RAW image file is a file saved by a digital camera, image scanner or motion picture film scanner. RAW file saves data without making modifications to the picture when captured. The data saved within the raw file is lossless and can be accessed by specific programs call RAW file Viewers. Camera Raw files are heavy in size, and Raw file viewer takes some time for opening it. A better editing of the Raw file makes a better photographer. Most of the Raw file viewers have the ability to make some modifications to the raw images and convert them to simple image formats. Major Raw file viewer applications can read edit Raw files captured from Canon, Aptus, Epson, Hasselblad, Fuji, Kodak, Leica, Mamiya, Nikon, Olympus, Pentax, Panasonic, Ricoh, Samsung, Sigma and Sony Cameras. For users ease, we have compiled a list of best free Raw File Viewer Software. Most of these applications have inbuilt image editing tools. Few applications are extensively built to edit the Raw images in complete editing modes like that of Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom.
1. RAW Image Viewer
RAW Image Viewer is a simple to use program that furnishes a modern interface and allows conversion to BMP, JPG, GIF, TIF, or PNG type. You can easily view raw images in a sophisticated interface such as CR2, NEF, CRW, and RAF. The main frame has a clean structure and elegant look, and you can view images using the file browser. Mostly, raw images have larger sizes as compared to PNG, JPG, or BMP. Moreover, you can zoom in or out, fit the picture to display and rotate it to left or right. Change the size of the image by inserting the height and width numerical values. For conversion of images from one format to other, you have to save the image to a user defined directory and set up the name and preferred extension. However, this application uses a high amount RAM and CPU. RAW Image Viewer allows users to view RAW pictures in intuitive and modern working environment.
RawTherapee is a comprehensive application that allows you to work with RAW images from digital cameras and make different photo adjustments. It offers support for BMP, JPEG, PNG, and TIFF formats. RawTherapee has an intuitive and attractive structure. The Explorer-based layout allows you to locate and choose images for processing easily. Moreover, work with multiple images at the same time. The user can modify images regarding the sharpening level like radius and amount, micro contrast, noise reduction, impulse noise reduction, and contrast by detail levels. Moreover, adjust the white balance, channel mixer, vibrance, RGB curves, HSV equalizer, color management, preprocessing, demosaicing, raw white and black points, flat field, dark frame, and chromatic aberration. Work with basic tools such as rotating, cropping, resizing, in addition to enabling metadata filters, toggling full-screen mode and configuring fast export options. Moreover, you can change the interface language, and theme set the page to the external program, switch to a different date format, and configure sounds.
3. Microsoft Camera Codec Pack
Microsoft Camera Codec Pack is a comprehensive collection of codecs that helps the user to view some special types of digital images on any computer. It provides you with a mean of making your computer compatible with a large variety of image formats. After installing the program, you can easily view digital images take with Nikon, Canon, Sony, Panasonic, Pentax, Olympus, Minolta, or Leica directly from Explorer. For working with this application, your computer should have RAM of one GB or higher. It can display image with a minimum resolution of 1024×576.
4. Free RAW Viewer
Free RAW Viewer is a lightweight program that helps you to create slideshows with different image formats such as JPEG, GIF, RAW, and BMP. The simplistic user interface of Free RAW Viewer has two panels, left one for quick access to your local directories and the right one to shows the contents of the chosen folder. However, you can’t add or trash individual images to be included in your slideshow. It creates slideshows from the chosen folder, so make sure the folder comprises the exact images you want, before proceeding with the process. View the photos in full-screen mode and change their rotation using few clicks. However, some advanced features are present in the program. Overall, Free RAW Viewer is a small but powerful program that has the capability to create slideshows with your favorite pictures.
5. ViewNX 2
ViewNX 2 is a user-friendly multimedia organizer that facilitates you to transfer, edit, handle and share multimedia files quickly. Now you have the ability to import and organize your images and videos, crop, resize, and straighten photos, process RAW files, control the brightness and edit movies. Moreover, it integrates Nikon’s image storage and sharing a web page, Nikon Image Space. So you can upload your favorite images and share them with your family & friends. It provides you the option to share your images via Facebook or upload your edited videos on YouTube with few mouse clicks. Before sharing pictures with your friends, you can enhance your images by using some image editing functions. You can remove the red-eye effect, crop, straighten, correct lateral color aberration and other imperfections. The toolbar provides you access to three different workspaces that allows you to browse your images and video library and view the location where you took the photos. Alter the look of the interface from white to black, gray, and dark gray, depending on your photo brightness.
