Converting DSLR RAW images into scientific FITS format. Part 2: working with LIBRAW

In the previous article I’m started to describe my Raw2Fits converter. It was a brief note about GTK user interface development.
Now I wanna talk about LibRaw library. This is a great library for reading RAW files obtained from digital photo cameras (CRW/CR2, NEF, RAF, DNG, and others).

Take a look at the LibRaw project web page and official documentation.

I highly recommend to always use latest stable release from this site instead of precompiled version from Linux distros.

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Converting DSLR RAW images into scientific FITS format. Part 1: UI

FITS – is an open standard defining a digital file format useful for storage, transmission and processing of scientific and other images. FITS is the most commonly used digital file format in astronomy. Unlike many image formats, FITS is designed specifically for scientific data and hence includes many provisions for describing photometric and spatial calibration information, together with image origin metadata.  (Wikipedia (c)).
Most of the astronomical software and hardware produces and working only with FITS files .
But there is a big amount of astrophotographers and amateurs astronomers (actually not all is really amateurs 🙂 ) who using only modern DSLR cameras and shooting in RAW format.
Modern DSLR cameras can be used for serious science, like searching for variable stars or astrometry of some objects. But only way to do that – convert RAW files to the FITS format for future processing in a astronomical software.
I wrote a little program that solves this problem and allow  easily convert files in a batch mode.

In this article i want to describe in details how it works.

Continue reading “Converting DSLR RAW images into scientific FITS format. Part 1: UI”