Here are some recollections of the two break outs on the raw standard discussions (the second was more a geek feast).
Problem: there are something like 100 different proprietary RAW formats that the various camera manufacturers write. There’s a very good possibility that these formats will not be able to be opened/processed and dealt with in the foreseeable future. What happens if company A decides to cease support of their native raw processing application? How will photographers process this data (which is yet to be rendered into an image) in the future?
Possible solution is to implement a standard RAW format. It appears Adobe is considering creating this format that would be open, published and produced with future capabilities built into the format. The format would be published and open to all companies that wish to use this open format. The discussion went into some specifics about what such a format would need to support (high bit, EXIF data, some “private tags” that could be proprietary but not limit other products from rendering the RAW data into a color image). It appears from what Thomas Knoll had to say that he’s considered a number of factors necessary to implement a new format including future technology.
Nikon’s rep attending the i3 forum (Richard LoPinto) didn’t seem to have much to say officially and only stressed that Nikon would do whatever is necessary to keep their customers happy and satisfied.
What will it take to have the various camera companies come together and agree to a standard file format for RAW? Even if Adobe creates such a file format, what will it take to get the various companies (Nikon, Canon, Olympus, Fuji, Kodak, Minolta, to name a few) to get on board and agree to produce a standard RAW format? What can those in a position of influence and power who attended i3 do to insure that digital camera customers understand the issues of unique proprietary file formats that deal with their original data (the RAW file)? In addition, what can we do to insure that this concept moves forward and is implement?