It's not uncommon for a camera shopper to ask what "raw" stands for. It's easy to assume it's an acronym, especially with all the others in the world of digital photography: HDR, CMOS, AVCHD, APS-C... the list goes on. I think it would be neat if "raw" stood for Really Awesome Way of photographing things but, in truth, it is simply a word. As in, raw eggs. A raw file is simply one that has not been processed into a specific image format, such as JPEG. (Oddly, very few people ever ask what JPEG stands for.) Raw offers photographers a level of control over their images that compressed file types do not, but there are times when shooting in JPEG, or raw + JPEG, may be beneficial.