Photo Format Support

I have been flying a Phantom 4 for a short while and do OK with the flying. However, I wanted to try something new so I attempted to take some photos last week. When the appropriate cable was hooked up, I can see that there are photos there but it is in a format that I an not familiar with (RAW). I would like to get JPEG photos out of this data but have no idea as to how to proceed. DO I need to change something in the settings to get JPEG or can the RAW data be exported as a JPEG somehow?


Hi Nelson…

Unlike a JPEG file, RAW format is uncompressed and is not an image file, per se. In fact, RAW files are a collection of data from your camera’s sensor that are saved on your camera. Software like Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom allow you to view the data as images and edit the RAW files [Shooting RAW Vs. JPEG: Which Format Is Right For You?]

There are a host of software programs out there that will convert RAW image files into JPEG files. If you use Lightroom or Photoshop, you can open the RAW image and then select “save as” and select JPEG. Done. Or you could select “convert” and convert your RAW image to JPEG. I typically would use “save as” option once I am done with any image post-processing and select the file type (.TIFF, .PSD., .JPEG, etc.) I want to save the image as.

Here is just one of many RAW to JEPG conversion software tools…

RAW to JPEG converter

Depending on the type of camera you are using, you should be able to switch the format internally (within the camera itself0 with which the camera originally saves the picture, once it is taken. Each DSLR is slightly different (RAW files are not standardized across different manufacturers. For example, Nikon software cannot read Canon RAW files and vice-versa), however, by looking at the operations/owner manual (easily found online) for the brand, make and model camera you are using, you should find step-by-step instructions for switching the camera from saving pictures in RAW to saving them as a JPEG file.

Here is a link to just one of a multitude of videos that will walk you through the process if you are using a Canon camera. If you are using a different brand, just search for that brand and/or as stated above, look through the owner’s manual for the instructions.

How To Switch Between RAW & Jpeg On A Canon DSLR - YouTube

A note of caution…

Depending on the reason you want to convert your RAW image to JPEG, know that in doing so you will…

  1. See a loss of quality in the image (depending on how large of an image you wish to print), as RAW files contain much more information that the 8-bit JPEG files - JPEG is a lossy format. You might try to overcome this in your post-processing workflow by duplicating and renaming JPEGs in a file manager, rather than using “Save as JPEG” in an editing program. This will help in avoiding more “pixel/data” loss.

  2. You stand a good chance of losing some of the EXIF metadata. In Photoshop, for example, if you select Legacy convert and choose “save for web”, the “date created” will be set to the current date. However, if you select the “save as” option and choose JPG, the “date created” will remain the date you took the shot. The reason is, I believe, when you choose “save for web”, Photoshop will remove as much metadata as it can, to make the file as small as possible.

Thus, depending on the software used for the RAW to JPEG conversion, the method selected “save as” or “save for web” (using Photoshop, in other post-processing software the options for saving or converting are typically named similarly and achieve the same objective) and the reason for the conversion… some metadata loss may occur. If loosing some metadata information is not an issue, then no worries…convert at will.

Hope this helps.

*disclaimer…I do not receive any compensation, goods in kind or any renumeration of any sort, from any of the products or vendors referenced. Nor do I endorse any of the vendors or products referenced. I am a photographer. :slightly_smiling_face:

GIMP is a free program and I believe it will convert for you. As Big Al stated, Raw files are the best quality you can get. I think there are settings you can change (I have MPP) so not sure but you can be glad you do have the ability for Raw.