UFRaw is a powerful and simple to use application that assists you to extract photos from RAW files taken with the digital camera. So you can view and apply different adjustments to RAW files. You have the facility to process RAW images taken with Nikon, Canon, Pentax, Olympus, Minolta, Sony, Samsung, and Sigma. The application contains a large set of tools that help you to get best results from your RAW files. It offers you with the histogram that allows you to get a clear view of light and color distribution. You can get to toggle warnings for underexposed and overexposed areas of the images so you can correct them. It contains a set of tools which are part of many popular photo editing applications such as base curve, lens correction, luminosity and saturation correction, color management, lightness adjustment, rotate and crop.
IrfanView is a minimalistic software application that useful to view pictures, as well as edit or convert them with the aid of a built-in batch mode. The interface of the app is simple, leaving space for the actually shown photo and providing few buttons for the basic actions. This program allows you to open almost any format out there and you have the facility to enhance IrfanView with the help of third-party plug-ins. You can also use this application for conversion and resize using batch features which are fast and efficient. Means, you have the possibility to convert, rename, crop, resize, and alter color depth of different images with few clicks. the application contains a rich Settings window where you can change every single option of the application. Overall, IrfanView is one of the best programs for handling images, viewing multi-page photos, editing them, creating slideshows or making panoramas.
8. Free Photo Viewer
Free Photo Viewer is a straightforward software application that enables you to view images and their metadata, create slideshows, and adjust a few settings. The application has a clean and easy to navigate interface which contains a menu bar, a folder structure, a few buttons, and a few pane to preview photos and shows metadata. Free Photo Viewer provides you many features like you can view photos in a full-screen mode and convert photos to other formats like TGA, PPEG, PNG, GIF, and BMP. Moreover, you can view file properties, change the viewing mode, access Explorer, rotate and resize pictures, adjust image contrast, brightness, saturation, gamma, and color balance. Free Photo Viewer provides you the facility to create a slideshow, hide the mouse cursor in full-screen mode, use a search function according to the images’ EXIF information, use keyboard shortcuts, set file associations, and more.
Picasa is one of the most famous software application that enables the user to manage, edit, and share his photos with ease. You can use this utility as a cataloguer, as a viewer, as an editor, and as a sharing software. It allows you to import any pictures and photos and stored on your computer. Further, you can choose the drive and folders for scanning. After addition, Picasa will organize the pictures in albums with the same names from which they were taken. It enables you to reorganize and move pictures from one destination to another using simple drag and drop option. You can add tags to the pictures to sort them easily. Moreover, the application contains some basic editing tools such as cropping, adjusting color and contrast, straightening, red-eye correction, enhancing sharpness, and applying filters.
Fotor is a simple image editor that facilitates you to change the aspect of your photos and create collages with different effects. The application contains two different modules for seamless graphic editing. Fotor is the combination of a photo editor and collage creator. It offers the essential tools for graphic editing and a collection of preset scenes to improve your digital images. You can make further adjustments such as use the crop feature to cut a section of a photo, customize parameters including brightness, exposure, saturation, contrast, white balance, add text watermarks or borders, and apply different effects to get an original touch. Get an EXIF information tool and the option to share the edited photos on social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, or add them to a collage creator. Use the second module to put together amazing images. You can work with one of the available template shapes or move with the Freestyle mode for more privileges.
VCW VicMan’s Photo Editor is a nice image editor program that can easily edit your favorite photo files. The user-friendly interface of VCW VicMan’s Photo Editor allows you to import files from the file browser only. Work with basic graphic editing tools like pencil, eraser, paint brush, fill, eyedropper, rectangular selection, magic wand, and text. You can preview the photo in a separate window and adjust the tolerance and hue value. Resize, rotate, crop and flip photos, and apply effects such as shift, twirl, emboss, 3D extension, contrast, brightness, saturation, and caricature. You have the possibility to import and use plugins, use the undo function, export the images as a GIF animation, scan a photo and save results in PNG, BMP, JPG, TIF, TGA, or PCX format. VCW VicMan’s Photo Editor has a comprehensive help file with snapshots for further assistance.
