While using libraw.dll together with unprocessed_raw.exe to decode various RAW file formats to simple to read PGM files for experimentation with my program
I found this strange thing with only Sony ARW files. That even for the input files that are meant to be 12bit (RAW pixel values somewhere in the range of 0-4095) I get output files with RAW pixel values somewhere in the range of 0-16383 (corresponding to 14bit).
Looking at the histograms confirms that "empty spaces" are added.
For example a ARW file from my Sony NEX-5 decoded with dcraw (options: -v -r 1 1 1 1 -o 0 -E -j -4 -t 0) will give a PGM file with pixel values ranging from 53 to 4090 and the histogram looks like this (showing values 0-4090 and each primary color representing one RAW channel): https://postimg.cc/CBmGwLgV
The same file decoded with libraw.dll + unprocessed_raw.exe gives a PGM file with pixel values ranging from 212 to 16360 and the histogram looks like this (showing values 0-9999 since postimg wont allow bigger images): https://postimg.cc/zbrNq8kp