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Report: Canon ponders new camera file format

Canon is planning to add a new file format to its digital cameras, according to a photographer who toured the company's headquarters.

Stephen Shankland principal writer
Stephen Shankland has been a reporter at CNET since 1998 and writes about processors, digital photography, AI, quantum computing, computer science, materials science, supercomputers, drones, browsers, 3D printing, USB, and new computing technology in general. He has a soft spot in his heart for standards groups and I/O interfaces. His first big scoop was about radioactive cat poop.
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Stephen Shankland

Canon is evaluating a new file format for future digital cameras, according to photographer, consultant and blogger Rob Galbraith, posting last week after a trip to Canon headquarters.

"Canon intends to offer a new file format in future digital cameras," Galbraith said, citing Masaya Maeda, Canon's chief executive of operations for image communication products. "The format could be in addition to or in replacement of either JPEG or CR2 RAW, but the company is still studying its options and hasn't committed to any one format as yet."

Camera makers face a complicated balancing act with file formats, weighing new features against issues of standardization, compatibility and software support. Most camera manufacturers employ the JPEG standard, but higher-end models often also come with proprietary "raw" formats for images taken directly from image sensors without in-camera processing.

Software companies are agitating for change. Microsoft is trying to get its own file format, HD Photo, to catch on as a superior alternative to JPEG, while Adobe wants to see its DNG (Digital Negative) spread as a standard for raw images.