My camera quality was set to raw and I didn't realize. What's the simplest way to access these images or convert them to a jpeg? I have a lot of pictures to sort through for Instagram. Downloading some sort of program like adobe is easier than individually uploading and converting images online

  • 2
    Which platform? Linux, Windows, Mac?
    – scottbb
    Aug 31 '17 at 2:21
  • 4
    @ Harvard : Didn't your camera get supplied with CD/DVD of software to enable viewing and simple editing of images ? Aug 31 '17 at 3:22
  • Be aware that a RAW contains more information than a JPEG. You can apply standard camera settings but you could also apply other settings - basically you can make a choice which data you want to discard when you generate the JPEG.
    – Aganju
    Aug 31 '17 at 15:16

You did not say which camera you have but the simplest way is to use in-camera RAW Development. On a Pentax DSLR for example, you basically choose Develop from the Playback menu, Select the files and press OK twice to accept development settings (or you can change them if needed). It will produce JPEG of the same root name as the RAW file, so they will be easy to match up.

For a camera that has no in-camera RAW Development feature, you should batch convert. Lightroom can do this in 2 steps: Import all images. Export all as Full-Resolution JPEG (that preset if there by default). I am sure tons of other batch RAW converters exist, depending on the OS, RAW support and their easy-of-use.

Note that there are many interpretations of RAW. If you convert in-camera, you will get exactly the same look, rendition, color, tone, etc as you would had you set the camera to JPEG. When you do this in Lightroom instead, you will get the Lightroom version of processing. It can be close but it will rarely match perfectly. There several questions about trying to match in-camera conversion and the answer is always that it is not possible.

  • The answer is not always that it is not possible. If one uses the manufacturer's own raw conversion application often the same algorithms are use that are used in the camera's firmware. If one shoots Raw+JPEG and imports the .cr2 files from a Canon camera into Canon's Digital Photo Professional the default settings in DPP apply the in-camera settings to the raw files. If one then batch exports the images without making any changes one does get pretty much an identical image to the in-camera generated jpeg.
    – Michael C
    Sep 15 '17 at 1:38

If your camera is a Canon DSLR and you want to simply load them into a raw converter and automatically apply the in camera settings to give you the closest thing an in-camera jpeg would have been for each image your best bet is to use Canon's Digital Photo Professional. Unlike most third party raw conversion apps, by default DPP will apply pretty much all of the in-camera settings selected at the time each photo was taken when you open those files.

You can then do a batch export and wait for the files to be converted. Your computer will be running wide open during the batch conversion, so go run a couple of miles or something while you are waiting.

DPP is included in the software disc with all Canon DSLRs. If you don't have a disc or need the latest update you can download them from Canon's support site for your region.

If your camera is from another manufacturer their in-house raw converters are usually similar: the in-camera settings selected when each image was taken will be applied when each file is initially opened in the manufacturer's raw conversion app.


If you're on windows, the simplest way would probably be to download a dcraw binary from here, or go here if you're on another operating system.

Then convert your files with a simple for loop like

for %a in (*.CR2) do dcraw -w -T %a

This will produce TIFF files which you can convert to JPEG then with some image viewer/converter program (I like IrfanView).

Note that this is the simplest workflow, based on the fact that you do not have to install some monstrous software suite like DPP or Lightroom, but only have to download a small exe, and maybe IrfanView if you don't already have a suitable program. You also do not have to spend time getting aquainted to said suite.

What it isn't is the best method in terms if image quality, as you do not have control over the conversion (unless you are willing to delve into dcraw's parameters) and, unlike DPP, dcraw ignores anything except WB from the camera's settings.

  • May be worth adding a note that the .CR2 in your command line instruction is Canon specific and may need adjusting for other camera manufacturers.
    – dav1dsm1th
    Sep 1 '17 at 18:17

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