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by Aditya

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Which point and shoot cameras support RAW images? Is there any way to take RAW images on unsupported cameras?

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5  
See also: photo.stackexchange.com/questions/4356/… –  John Cavan Dec 7 '11 at 12:00
    
The other question is somewhat more specific than this one. It's looking for a small point and shoot camera as a DSLR replacement. This is asking in general about P&S cameras with support for RAW. I think the "see also" is appropriate, but I don't think it's a duplicate. –  mattdm Dec 8 '11 at 2:15

4 Answers 4

up vote 9 down vote accepted

Many Canon PowerShots can, using the alternative firmware CHDK (found here: http://chdk.wikia.com/wiki/CHDK)

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2  
Actually not all models support CHDK, unless of course you plan to compile the code yourself for an unported model. There's a list of ports on the FAQs page - chdk.wikia.com/wiki/FAQ –  ab.aditya Dec 7 '11 at 11:29
    
Thanks for your reply –  nithin Dec 7 '11 at 12:04
    
Many Powershots take RAW images without any modifications: the S series (S90, S95, S100) and most of the G series (G1-G6, G9-G12) all have a RAW mode built in. –  Mark Whitaker Dec 7 '11 at 22:49

Panasonic DMC-LX5 and the Leica clone of it allow for raw format. However, the easiest way to see this is to visit a site, like DP Review that has a database of this information. The link there will take you to a list of 39 that support the raw option. :)

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Thanks for your reply –  nithin Dec 7 '11 at 12:04

No, not all point and shoots can do RAW. Check your camera's manual to find out if yours can. If buying a new one, check the features list. Usually only the more expensive ones have RAW shooting facility unfortunately. Cheap ones tend not to have the feature.

I have the utterly excellent Canon PowerShot S95 which can shoot RAW. I love it. :-)

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Arguably, no point and shoot camera can shoot RAW, because if it could, it would cease to meet the definition of a simple camera you just point and shoot and get automatic acceptable results. I know that many people use "point and shoot" to refer to any small camera despite that argument, but the point is important. Since the term can mean a lot of things to a lot of people, you have to decide what aspect of what you are referring to is the part you're interested in — because the right answer depends on that.

A, B, and C below refer to three possible interpretations of "point and shoot", along with why one might want RAW from that kind of camera, followed by suggestions on how to find what you need.

A. I would like a cheap camera but want better quality or flexibility out of it.

In this case, a Canon camera with the CHDK alternative firmware is the best bet — you're really not going to beat that.

B. I want a compact camera with advanced features and I'm happy to both pay for and work for better results.

Here, you have several options depending on your need. There's an emerging — or re-emerging, since it parallels market options like the Olympus C-5050 from a decade ago — segment which DPReview calls "enthusiast compact". These can work like a point and shoot in many ways, but they're aimed at the non point-and-shoot photographer. The link there goes to a round-up from a year ago, and the specific models will change, but basically everyone has got one. This link from Neocamera showing compact cameras with RAW output basically covers this category, or similar from DPReview.

Update: in December 2011, DPReview ran an article entitled Buyer's Guide: Enthusiast raw-shooting compact cameras, covering exactly this category, even more specifically than last year's roundup.

Or, depending on how important small and cheap are vs. flexibility, you may be interested in a mirrorless interchangeable lens system camera, like the Micro Four Thirds offerings from Panasonic/Olympus, Sony NEX, or Nikon 1 — or even Pentax's ultra-tiny Q.

There's also a few unique cameras like the Fujifilm X100, which isn't really compact or a point and shoot, but also isn't a DSLR.

C. I do want automatic great photographs by just pointing and shooting, and I've heard that RAW is better than JPEG, so I want a camera that can do that.

In this case, you should rethink your assumptions.

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Wasn't he just asking what cameras support RAW? As in, an exact duplicate of the existing question? –  dpollitt Dec 7 '11 at 16:42
    
Is the downvote because the voter thinks this shouldn't be on a duplicate question? Different wording between this question and that makes this answer more appropriate here. Or because I didn't answer with a list? Note that I included a couple links to sites which do provide current, up-to-date lists of compact cameras which include RAW support, which is long-term more helpful than writing a quickly-outdated list of specific models here. Or is it because you disagree with the point about the definition of "point and shoot"? In that case, vote down all you like, but I stand by it. :) –  mattdm Dec 8 '11 at 1:55
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For the record I didn't vote at all! I'm not a jerk, I promise :) –  dpollitt Dec 8 '11 at 2:39
    
While you make a good case for your definition of "point and shoot," enough people probably use the term to mean any camera that isn't a DSLR or DLSR-like in appearance that sticking to the letter of the law may be confusing to the uninformed reader. Still, I don't like to see a down-vote without a comment, so +1. –  Sean Dec 8 '11 at 2:45
    
Thanks Sean, dpollitt. I'm not begging for upvotes, I promise. And I'm not (just) trying to be pedantic: I think the right answer to this question really depends on what is meant by point and shoot. As Sean notes, someone might indeed consider the Fujifilm X100 to be a point & shoot by the "not-a-DSLR" definition. I suppose I could reword to make that more clear at the beginning. –  mattdm Dec 8 '11 at 3:35

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