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|Type of format||raw image format|
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The 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 thought of as a format of "digital negatives." Just like film negatives, they are not usually intended to be directly viewed. Instead, ORF files contain all necessary information to create (or "develop") a usable image, in a more common format, with processing software.
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 an extensive array of adjustments. The format allows users to achieve maximum precision by setting their 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. ORF files contain 12, 14 or more bits per pixel per channel, whereas JPEG images have only 8 bits per pixel per channel.
File name syntax
ORF files use the following syntax:
|1st||Colorspace "_" for Adobe or "P" for RGB.|
|2nd||Month "1-9": Jan-Sep. "A-C": Oct-Dec.|
|3rd & 4th||Day "01-31"|
|5th - 8th||Running auto numbering|
PC071138.ORF. This was taken RGB colorspace on December 7 with the number 1138 generated by the camera.
- exiftool.org about ORF