I transfer my ARW raw files from my Sony Alpha 7iii to my iPhone 11 Pro (iOS 13) using the Apple SD card reader and can successfully see the full quality RAW files on my phone (verified by plugging my phone into my laptop).

I also have Google Photos on my phone set up to upload original files, but when I view them on photos.google.com I can see they've shrunk to a quarter of the size (~6MB) and if you download them, you'll get a file like DSC123.ARW.jpg.

Does anyone know how I can ensure a real ARW file gets stored in Google Photos which I can later download in full quality?

PS: Sorry if this is not the correct stack exchange site to post on, but I thought the combined knowledge of Google Photos/RAW files/iOS is probably pretty good with this user-base.


1 Answer 1


Google photos does not support all RAW formats, and it looks like the Sony Alpha 7iii is not on the supported cameras list

Any other files will be converted to JPEG before uploading.

If you want to store the original RAW files you have 3 options:

  • Wait until google support your camera
  • Buy a camera on the list
  • Store them somewhere other than Google Photos
  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks Harry! I hadn't spotted that. I assume the previous Sony A7 cameras don't save RAWs to the ARW file type? (struggling to find info via Google) I now have the RAWs on my desktop and the full files are syncing via "Backup and Sync" and appear in Google Drive. God knows if these files are now duplicated though ¯_(ツ)_/¯ \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex
    Jan 6, 2020 at 14:53
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Perhaps it is now supported (as of the last few days, apparently)? support.google.com/photos/thread/331822?hl=en (no details other than "FIXED as of JAN 2020") \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Jan 6, 2020 at 20:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @scottbb good find! I took a new picture yesterday, uploaded it via Google Photos for iOS and noticed the original file had been stored. That explains my confusion, as my other photos were uploaded in December. \$\endgroup\$
    – Alex
    Jan 7, 2020 at 13:11

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