ARW File: The Ultimate Guide to ARW Files

Nowadays, digital cameras are designed to take images in RAW and JPEG format. Each camera brand has its unique type of RAW format that helps capture high-quality images. For Sony cameras, the RAW format is known as ARW.

This article explains what ARW files are and how to open them. Thus, helping you access high-quality images from your Sony camera and edit them to your liking. Let's get started.

What is an ARW file?

Those using Sony cameras need to know the ARW file format. This will help you to recognize these files, open and edit them into incredible images.

Now, digital files have an extension towards their end. The type of extension in a file determines which software it can support. Most digital images today use JPEG and RAW image file formats.

Although JPEG files are easy to open, they exclude most details obtained by the camera sensor when the photo was captured. As such, editing such pictures can be limiting when using certain editing software.

RAW files have uncompressed image data, making the file big. But you can edit this file without losing the resolution or picture quality.

Different companies have designed their RAW format. And for Sony, this format is called ARW file extension.

So what is an ARW file? It stands for Sony Alpha Raw and represents uncompressed images that carry too much data. Therefore, the file is large, making it hard to store but easy to edit. ARW format stores files captured by the camera's sensor using TIFF specifications.

Are ARW files dangerous?

ARW files are generally not dangerous. They are large files that maintain the same quality and resolution even when edited. However, when transferring the files from the camera into your system, it increases the chances of losing the photos.

This happens for various reasons, including capturing with battery low, deleting the photos from your Sony camera, viruses, and malware attacks on your card that lead to loss or deletion. In that case, it can make the files corrupted, which is a bit dangerous. Recovery programs can help restore corrupted files. However, they don't always work.

How to open an ARW file

ARW files need specific tools to open them. The best way to open and view these files is by using PaintShop Pro.

The app is easy to use and affordable if you decide to upgrade to the paid version. Once you download and install it on your computer, go to the manage tab and click files, then open. Then, choose the ARW you want to view and select open with PaintShop Pro.

Once you can view your file, you can start editing it using PaintShop Pro if you like. With this software you can adjust the white balance, saturation, shadows and brightness. You can also fine-tune the color and add effects to make the photo look superb.

If you're satisfied with the changes, you can click 'okay' to apply the settings or 'cancel' if you don't want them.


The RAW format is ideal for those who want to store images and edit them later without losing their quality or resolution. That's because the data doesn't pass through many processes when shooting. Therefore, nothing is lost during compression, unlike what happens when shooting with JPEG or PNG formats.

Sony cameras have the RAW format known as ARW files. Therefore, you can take advantage of this file format to capture and edit quality images.

If you're looking for photo editing software, check out PaintShop Pro products. We have various editing apps to help you edit and correct images without sacrificing the resolution or quality.

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