updated 04:30 pm EDT, Tue July 26, 2011
Photo Gallery now imports Raw file, edits JPG copy
Microsoft will now support raw format images with Windows Live Photo Gallery 2011. Until now, photographers working with photos in RAW had to work with third-party apps such as Adobe Photoshop or Corel PaintShop Photo Pro. Apple has supported RAW formats natively since 2005.
RAW is an uncompressed way of saving images with a one-to-one correspondence between the pixels captured by a camera's image sensors and what is saved to the file. RAW also provides finer control and more image information than other formats such as JPEG, where the image is processed before it reaches the camera's storage.
To work with RAW files, Windows users must first download and install the Microsoft Camera Codec Pack. The user can then import the images. Photo Gallery always creates a JPEG copy of the file, and the finished work can be saved either as a JPEG or JPEG-XR file. JPEG-XR, Microsft's self-developed standard, can reportedly save the compressed file with the same quality as the original.