Saving Raw Files
For the most part, saving a raw file works just like saving a non-raw file. If you save the file as a NEF (its native format) then all of your editing controls will be preserved. If you save as a TIFF or JPEG then you’ll get standard files that don’t include your edit list. If you simply choose Save after opening and editing a raw file, your edits will be saved back into the NEF file that your camera generated. Don’t worry, though, your original raw data remains untouched.
Note that if you open a raw file, edit it, then save it as a TIFF or JPEG, when the save is complete you’ll still have all of your additional raw editing controls. In other words, after saving as a TIFF or JPEG, you’re still editing a raw file. If you want to perform additional edits to the TIFF or JPEG that you saved, you’ll have to explicitly open those files and then edit them.
As with non-raw files, you’ll probably want to keep NEF versions as well as TIFFs or JPEGs.