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|Type of format||raw image format|
In digital photography, ORF file format is a Raw image format used in Olympus digital cameras. Like all other raw formats, this one contains image information rendered directly by a camera's sensor. ORF files feature so called headers that present image characteristics, such as saturation, color temperature, contrast, etc. Headers also contain metadata, which includes camera's technical characteristics.
ORF files can be termed ORF digital negatives. Just like analogous film negatives, they are not intended as images, because they cannot be managed via photo editing software. They just contain all necessary information to create an image.
Because ORF images come out without undergoing any processing, they present almost real color and shade characteristics, and they are more open for extensive editing than JPEG or TIFF images. ORF files have to be copied to a PC's hard disk, and then one can resort to a very extensive array of adjustments. ORF format allows you to achieve maximum precision by setting one's own white balance and saturation values, which is not feasible in JPEG or TIFF.
This approach is used by experienced professional and devoted amateur photographers. For this reason, ORF format is only supported by professional Olympus digital cameras. ORF files contain 12, 14 or more bits per pixel, whereas JPEG images have only 8 bits per pixel and channel.
See also