When you see the video shooting process and how it evolves from there, you quickly understand that video production isn’t simple. It requires you to consider and adjust many elements to get the desired results. Even then, most people can’t anticipate the video quality they get.
The video format is one of the most essential aspects of shooting videos, regardless of their purpose. You need to know what you’re doing, your goals, and the best format you can use to achieve results. Here’s everything about RAW videos and what’s so special about them.
What Is RAW Video?
RAW video, RAW video footage, or source footage is the most basic camera output you can get. It’s the data the camera’s sensors capture before any effects or image processing. Shooting RAW videos means stripping down videos to their most basic form without processing them. That requires a special camera that can shoot RAW video.
A Professional Video Format
This video format comes in many files that you can’t preview so easily. To open RAW videos, you need professional-grade software. However, if you can open one of these files, you will see videos without trimming, auto enhancements, color adjustments, and other image processing techniques.
These videos don’t look particularly well, but it is what some people want. RAW videos require editing, and using this format gives you more room to manipulate footage and get the desired colors, effects, shades, enhancements, and other elements.
Uses of RAW Videos
All professional production videos are in RAW format because of their flexibility. People use them exclusively for filmmaking and all bigger productions. However, RAW videos require expensive equipment because they take up a lot of space, and you need to be able to store all the data to continue your work without obstructions.
RAW is suitable for complex projects that have the necessary budgets and time. If you want to shoot and air a video as quickly as possible, RAW format probably isn’t the best option. It requires high-capacity storage options and a robust post-production process.
However, smartphones have gone far, and today you can even shoot a RAW video on an iPhone and Android.
What Makes RAW Footage So Valuable
If you want to shoot RAW videos, you’re probably wondering why you should do it. These videos and images have several benefits, giving your products a more unique and quality look.
RAW Videos Have Better Editing Options
Professional videographers get complete control over the footage during editing when using RAW videos. They can heavily edit all still RAW images in various tools like Photoshop. At the same time, all RAW video footage data provides complete camera sensor information, allowing you to edit footage without jeopardizing video quality. You can also download RAW videos for editing practice from many royalty-free stocks.
You can refine RAW image data to get the desired look without looking unnatural. You can alter exposure, change white balance, sharpen frames, correct colors, manipulate shadows, and use the most lighting. RAW videos give you extra headroom so you can correct shooting errors and shape the feel and look of your videos.
Better Results in Less Ideal Shooting Settings
The RAW format is handy when shooting in poor lighting conditions — when there’s little illumination or mixed lighting, for example. Having more room to edit the videos and improve their quality makes it easier to correct the errors you made during the shooting and still get professional footage.
RAW Video Format Offers Lossless Quality
RAW videos have lossless quality, unlike pre-processed camera videos. They always keep the original quality, and you won’t lose any resolution when resizing. This data is more robust, and you can’t compromise it. Still, some RAW video cameras shoot compressed videos, but this compression level is still lower and better than pre-processed videos.
Benefits of RAW Video Files
Before you start using RAW videos, you should understand what benefits they offer. In a nutshell, RAW videos give you the following:
- More converting options: You can merge RAW files to create panoramic or HDR images that you can edit and refine.
- More control over the footage: RAW files allow you to make adjustments like gamma correction, contrast, brightness changes, and color conversions while keeping the RAW image in its original state.
- Resistance to compression: RAW images retain their quality after compression.
- More color range: RAW files have more colors and tonal values than any other video format.
- More detail: RAW videos are more detailed than any other file type. You get so much more to work with in post-production.
How To Open RAW Video Files
Many people wonder how they can open RAW video files. If you try and play one with any video tool, you won’t be able to open the video. Why? Because RAW videos require an image or video editing tool to start. Some of the most common you can use are:
- ACDsee for Windows
- RAWTherapee for Mac and Windows
- Corel PaintShop Pro for Windows
- Adobe Photoshop Elements for Mac and Windows
- Adobe Photoshop for Windows
Opening a RAW video is similar to opening any other file, as long as you have the right tool. For example, here’s how you open RAW video files in Adobe Photoshop:
- Step 1: Transfer your camera RAW video to your computer.
