About camera raw image files

(From P.E. 6.0 help files)

A camera raw file contains unprocessed picture data from a camera’s image sensor. Think of camera raw files as a photo negative. Many digital cameras can save raw format files. You can open a raw file in Photoshop Elements, process it, and save it, rather than relying on the camera to process the file. Working with camera raw files lets you set the proper white balance, tonal range, contrast, color saturation, and sharpening.

You can reprocess the file repeatedly to achieve the results you want. Photoshop Elements doesn’t save your changes to the original raw file; it saves the last settings you specified before importing the file from your camera to your computer.

After processing the raw image file with the Camera Raw dialog box, you open the image in Photoshop Elements, where you can edit it in the same way that you edit any photo, such as fix red eye or make color adjustments. Then, you can save the file in any format supported by Photoshop Elements. It’s best to use PSD.

To use raw files, you need to set your camera to save files in its own raw file format. When you download the files from the camera, they have file extensions like NEF, CRW, and so on. Photoshop Elements can open raw files only from supported cameras. Visit the Adobe website to view a list of supported cameras.

raw controls
Camera Raw dialog box

A.View options; B.Click the Basic or Detail tab to access different controls C. RGB values; D. Histogram; E. Image settings; F. More menu; G. Camera and some EXIF information; H. Tools; I. Rotate buttons; J. Zoom levels; K. Bit depth options
Why Use Camera Raw?