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Through my NAS at home I store and backup all my photos on Google Drive. These photos also show up on Google Photos. I use Lightroom and convert all photos to DNG when copying to my NAS.

When I look at the photos in Google Photos the image is rather small. Clicking the (i) info button tells me the image has a resolution of 1024x680, file size 9.8 MB and a MP of 0.7. This is probably just a preview or thumbnail of some sort, but how do I view the image in larger resolutions in Google Photos?

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The sync settings for Google Photos let you select two different quality options.

  • "High quality" which reduces resolution and file size, but uses unlimited free storage not counting toward your Google Drive quota.

  • "Original" which retains original resolution and file size, but uses up your Google Drive quota so is not unlimited.

Details about what Google actually does with RAW images is light, but at least in Google Photos' former incarnation, RAW images were converted to JPEG upon syncing.

Now, I'm not confident this has anything to do with your problem, because even with the former option your photos should still be saved at up to 2048x2048 pixels. That said, DNG might be different.

Check this setting and see if setting it to "Original" fixes it.


I just re-read the question and it looks like you copy the file manually to your Google Drive rather than letting Google Photos do the syncing and storing itself. It's possible that in this case, Google Photos has limited RAW support and is only viewing an embedded JPEG from the file.

Try syncing some of the DNGs using the Google Photos sync feature and setting the sync quality to "Original" and see if this fixes it. Even though the final result will still end up on your Google Drive, the fact that it's a photo that went through Google Photos may make a difference.

  • To explain more on how I sync my photos, I have a shared folder on my NAS wich Lightroom imports and converts the photos to. This folder is synced with some Synylogy app to Google Drive. I will look into the sync settings. Thanks! – Martin Larsson Jun 17 '15 at 8:33
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I just conducted an experiment and uploaded a DNG via the Google Photos Backup app using the Original setting. I then displayed the online info and it indeed says 1024x683 and 0.7MP but file size is correct. I then downloaded the image and displayed it's properties. It is 4752x3168. My assumption is that Google is misreading the exif data and the image is actually full size/resolution.

  • This is what I also experienced. Since the file size is the same as the original I assume all information is intact. Though I think the EXIF is read from some kind of preview. – Martin Larsson Jun 22 '15 at 8:26
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    Curious and curiouser. Depending on the download steps or something, the downloaded file may be (1) the full size "p.dng" (without Lightroom's edit list), (2) the full size image naemd "p.raw" (also a DNG?), (3) a small JPEG "p.dng.jpg", or (4) a small JPEG with the wrong extension "p.dng". – Jerry101 Jul 22 '15 at 1:13

protected by Community Jul 18 '15 at 2:45

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