What are RW2 files?
RW2 is a proprietary format specific to Panasonic LUMIX cameras. It contains a RAW raster image as captured by the camera's sensor.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the RW2 format?
The RW2 format is a multimedia standard in the current world of digital content. And it shows the following advantages and disadvantages:
- The RW2 format stores uncompressed data, because it is not compressed, the image is of higher quality than other image formats, such as .JPG or .PNG.
- Greater control. Like all RAW formats, it allows users to manipulate more parameters (such as brightness, white balance, hue, saturation, etc.) and to do so with greater variability.
- Many more shades of colors compared to JPEG files: RW2 files have 12 or 14 bits of intensity information per channel (4096-16384 shades), compared to JPEG's 8 bits of gamma compression (256 shades).
- The size of RW2 files from cameras is typically 2 to 6 times larger than JPEG files]. Although use of this format avoids the compression artifacts inherent in JPEG, fewer images may fit on a given memory card.
- Burst mode shooting tends to be slower and shorter due to the larger file size.
RW2 Format FAQs
How do I open an RW2 file?
You can open RW2 files with several applications. Microsoft Photos (Windows) and Apple Preview (macOS) are free applications that support RW2 images and are included in Windows and macOS. More advanced image editors that support RW2 files include Adobe Photoshop Elements (Windows, macOS, Android and iOS), Corel PaintShop Pro (Windows and macOS) and XnViewMP (Windows and macOS).
How do I convert RW2 files?
You can convert RW2 files to other image formats, such as .JPEG and PNG with various applications. On Windows, you can convert RW2 images with Adobe Photoshop Elements, and ACD Systems Canvas.
On macOS, you can use Apple Preview by selecting File → Export. Or you can use Adobe Photoshop Elements or XnViewMP.