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Convert Raw to JPEG – 5 Easy Steps

You probably know by now that I advocate Raw shooting vs. JPEG. If your camera allows it, please shoot Raw. A Raw image contains all the data captured by the sensor, it’s uncompressed and it has a higher dynamic range (highlights and shadows). However, it can’t be printed directly from the camera without post-processing. You need special software to convert a Raw file to JPEG. This way your photo will be suitable for sharing, printing or posting on the Internet (Facebook for example). You can read more about Raw vs. JPEG here.

There are many conversion software programs available. Your camera probably came with one. I have been using Lightroom for a few years and I think it makes converting a Raw photo to JPEG a breeze. In fact Lightroom 5 has been out for only a month or so. I will review it in a future post. Until then, here are 5 simple steps to convert your Raw photos to JPEG.


Step 1

Import the photos to Lightroom via File>Import Photo and Video. You can import them directly from the memory card, or you can save them on your computer first.

Step 2

Double click the photo you want to convert and go to the Develop module. Here you can make adjustments if necessary. Typically, I like to adjust at least the white balance, exposure, contrast and sharpening. See one of my older blogs for an example of workflow in Lightroom.

Step 3

Right click on the photo and select Export>Export.

Step 4

In the new window, choose the folder you want the JPEG image sent to and rename it. Also make sure to select JPEG under File Settings>Image format.  You can also adjust the image size, add a watermark, etc.

Step 5

Click Export  in the right hand corner of the window.

Done! Now your Raw image is converted to JPEG.

If you have more than one photo, you can do batch processing. Just select all the photos and follow the steps above. If you don’t have Lightroom on your computer, no problem. Go to Adobe.com and download the trial version. It’s good for 30 days. If you like it, you can purchase it later.

For more photography tips and ideas, check out my latest photography book, Picture (Im)perfect Photography, now available at Amazon.

Happy Raw shooting!

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2 Responses to “Convert Raw to JPEG – 5 Easy Steps”

  1. Lindsay | November 10, 2015 at 3:15 PM #

    I have tried this and my jpeg file is less vivid than the RAW file. I shoot in RAW and jpeg. I’m not sure why people shoot in RAW if the extra file info is lost when saving to jpeg in lightroom. If anyone knows what I could do to convert to jpeg while keeping the vivid color and quality please tell me. Thanks

  2. Laura Scott | November 24, 2016 at 11:54 PM #

    Thank you so much. My RAW file got corrupted so I tried your solution to convert them into JPEG files. After that, I downloaded a JPEG Repair software to repair them. I tried its demo version first from here: http://www.stellarinfo.com/jpeg-repair.php

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