How to Open?
Each well-known camera brand has its own RAW specifications for maximum picture quality. To shoot scenes in .arw file format, you need to install RAW mode for a digital Sony camera in the Image and Quality section of the menu. This RAW file is similar to the more common TIFF (Tagged Image File) format for high-quality images. Like TIFF, ARW is a lossless file type in the highest quality image format. This means it doesn’t lose quality when used or processed, has no compression and is large in size.
Raw files are designed to get the most information from the camera sensor, so that you can later adjust the picture thoroughly (for instance, apply color correction). ARW files contain a large amount of data that lets you edit pictures more progressively, capturing important image details that may not be visible in many image editing programs.
ARW files in Sony RAW image format as camera file format (for instance, directly from a connected Sony digital camera) can be viewed and even opened automatically using the integrated OS tools. On a Mac, Apple Preview will let you open but not edit ARW.
Depending on the version of Windows you have, you may need to install the Sony RAW driver before integrated image viewers, such as Microsoft Windows Photos and Windows Live Photo Gallery, can open the file for viewing.
Some well-known photo editors will automatically open files of this type for direct editing. In this case, the most convenient and affordable option is Lightroom. It is meant to recognize almost all brands of cameras and lenses.
In addition, it recognizes different color profiles of each camera brand, instantly recognizes almost all types of image files and opens them accordingly. When you upload photos from a Sony digital camera or memory card to your PC, Lightroom will quickly open them for editing. Also, Lightroom uses Adobe Camera Raw as part of the import process.
Adobe Photoshop is, unlike Adobe Photoshop Elements, sensitive to this file format and will first force open the Adobe Camera Raw file converter plugin before opening .arw files since these are RAW images. You can also edit images using Camera Raw or RAW photo editors if the suggested settings are sufficient.
GIMP is the first free application that is worth trying for opening ARW files. GIMP edits these files to the fullest.
Adobe Photoshop Express can open ARW files for editing on mobile devices.
ARW Viewer is a completely free program that supports the ARW image format. It can open, view, resize and convert ARW images to other image formats.
File Viewer Lite is a free program for opening .arw files that lets you view raw images.
Other free graphics programs and viewers, such as ImageMagick, XnView and Able RAWer can also open an ARW file.
The ARW format, like RAW, can’t be opened for viewing directly online since it isn’t supported by Internet browsers. The .arw file can’t be opened or viewed online without special software, such as RAW file converters. Simply put, a converter is a desktop or online program or service that can read the ARW file format and display its contents. So, the function of an online viewer and editor such as Photopea, is often taken over by RAW file conversion tools.
Files of this type are typically used for editing and exporting to compressed image formats, such as JPG, GIF or PNG for further practical use. In addition, some digital camera manufacturers are developing their own RAW file converter for their file types. For instance, Sony Imaging Edge is available to open and convert images to ARW file format.
A convenient example is the raw.pics.io website. It is a straightforward online platform for viewing and converting ARW images.
Adobe DNG Converter is a free tool for Mac and Windows that lets you convert ARW to DNG.
CloudConvert is intended for converting ARW image files online. You can use parameters to control the resolution, quality and file size of the image.
Zamzar is one more online service to perform file conversion. It is compatible with the majority of widely used graphic formats and even some camera formats.