Imagine is a free image animation viewer application for windows and it is the great alternative to many other free famous applications just like FastStone, XnView, or IrfanView. It provides many important features like extraction of single or all frames from animation files, high-speed viewer and image saver, show Exif and PTC info, the ability to display information for animations and images, and display or hide transparency. It offers support for many image formats like GIF, PNG, BMP, TIFF, PCX, CDR, ANI, WMF, EMF, LBM, JPG, and TGA. It is a low usage resource program that can work with all versions of Windows. Moreover, it supports different versions of ANSI and Unicode. The application offers support for high dynamic range formats like MXR, HDR, SXR, and EXR, as well as supports famous archive formats like ISO, ZIP, EGG, RAR, CBZ, 7Z, ARJ, TAR, HV3, and ALZ.
Edit your image in a user-friendly environment with the help of PhotoPad. The simple and intuitive interface of PhotoPad helps you to import photos though the file browser or drag & drop method. Create a panorama or collage, alter the size of the photos and crop them and allow the utility to keep the aspect ratio. Insert images, text, and mosaics, and apply filters including sharpen, blur, and red eye reduction. You can also make color adjustments such as contrast, brightness, exposure, saturation and hue. PhotoPad provides you the option to use the redo and undo functions, change the background color, zoom in or out, share the image to Facebook or Flickr and more. This simplistic program uses a moderate amount of system resources and comprises a comprehensive help manual for further assistance.
14. FastStone Image Viewer
FastStone Image Viewer is a lightweight and reliable photo managing application that enables the user to manage, edit, and convert pictures. The user can use this app to browse photos, view, edit, and convert them. It contains the Windows Explorer-based interface that facilitates you to navigate it with ease. The portable edition of FastStone Image Viewer is also available if you want to bypass the setup process. The application offers support for many common image formats just like JPEG, TIFF, PNG, GIF, and PSD and saves pictures in Portable Document Format. The control bar is present in lower part of the primary window which allows you to perform quick actions like resize, clone and heal, crop, rotate, adjust lighting, and screen capture. Further, FastStone Image Viewer supports, file tagging, building or splitting files with multiple pages of images, creating and organizing favorites, batch converting images to other formats, and more.
Photivo is a user-friendly and open-source photo editing program that facilitates you to modify and adjust RAM and bitmap images quickly. This rich-feature program is for advanced users with support for many file types including CR2, JPG, TIF, BMP, PNG and DNG. The interface of Photivo has a modern aspect, enabling users to import photos using the file browser or drag & drop support. The program comprises many useful editing tools such as white balance, highlight recovery, chromatic aberration, lens parameters, vignetting, rotation and perspective, lens distortion, seam carving, cropping, blocking, and flipping, among others. For RGB options, you can tweak the channel mixer, color intensity, highlights, exposure, brightness, normalization, gamma adjustment, levels and many others. Moreover, you can copy, paste, or reset all settings and can use a search function for all listed features.
PhotoME is a modern program that provides support for many extensions and allows you to view and modify IPTC and EXIF data. So you can analyze and edit the metadata of all your images, and export the data to a file. A structured and modern interface of PhotoME has a navigation panel, many buttons, and the actual information. Extensive Help contents are part of it for further assistance. The program supports a large number of formats such as PSD, DCP, GIF, THM, CR2, EXIF, MOS, JPG, PNG, TIFF, ORF, and QLT for importing data. You can export data to following extensions just like IPTC, EXIF, NID, IPT, ICC, TXT, ICM, and HTML. Moreover, you can copy all the information to the Clipboard, for using with another program. View a histogram for the uploaded photo and preview it in a thumbnail size. The application has integration with Firefox, Internet Explorer, Opera, and Thunderbird. Moreover, hide pointer, binary, and version tags, change the mapping service from the drop-down menu, show metadata problems, and choose other measurement units and formats.
17. Scarab Darkroom
Scarab Darkroom is an intuitive software program that facilitates the user to enhance the brightness, colors or contrast of their RAW files. It comprises a set of tools which work together to help you to get good quality of RAW pictures. The program supports many famous digital cameras such as Canon, Nikon, FujiFilm, Pentax, Olympus, Panasonic, Sony, and Samsung. It does not contain a large palette of editing tools. However, there are many aspects that you can adjust to make your images stand out from the crowd. The primary interface has a tree-view file explorer and simple browser for finding the images you need to process. It displays the picture within the large preview pane. Fine-tune your image, adjust the contrast, brightness, the highlight recovery, white and black light levels to alter its exposure. Change the temperature, the tint, hue, vibrance, saturation, and luminance levels and apply a grayscale effect. Use the Metadata tab to view details about the conditions in which picture was taken just like aperture, exposure, ISO speed, the focal length, and date.