RAW is a term used to describe a file type that is by cameras to record all the data from the sensor. Each camera maker has their own version of a RAW file (Nikon: .NEF, Canon: .CRW, Sony: .ARW, etc).  Shooting in RAW over JPG will give you more data to work with as you edit your photos.
See: thedigitalprocess.com/what-is-the-difference-raw-vs-jpg/

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