When I load my pictures to my computer two show up one says NEF and the other is jpeg. I accidentally deleted the jpeg and when I loaded them on my phone the NEF pictures were really bad. They where very boxy and horrible. The jpeg ones where fine and how are on my camera. I also know that NEF is raw.


2 Answers 2


Your phone doesn't know how to interpret NEF. However, it can recognise the tiny JPEG thumbnail (IIRC it's 160x120 px) which is embedded in the NEF, so you're seeing the thumbnail. That's why it looks so blocky. You'll need to process the NEF with suitable software (Lightroom, Darktable, etc.) to produce a full resolution JPEG.

  • 1
    Lightroom mobile should also be able to interprete NEF files iirc, but not in the quality the desktop software will give you
    – LuZel
    Dec 13, 2018 at 7:47
  • @LuZel: Do you have any source which proves that Lightroom CC (which was Lightroom mobile earlier) produces a lower quality than it's desktop counterpart? AFAIK they both use the same raw processing engine, and thus give the same results...
    – Vertigo
    Dec 13, 2018 at 16:17
  • No i just thought the quality is lower because you have less computing power than on the computer but i know that you have more possibility to control your result on the pc. Also it's not completely the same engine because you have to handle a mobile processor different than a desktop processor
    – LuZel
    Dec 13, 2018 at 16:27
  • 1
    no its not that highly possible. these are 2 different products for them with similar function but different platform. also the mobile edition has less functionality and the optimizations in such a professional software is not only done by the compiler, this would not be efficient enough. but aside this many people get the mobile version for free and then buy the upgrade so they can do it better on the pc
    – LuZel
    Dec 13, 2018 at 20:45
  • 1
    @Luzel, ditto, same background. And I agree with Peter, this whole thing should be erased. Dec 14, 2018 at 0:06

Your computer or phone cannot read RAW (NEF) files, you will need a program to develop the NEF file in to a JPG file.

I would recommend Nikon's "Capture NX-D. I think it is the most useful program for beginners and intermediate photographers. In my opinion, the greatest advantage is that is is made by Nikon, and reads the camera settings. If you don't change any settings, it will give you the exact same JPG as the camera.

The second biggest (or first for many) is that it is free, especially nice if you are not sure if RAW is the right thing for you. I would recommend RAW. I only shoot in RAW now. It cost almost no time to process, and it is nice that I can fix things if I really mess it up.

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