I'm using the Adobe CS5 suite and trying to upload all of my pictures to Facebook... and .NEF files are too large to upload, any suggestions?


10 Answers 10


Well, Facebook isn't going to handle NEF anyways. However, if you have CS5, that means you have Adobe Bridge and the batch functionality to perform image conversion from there. The short example would be...

  1. Open bridge and find an image directory to work on.
  2. Select the images to modify.
  3. Select on the menu: "Tools -> Photoshop -> Image Processor"

This is going to run Photoshop. From there you will be presented with a dialog that provides a number of options for batch processing including using the first image as the basis for further changes, file type to save as, etc. You may want to experiment a little with a small set of images, but be aware that Raw conversion to JPEG is seldom, if ever really, a consistent change.

Personally, I would never do this for final images. I've only ever done it for proof images where I've totally controlled the light used in the shoot, but for anything else, including images I intend for display on the web or in print, the editing is done image by image. This is generally because white balance changes, sharpening changes, and a host of other little tweaks that vary as a result of settings, light, and more.

By the way, if you haven't a lot of Photoshop experience with photographs, I'd recommend Scott Kelby's "The Adobe Photoshop CS5 Book for Digital Photographers" as a good place to start (Google if the link doesn't work). There are a lot of other resources, but he covers a lot of ground and does it with some style, so worth the rather small price of admission.


I'm surprised no one has mentioned Nikon's own ViewNX, which will allow you to select all the images in a folder and batch convert them from .NEF to .JPG. The program is free, and came with the camera and if not, it can also be downloaded from the Nikon USA site

Facebook upload is already integrated in ViewNX2. Here is a screenshot of a portion of the preferences screen for illustration purposes.

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  • Note ViewNX is buggy. If you have a large batch say 500 images, it will crash at least once during conversion.
    – Regmi
    Nov 11 '15 at 9:58
  • Nikon ViewNX and CaptureNX are the only programs that can read the camera settings, so it makes sense to use those if you don’t need to make any changes during processing.
    – Orbit
    Aug 20 '18 at 18:55

Speaking of Scott Kelby (if you're a neophyte photographer and you've never read his books or visited his site, you're cheating yourself) the tool he recommends for the job is the JPEG extractor utility from Michael Tapes. It works with the embedded JPEG in the RAW (NEF) file, so it won't give you the quality you'd get with a proper "development" in Adobe Camera Raw -- but if you're uploading to Facebook, you don't get to keep your glorious high resolution anyway. "Instant JPEG From Raw" is a free download -- the email download code thing is just Tapes' way of keeping his server bandwidth reasonable (a minor inconvenience is an absolute brick wall to a lot of people).

  • 1
    I'm not so charitable in my interpretation of the download wall, since the fine print says "You understand that your name will be placed on the mailing lists of both RawWorkflow.com and Imagenomic.[...]" There's no opt-out button, although they promise you can opt-out later (from each one separately — classy!). So I'm not sure why you wouldn't skip all that and just use dcraw, which this is apparently based on anyway. (See insflug.org/raw/Downloads for free Mac and Windows downloads with zero hassle, or cybercom.net/~dcoffin/dcraw for source.)
    – mattdm
    Mar 22 '11 at 4:25
  • But the basic idea of just taking the JPEG preview for facebook use is decent. So, -1/+1, I guess.
    – mattdm
    Mar 22 '11 at 4:26
  • I haven't actually gotten anything -- I probably just missed the announcement for the Mk II version of the focus gizmo. Frankly, not a lot goes on there, at least from what I can tell -- no begging for grey card purchases or anything. But yeah, I can see how it maight be a problem for some people.
    – user2719
    Mar 22 '11 at 4:32

I use Picasa for that. I would simply import the NEFs from the camera or the camera's memory card. That puts the NEFs in a folder on your computer's disk. Picasa sees the NEFs. You can edit them just like any other photo. Adjust contrast, crop, color, whatever...

At that point, you can click on your folder of photos to select the whole folder. The "Photo Tray" in the lower left should say "Folder Selected..." Then, click Picasa's "Export" button. The Export will create a new folder full of all-edits-applied JPEGs.

Picasa can be downloaded here

  • +1 for a free solution. Although other answerer's PS and Adobe Bridge work also, OP!
    – nchpmn
    Apr 17 '11 at 0:12
  • Downvoted - the OP explicitly states they have Adobe the CS5 suite. It would be helpful if the included a good reason to download and install software which is not as good as the tools the OP already has (irrespective of the price). Feb 9 '15 at 16:28

There is a very easy way to convert a group of photos to jpeg format within Photoshop. It is done within the Image Processor which is located as follows File > Scripts > Image Processor then a pop-up screen appears. (Depending on your version of Adobe Software, this can also be done in Bridge.)

Within the Image Processor - Step 1. Locate the folder where the images are stored.
Step 2. Select either 'save in same location' or you can select a different location. Step 3. Select the output format - Jpeg, PSD, TIFF. If converting the images for facebook, select jpeg, quality under the number 5, check 'resize to fit' and at 800 or lower number to the W & H boxes. (Photos loaded to the internet don't need to have a high pixel resoluation. The quality and resize would need to be different if the photos are going to be printed.) Step 4. Nothing needs to be checked for images that will be loaded to Facebook. Step 5. Click 'Run'.

While Photoshop is processing the images, you will not be able to use Photoshop. The Image Processor is an auto process that will create a new image for any image within the folder. (If sub-folders is checked within Step 1, it will also create new images them.)

