An ARW formatted image is a raw image taken by a Sony Cybershot digital camera. The data is essentially uncompressed, but is a proprietary format that is only generally used by Sony, although some software programs from vendors such as Adobe can be used in order to convert the image to a more acceptable format.
Because the RAW format was already taken, Sony opted to change the lettering around to create ARW. The image format itself is actually based on the TIFF image format.
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