TrueRaw screen shot

A screen shot of TrueRaw running in a command window under Windows XP

Do you want to know what REALLY comes out of your camera? I'm not talking out the image itself, but the actual numbers: the raw output of your camera's ADC. All Raw converters that I have used perform substantial processing; even if they don't apply sharpening and noise filtering they invariably apply some interpolation algorithm in order to pretend that each pixel contains all 3 primary colours rather than the single colour that is the true reality1. Certainly the great majority of photographers are only interested in the image, NOT the numbers or where those numbers might come from and that is precisely as it should be. Nevertheless, there are a few that want to look at the mathematics of image creation and camera physics and it is for them that I created this application.

TrueRaw is a command line program that takes a RAW file from a digital camera and outputs a formatted text file containing all the pixel values in decimal format that are the unprocessed output from the ADC. I used these values to verify my analysis of the Physics of Digital Cameras with particular emphasis on the Poisson behaviour of light.

You can download the Windows executable file (TrueRaw.exe) here. If you haven't already installed the Visual C++ Redistributable Package you will need to download and install it first.

To run the program you should:

TrueRaw text output

Viewing the output text file using TextPad

When you scroll through an output file yourself you will notice a few things:

This application is a modification of Dave Coffin's technically amazing DCRAW Since his code is open and free so is mine. You can download his code here and mine here. I have provided a Windows executable above which was current at the time I compiled it, however, the camera world moves rapidly and it may be that some of the latest cameras are not supported. I make no guarantee as to keeping TrueRaw current so if you need an update you can either email me and ask me if I can do it or else take my mod, apply it to the latest DCRAW and compile it for yourself (or get a friendly programmer to do it for you).

If you have Microsoft's Visual C++ (which you can download free here), just do the following:

  1. Except for the rare non-Bayer sensors that is, such as Foveon's.