digital image workflow and limitations in the choice of software tools.
Many photographers, photo archivists, and others involved in digital imaging have become increasingly concerned about the absence of standards for RAW image file formats. The continuing growth in the number of proprietary RAW formats and the adoption by camera manufacturers of the practice of encryption to conceal information stored in RAW image files has increased fears about the viability of RAW formats for long-term archiving of photographic material. Some manufacturers whose cameras produced proprietary RAW files have already gone out of business, with unknown consequences for future access to those images. Many photographers are concerned that RAW files from current camera models may not be accessible in the future when those models become obsolete.
Why a Survey?
Although these topics are being discussed in many photography forums, we have little systematic information about the experiences, requirements, preferences, and concerns of photographers and other users of digital images regarding RAW technology. One thing is clear— 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 2006 RAW Survey was designed to give photographers and other interested parties an opportunity to have a voice in the further development of RAW imaging technology.
Results of the survey will be reported through a series of articles at http://www.OpenRAW.org/. We believe good decisions by the digital photography industry should take account of the requirements, and preferences of the photographers who make their living or pursue their artistic vision through this medium. We will share the survey results openly in the hope that the future of the craft will benefit.
Initial Report on Responses to the 2006 RAW Survey
Our first report provides an overview of the responses to survey questions and how they reflect the attitudes, beliefs, experiences, and preferences of survey respondents on RAW imaging technology and how it affects a hypothetical purchase decision. The initial report is being released in chapters over a period of five days. The chapters are:
- 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
In subsequent reports, we will present additional information on the relationships among responses and offer our interpretations of the possible implications of these relationships for real purchase transactions in the digital marketplace.