- Step 2: Start Adobe Photoshop, click File and then Open.
- Step 3: Find your RAW file and select it. The Adobe Camera RAW will start automatically, and you can make specific changes. Click Open, and your video will open in Adobe Photoshop.
What You Can Do With RAW Video Files
Having RAW videos opens up many options. Here’s what you can do with RAW footage files.
Edit RAW Videos
RAW videos are externally versatile and give you many editing options. Not only do you get more editing options, but you can also get better value out of each edit. Yes, the colors might look flat initially, but you can emphasize any grade or tone you want to get the desired visuals.
Package RAW Videos for Customers
Some service providers, like wedding videographers, can benefit from unedited RAW videos. Your clients might ask for original (RAW) videos, and in these situations, you can package RAW videos for your clients and let them look at the whole event unedited.
Create Stock Videos
The versatility of RAW videos allows you to put them into any context. You can create stock videos with emotional, commercial, or personal value with a couple of edits.
Repurpose RAW Footage
If you used some footage for post-production, you probably have remaining footage. If this footage is RAW, it’s entirely usable, and you can use it for different purposes or try other cuts and solutions to explore your creative approach.
Convert Into a Different Format
File formats are essential when it comes to video footage and its uses. They affect the necessary quality, size, and useability. RAW videos give you complete flexibility as you can convert them into any other popular format with an adequate tool.
How To Recover Lost or Deleted RAW Videos
Storing RAW videos can be pretty stressful and complicated. These files take up a lot of space, and you must organize and appropriately manage many files. Losing some of them can quickly lead to unusable footage.
Sadly, most individuals or smaller organizations don’t have professionals who specialize in managing and sharing the proper footage. That means making mistakes and losing files or accidentally deleting videos is easy. To avoid it, we recommend using a video recovery software like Wondershare Recoverit. Wondershare Recoverit offers the following benefits:
- Format flexibility: Recoverit works with RAW file format and all popular video formats, such as AVI, MOV, MKV, MP4, M4V, 3GP, 3G2, WMV, etc. You can also recover Full HD, Ultra HD, 4K, and 8K videos without corruption.
- Recover from all storage media: Recoverit can recover your RAW footage from any storage, including professional cameras, memory cards, computers, external drives, NAS storage, or USB flash drives.
- Facilitates 500+ data loss scenarios: It recovers all of your videos from storage devices empty due to various reasons like disk formatting, power outage, malware attacks, accidental deletion, damage, etc.
- Patented Technology: Professional video shooting devices keep files in fragments, and most video recovery tools can recover them but cannot play them. Recoverit has an Enhanced Video Recovery system that recognizes and combines all those fragments into a single file, ensuring the recovered video files are playable.
For Windows 7 or later
For macOS 10.10 or later
Here’s how to use Wondershare Recoverit to recover RAW videos:
- Step 1: Download and install Recoverit on your PC. After starting, click Enhanced Recovery and select the storage where you have lost your RAW videos.
Recoverit will prompt you to choose the formats for deep scanning to locate deeply concealed videos. Once you've made your selections, click Start.
- Step 3: Recoverit will do a simultaneous Quick and Deep scan after clicking Start. Wait until the process is complete. However, if you discover the desired RAW footage before the scan is complete, you can stop the scanning at any time.
- Step 4: When the scan is complete, move your cursor to the desired thumbnail and click the Preview icon in the middle. Once you’ve checked which videos the tool has discovered, select them and click Recover in the bottom left corner to get them back.
For Windows 7 or later
For macOS 10.10 or later
We hope this post has helped you learn more about RAW video files and what you can do with them. If you want the best quality of your videos, use RAW, but remember that they require additional work and effort.