Canon sRAW and mRAW: alternatives

Christoph Clausen · Dotphoton Chief Scientist · October 27, 2019
DOTPHOTON RAW MAG

What is Canon S-RAW?

Canon S-RAW is a way to reduce image file size by using an approximation to the raw image data. This is done in several steps. First the number of pixels is reduced by a factor of 4. For each of the new pixels, some kind of brightness and color values are calculated. The brightness values are stored in each pixel, the color values only for every second. Lossless compression is applied in a final step. The final file size is about half that of an ordinary raw file.

What is Canon M-RAW?

Canon M-RAW is similar to S-RAW. Instead of reducing the number of pixels in the image by 4, only a reduction of 2 is applied. Color information is only stored for 1 out of each 4 pixels. The final file size is about 75% of that of an ordinary raw file.

Why do Canon cameras offer S-RAW and M-RAW?

Canon assumes that photographers in many, if not most, situations do not need or require the full resolution of the image sensor and would prefer to save storage space, as long as the file can be post-processed as well as if it were an ordinary raw file.

Why do photographers use Canon S-RAW and M-RAW?

The main reason why photographers use these formats is to save disk space.

Should I use S-RAW or M-RAW?

If you do not mind the loss of resolution, in particular for the color information, and you are looking for a convenient way to save a little bit of storage space already in the camera, then S-RAW or M-RAW may be a good choice for you. If you would prefer to preserve the full resolution of the image, and saving space on the camera is not your highest priority, there may be a better option.

Alternative to Canon sRAW and Canon mRAW

If you do not mind the loss of resolution, in particular for the color information, and you are looking for a convenient way to save a little bit of storage space already in the camera, then S-RAW or M-RAW may be a good choice for you. If you would prefer to preserve the full resolution of the image, and saving space on the camera is not your highest priority, there may be a better option.
Each page is counted, but no folio or page number is expressed, or printed, on either display pages or blank pages.
Each page is counted, but no folio or page number is expressed, or printed, on either display pages or blank pages.