I have RAW files I would like to store in the cloud. Which are my options?

  • 1
    Could you explain more your specific reasons for wanting to do this, and/or what exactly you're trying to accomplish? I think more information about your goals might help you get a better-suited answer.
    – lindes
    Mar 13, 2011 at 18:26

9 Answers 9


Smugmug has an optional feature called SmugVault (see also here) which allows storage of RAW and other file types. I have not used SmugVault so I can't review it for you, but I am a longtime customer and I love their other services.

The files are stored on Amazon S3 servers. As I understand it your RAW files are linked to your jpg files of the same name. So xyz.jpg showing in your Smugmug gallery is automatically linked to xyz.raw in SmugVault - for the owner's access only, of course.

The cost they list is $0.22/month/GB for the storage plus $1.00/month fee; there's also a $0.30/GB upload charge and a $0.51/GB download charge.

  • 1
    As a note, these are no longer the most up to date rates for SmugVault as of November 2011.
    – dpollitt
    Nov 29, 2011 at 21:55
  • Good catch! The new pricing is substantially lower. It is now $0.125/GB/month for storage. Uploading is now free. Downloading is now $0.12/GB.
    – Daveorama
    Nov 30, 2011 at 2:53

If the only reason you want to do this is for backup, then any number of backup services are available to you.

I use Amazon S3 for all my backup needs.


Raw files are minimally processed and are not commonly for viewing, I recommend using your application of choice to edit the images and output JPG files for viewing or printing. I personally use SmugMug for displaying images and have explored the idea of using them to also backup my unprocessed images.

But I am currently of the opinion that a dedicated service like CrashPlan or Carbonite would be a better choice for off-site backup as it would be much easier and cheaper to retrieve my images from them as it is the focus of what they do. Plus you can store any type of file with them such as Lightroom library files.

I have done the most research on CrashPlan. For $125 they will send you a hard drive to copy all of your files to and send back to them so that your initial backup does not take months to complete, then for $288 you get 4 years of backup for all of the computers in your house with unlimited space. That feels like a big investment, but it works out to $413 or a bit less than $9 a month.

  • 1
    Will add a comment re Crashplan: they support disconnected drives. Mozy/Carbonite etc will delete stored files from drives disconnected for more than 30 days, so they are terrible for archiving. Go with Crashplan for true archiving (I am not a paid actor)
    – cmason
    Nov 29, 2011 at 21:55
  • I can second the recommendation for CrashPlan. I switched from another on-line backup provider when they started charging per GB stored. So far CrashPlan has been charging the same flat rate for unlimited storage and bandwidth.
    – user2559
    Nov 30, 2011 at 5:12
  • This reads like an advert rather than an answer, while it appears the service is now defunct.
    – MrYellow
    Aug 24, 2016 at 22:31

I am the CEO of Mosaic. We provide online access and RAW photo storage to serious photographers.

Mosaic was designed to meet the needs of serious photographers. Mosaic is able to affordably store terabytes of data. More importantly for our customers, Mosaic is able to give photographers access to their photos through Lightroom or Aperture.

For instance, if you store your RAW images on an external hard drive, when you unplug from that external hard drive, the images appear "offline or missing." Using Mosaic even when unplugged from your external hard drive, you can fully access your images from your Lightroom catalog.

It is not enough to just backup your images offsite. Mosaic strives to give you access to your images from anywhere from within your Lightroom catalog or Aperture library.

Please feel free to reach out to us. We are happy to answer any questions.

Best, Gerard

Gerard Murphy CEO/Co-Founder Mosaic Storage Systems, Inc. www.MosaicArchive.com

  • Welcome Gerard! Great suggestion, I was not aware something like this existed. I also appreciate that you disclosed your affiliation with the company. I am interested to hear if any members of this site have experience trying a solution like this for Lightroom.
    – dpollitt
    Jan 3, 2012 at 19:42
  • Mosaic cloud seems to be the best solution for raw files. But I found out from the site that:"Currently Mosaic is only available on the Mac OS. A Windows version will soon be available."
    – Vassilis
    Apr 29, 2012 at 7:58

There's lots of options if you just want to store/backup RAW files:

The first three I have personal experience with, and generally like.

Also see the related photo.SE question: Online Backup of Data.

Dropbox and S3 will let you share RAW files, but not in the "See My Pictures Online" way that you're thinking of (like Flickr or Picasa). I personally do not know of any service that does that; perhaps someone else will.

  • As you said I was thinking more on a viewer /sharing site.
    – Fgblanch
    Mar 10, 2011 at 15:24

Researching a little bit it seems that Photoshop.com let to upload raw files and gives 2GB of free storage.


I know this question is old, but just for anyone still looking Amazon Clouddrive is offering unlimited photo storage for $11.99 a year, which includes RAW files.

  • Not to mention, If you have Amazon Prime, the service is free (included as part of your Prime membership) Jul 10, 2015 at 18:32

I'd like to cite SugarSync here, the largest free cloud storage i've found (5Go+).


I use Mosaic which is the best for photographers. It works really well with my Lightroom workflow.

  • 1
    Thank you for the answer, but if you work for the company you must state that in your answer or your answer may be removed. Do you work or have a vested interest in the software?
    – dpollitt
    Nov 29, 2011 at 21:55
  • 1
    Caroline, can you describe why this product would be "the best for photographers"?
    – mattdm
    Nov 30, 2011 at 19:23

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