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Different Canon cameras offer next to RAW also M-RAW and S-RAW. These file formats feature a lower resolution but also a significantly smaller file size.

Is it possible to shoot RAW files with all their advantages and convert them into M-RAW or S-RAW files later, if there is no need for full resolution in a subset of photos? Is there software available for this task?

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It's theoretically possible to do so but I doubt any software implements this currently.

Why?

mRAW and sRAW are both ways to compress images that attempt to preserve as much if the editing latitude as possible. If you've decided a group of images aren't worth preserving in RAW but you have processed them then JPEG is a much better space saving strategy preserving both resolution and image quality (but not editing latitude).

The desire to convert to m/sRAW at a later date just doesn't make sense to me: you've decided that a set of images are not worth preserving at RAW filesizes & printing at high resolution, but you want to preserve the ability to change your mind about white balance at a later date. If you think you might reprocess images to make them better then it seems worth investing in small increase in storage space to keep the original RAWs.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I keep all my RAW files, they are not removed in favour of their JPEG output. I want to keep smaller versions of some RAW files without losing editing capabilities. They might be edited at a later date, but not e.g. for high resolution prints. This makes sense to me for a significant part of my family photos. ;-) \$\endgroup\$
    – lejonet
    Jan 13, 2014 at 20:39
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    \$\begingroup\$ Having used m/sRAW for a while back when I first purchased my 7D, the editing latitude is really not that much more than your average TIFF. In some respects, given that m/sRAW are 14-bit encoded, they actually have less. A standard RAW image has VASTLY superior editing latitude than any of mRAW, sRAW, or TIFF. If one wishes to save space, use of m/sRAW is a great way to do it, but if you need editing latitude, I highly recommend against using either. \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Jan 14, 2014 at 21:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ @lejonet With the current cost of disk space (which is only falling too), is there any point? 1Tb/$50 hard drive will store approx 33,000 30Mpx RAW files, so perhaps 120,000 sRAW. how many photos a year do you take? \$\endgroup\$
    – Steve Ives
    Sep 28, 2016 at 14:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Another use case: I am a photography teacher with a computer lab full of underpowered computers (with no graphics cards). I would love to teach my students the benefits of RAW, but my computers cannot handle files that large, so I am forced to have them shoot jpeg instead. In this case the learning process is more important than the benefits of having an image with large dimensions. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 4, 2023 at 12:55

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