Canon cRAW vs RAW

Hello everyone.
I am a concert photographer. Sometimes I’m assigned to work in clubs with extremely poor lighting, and, of course, ridiculous contrast. ISO’s can easily hit 20,000 and 50,000. That’s just the genre and there’s nothing much I can do except replace my 85mm f/1.8 with an 85mm f/1.2.

I use DeepPRIME XD on virtually every photo in these cases, of course. Here is my question: Has DxO tested and compared DeepPRIME XD with both RAW and cRAW files? In verb extreme cases like mine, will RAW visibly out-perform cRAW?

DxO will probably not answer your questions here, in the forum.

Your best bet is to test it yourself, which will also give you the knowledge of and confidence in your individual workflow from capture to export.


What exactly is “cRAW”? I’ve never heard that term being used and I can’t find anything online. What is a “cRAW” exactly?

Ah, never mind., I found some info on it. It looks like Canon’s propitiatory lossy compression for RAW files.

Yes, cRAW is “visually lossless,” and my understanding is that means the noise patterns are perceptively different and that’s all.

This is why I asked: When I’m assigned to shoot a punk band in a club with terrible lighting, I still want the best result possible. Given that ISO’s might hit 20,000 or more and the light is terrible and highly contrasty and forget about any kind of evenness to the color balance… DeepPRIME XD is almost always my choice and I just wonder if it would give me better results with the uncompressed RAW images.

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I see. I don’t use Canon so I can’t test, I’m a Sony shooter, but I think that personally I would want the best least compressed RAW I can get for overall best results, unless I’m shooting for Social media only, where minor differences are not going to be noticeable as they do upon pixel peeping or larger prints.

Curious. Do you display your work mainly on Social Media, low res compressed JPEG’s or do you need more out of images you make for prints and other use?

I always shoot for the stars! Of course the bands and their promoters post to social media… and album covers are a thing of the past. But I always, always want to capture that iconic photo that will be blown up ten feet high.

The difference from unprocessed RAW to final jpeg output is always massive. I see it, my clients see it, their cats see it. These bands throw their hearts into what they do, and so do I.

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Fair enough.

Sorry I won’t have much to say, so just my 2 cents : I’m a current 80D owner, and will certainly switch soon to a R7 which offers cRAW as one of its numerous new features. So I read a lot of tests and articles and videos (and …) : I never see someone noticing a big difference between RAW and cRAW about information loosed. A very few people indeed notices some differences in very specific use case (the one you can experience when shooting a band in a concert hall with very low and always changing lights), but they were little and happened rarely.
One advantage of cRAW is the buffer capacity when using burst mode… which indeed is usefull in concert photo ?

I agree that the difference between cRAW and RAW is virtually impossible to see and not visibly different in a meaningful way.

BUT when the software is scavenging the dark parts of the RAW data for data to use in reconstructing and enhancing parts of the image… now that could be different. That’s why I’m asking.

I think if you’re being paid for it use the format you know works. Unless anyone has direct experience and examples in a similar scenario, personally, I wouldn’t risk it until you tried it with something less critical

Always a good idea to get first hand experience instead of second hand opinions.


It’s not a question of risk. I know that both formats work in PhotoLab 6 without any problem. I only wonder whether DeepPRIME XD will work better or more cleanly with the uncompressed RAW.

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I have been a Canon EOS R5 user for 2 yers now… I have done extensive ‘searches’ trying to find a technical difference between RAW and cRAW, and with NO luck…

I can find nothing on the subject other than ‘personal openions’

George Veazey

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Interesting. I guess proprietary is the name of the game. Probably patented as well. If we knew the patent number, we could see some info there maybe. But, yeah seems like Canon is keeping it tight lipped.

Take a few shots in both formats and compare the exported files after editing the files in DPL. You might see differences depending on what’s in the images. Try bright and dark, contrasty and flat etc. scenes.


No, that isn’t the issue. DxO has no difficulty working with the format.

I tried setting up my camera to save in RAW on one card and cRAW on the other, but it can’t do this. That will make testing more difficult. My guess is that I won’t find any visually noticeable difference.

Maybe you will…

Can you really get smaller files with no difference? Probably not. Weather you will notice or not, I imagine will depend on scene, your standards and how far you push the file in post.