Note: The Image Processor will create a jpeg file for any picture within the folder. Depending on the number of photos in the folder, size of the images and output size, it can take only a few minutes to over an 45 minutes. [I shoot in raw (nef) format and have a SD card with a lot of memory so output (jpeg/psd) really affects the processing time. As one of the contributors indicated above, I also create jpegs to review/select photos because jpeg files are smaller and faster to load and thus review.]


The easiest way to upload raws to facebook is to use Lightroom and set up a publish channel to point at your facebook. Then you just drag'n'drop files from your library to the publish folder. you can set up default resizing, watermark, screen sharpening, point to albums on your page, etc.

  • On second thought, I can't really recommend this as it has a high probability of failing. It works if you have a few images to publish, but if you try to create an album with many photos, it uploads a few of them and then return error codes. Apr 7 '13 at 17:20

Everybody have focused in how to automatically convert NEF (Nikon proprietary raw format) after the fact where you loose all control over the development, I am going to propose you to use an in camera method that will give you much better copies.

If you have a Nikon, you also have Picture Control on your camera, it allows from some to a lot development set at customs presets (depending on the camera model). In my opinion to get the best of both worlds when you should shoot NEF + Fine JPEG, the JPEG will be the developed raw applying the Picture Control and WB you chose for each picture.

By the way this is how every photo-journalists that I know works if they have to meet a tight deadline.

By the way the Picture Control settings are also saved within each of the NEF files, but in a proprietary/secret nikon format (I don’t understand the logic behind this awful Nikon policy) that can interpret it to render the raw files only in Nikon’s ergonomically awful developing software. They are good at making cameras so the should stick with it and partner with a large photo editing software company to provide the bundled developing soft. and make Picture Control setting in NEF opensouce.

On the other hand knowing that you use Adobe CS5 suite and the quality of its jpeg exports, in my personal opinion you should not be bulk uploading to Facebook: first, for privacy reasons (you need to have a proper model and property release signed for each of you photos that explicitly allows you to upload to social network, it would be better if they explicitly allows uploading to Facebook -which is more than a social network), and secondly, because Facebook compression algorithms are so aggressive that will render an awful picture with a lot of compression artifacts.


NEF is Nikons Raw image format, which thends to have a size over 10MB.

To display a picture on the internet, mainly embedded into a website like facebook or email, you need to use a compatible image format that is displayable by the browser (client). Most compatible image formats are JPEG, GIF and PNG.

Image sizes commonly used on the internet are below 300KB, which is a fraction of the size of a NEF.

Your NEF's will have a dpi higher that 72. For displaying images on a screen 72 dpi is sufficiant, so you might want to reduce dpi as-well, additional to scaling the image (length or height around 1000px is a good starting point).

You need to convert the NEF into a format and size explained above. As already said by others, you can use any RAW converter to do the job. I would recommend to use Nikons own software like Caputre NX, which offers batch processing, or the View NX, that most probably came with you camera and offers batch processing as-well afaik.

Just a note, be aware what you upload to the internet, especially to facebook ;-)

  • Most modern screens are 96dpi or higher. Does this matter to your answer, or is there a reason to pick 72 instead?
    – mattdm
    Mar 22 '11 at 11:37
  • @mattdm, you are right. There are screens with even higher resolutions. But it is not only the screen but also the software and OS. However, most browsers don't implement a concept for dpi. Basically they use the nominal length and height in pixels to display the image. Mac OS X has a resolution of 72dpi while on Windows the default is at 96 and can be set up to 120dpi I guess (or to 72). This is why I use 72dpi - and because I'm an ancient web guy ;-) - but you can also use 96dpi, it'll not make a difference. Only when printing the webpage a difference is expirienced.
    – el_migu_el
    Mar 22 '11 at 14:41
  • @mattdm, oh and PS CS3 - at least on OS X - compiles also 72dpi versions when saving images for web and devices.
    – el_migu_el
    Mar 22 '11 at 14:54
  • 1
    I know 72 is often chosen by software (and even written by some cameras), but I'm wondering if it's still relevant as a guideline. My 24" iMac has an actual resolution of about 94dpi (close enough to 96 for most purposes!) Since, as you say, the actual pixel size of the image is usually what's shown, it seems to me to make more sense to keep typical current hardware in mind when sizing for Internet display.
    – mattdm
    Mar 22 '11 at 15:02
  • 1
    Well, the hardware is actually irrelevant, except it's paper/printer :-) DPI does not apply to screens. Take an arbitrary image change the dpi without recalculation of the image so the pixels in length and width are equal and produce a 7, 72, 96, 960 dpi jpeg version. No open each of then in ie Preview.app, they will all look the same and have the same size. I guess, I should not have mentioned dpi in my answer, but with recalculation it conveniently scales down the images pixel dimensions.
    – el_migu_el
    Mar 22 '11 at 15:38

Create a batch process to convert from .NEF to .JPEG with Photoshop. Don't forget to include closing the picture in your recording as Photoshop does have a finite limit on number of open files. This solution is ideal if you took your photos in the same lighting condition so corrections, if any, are the same.

For corrections: at the very least, you need to reduce your file size (i.e. change dpi, dimensions) to meet Facebook's restrictions.


just use adobe elements organiser. select all the images you want to export and use the File and the Export to new image option. Free, easy and simple without much loss of depth.

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