I am trying to understand why my question has been closed as too broad. My question was:

Is only a firmware limitation the fact that some camera can't store photo in RAW format?

I did, of course, my research and I could not find a clear answer to this specific question. My expected answer was either yes It's a firmware limitation (like the one that I've received https://electronics.stackexchange.com/a/441516/33847) or no it depends also on the design with explanations of course.

I think only electrical engineers can answer to this question. I've received quite good answers even though I'm not sure are right because I've some thoughts that the capabilities depend on the location of the image buffer (i.e. if it's the camera buffer is before or after image processing). How can I clear my doubts? Should I post another question in a more explicit way? or is there a way to edit my question so I get another opinion? Do you have any pieces of advice?

After days of researches, I finally found a possible answer to my question. I'll report it here:

No, is not only a firmware limitation. According to this site there are cases in which the possibility of storing RAW images into the camera memory is dictated by the location of the image buffer. In cheap cameras the image buffer is often located after the image processing processor doing so the image is first compressed and then stored in the image buffer. Doing so you can use smaller image buffer but you can't in any way save RAW data to the memory.

This was exactly a possible answer I was looking for, (Even the one I received where okay for me but they were wrong) the proof that in some cases there are hardware limitations in storing the RAW image and there's no way you can unlock this feature changing the firmware.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I suspect that the closing is because 1) it would be written in the datasheet of the camera module, if you can't find a datasheet for your camera then don't buy it. 2) Logically(reasonably?), you should be able to just request the RAW data from your camera module. So it's just a matter of entering a different mode before reading the data. So no extra wires, but then again... maybe there's a µC on board and you're only interacting with it through SPI instead of quad SPI (QSPI) so you can't do it due to speed/pin limitation. 3) bottom line is, it depends and the info would be in the datasheet. \$\endgroup\$ – Harry Svensson Jun 13 '19 at 23:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @HarrySvensson thanks for the comment. My question is not on if a camera has raw mode or not, I know some of them can acquire RAW data and others don't. I want to understand it's only a firmware limitation or it's a hardware limitation \$\endgroup\$ – G M Jun 14 '19 at 0:22

I also believe that your question is too broad. You are asking for an answer from someone who has knowledge of every digital camera every designed; only that person would be able to answer definitively whether this is strictly a firmware limitation.

Here's another way of looking at your question. You are asking "Can someone tell me with evidence that there has never been a camera with a hardware limitation that prevented storing RAW images?" You can't prove a negative, so the question can not reasonably be answered, so the question is too broad.

You might want to ask for an example of a camera design with such a hardware limitation, but what would you conclude if you received no answer?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for your answer, but I need that just someone tells me that there are some cases where the camera hardware avoid storing RAW files. \$\endgroup\$ – G M Jun 17 '19 at 17:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ Why "every digital camera every designed"? At least not in all cases. In the cases that it can be a hardware limitation, which is the actual answer, knowing a single camera might be enough. \$\endgroup\$ – Volker Siegel Jul 3 '19 at 11:46
  • \$\begingroup\$ He is asking the opposite - whether such a camera exists. In the "yes" case, it's easy to prove, the "no" case is hard. \$\endgroup\$ – Volker Siegel Jul 3 '19 at 11:52

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