Canon has released a firmware update for the PowerShot SX1 IS in addition to a software download for Digital Photo Professional. Version 126.96.36.199 of the firmware includes support for RAW image recording, providing RAW shooting to international SX1 purchasers. Digital Photo Professional is used to download and process the RAW images on a computer.
RAW imaging allows the photographer to utilize a 16 bit image (post raw conversion). A RAW 16 bit image has 65,536 brightness levels to work with, as opposed to JPEG format, which only has 8 bits and therefore 256 brightness levels. A higher number of brightness levels means smoother light and dark transitions within the photo.
The software is supported by Windows Vista, Windows XP, and Mac OS X. Instructions for downloading the files and updating the camera and computer can be found at Canon's website.