Importing Pictures

I've recently just purchased a Nikon D3100 and it came with an SD card and other goodies. I hear a lot of people say that shooting in RAW is better, but how can I import those pictures to my computer and then to my iPhone (6) to edit them on VSCO?

Thank you!


  • Raw files are best because they allow certain variables, including exposure compensation, white balance and picture mode (color set) to be modified without disturbing the original image, if you use the right editing programs. That means you can play around and revert to the original. If you want to use a regular program to modify images in JPG or Tiff form, you have to convert from Raw first.

    One way to do it is to use Nikon's View NX2 program (which should have come with the camera) or Capture NXD, which can be gotten free from Nikon's web site. I do not advise to update to the new View NX program they also offer, because it is a bit different from the original NX2, and overwrites it. But you can use both View NX2 and Capture NXD separately on the same computer.

    Either of the programs mentioned will read a Raw file and can the convert it to a JPG of a chosen size, or to Tiff, with or without editing it first. If you experiment with View NX2, you'll see that certain options are available only for Raw files, while others are available to all.

    There are also many other programs that can read a Raw file, though they do not give you the editing advantage. You may have to download the Raw reading codec from Microsoft to get Windows to read them, but once it's done, various programs will read those Raw files and do the conversions quickly. Among them are Irfanview and Faststone Image Viewer, each of which has some virtues, and both of which are free. For quick review of images and quick conversion to smaller sizes, I use Irfanview, which is fast and portable. However, it offers several different algorithms for producing new JPG files, so you may have to change the default to get the best JPG. Irfanview offers very little editing, but is very quick for resizing and resampling, and will both read and save files in numerous formats. Faststone has more editing functions, and does some things very well, but its interface is less simple and quick.

    One thing I've found that Faststone does better than anything else is to re-orient vertical images that sometimes open sideways. Many vertical shots open properly on most programs, but still come out wrong on a few (including CD's and DVD's played on TV's), but when you use Faststone to put them straight, they stay that way on everything!

    View NX2 makes very good JPG files, but it's a little slow.

    One of the other advantages of a Raw file is found when you do certain operations such as cropping. If you crop a raw file before converting it to JPG, you will often get a sharper result. The longer you wait before applying JPG compression, the better.

    You can also do JPG conversions right in the camera. There are various editing options for Raw processing, and the results will be saved a separate JPG files without compromising the originals. Options here are limited, and you don't get as many options for size and whatnot, but it can be a quick way to get a file out into the world.
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