RAW Settings Problem

Hi all,

So I have decided to start shooting in NEF format but when I go to move the photos onto my laptop (PC), they are all jpeg images between 6-8MB.

Am I doing something wrong? I have changed the settings on the camera to shoot in RAW but is there something else I should be doing to make sure that the PC recognises them as a different file type?


  • I'm not familiar with all the ways to get a file transferred, but is it possible that the program you're using is doing a conversion?

    It would help to know how you're doing this and what the OS in the computer is. I know that I stopped doing direct transfers from the camera with Windows Vista because it refused to read the camera simply as a drive and insisted on putting files in a picture folder and opening them in its own reader. I just tried plugging in my D3200 to a Win 10 laptop and got the option to read the files directly, and they appeared as NEF.

    I generally prefer to use a card reader, and copy files directly to a folder on the computer. I've never had an issue with it changing formats.

    If you're shooting NEF+JPG, it's possible that for some reason those JPG's are the only ones you're seeing. Not all computers and operating systems can read a NEF file. Again, I can't now remember where I got the codec that allows Vista and Win. XP to read a NEF file, but I did have to do it. If you go to the Nikon website, you'll find an updated Windows codec that should insure that your computer can read them, but I think it's only for Win 7 and later.
  • I will add this separately, but it appears that Apple's photo app may be a culprit here, if you're using Apple.

    The Nikon apps such as View NX2 and Capture NX-D should work all right, and read the files correctly. In Windows, the freeware programs Faststone Image Viewer and Irfanview also work (the latter needs a plugin that they provide separately).
  • Hey Bruto,

    Thank you for coming back to me. I too use a card reader (Transcend) but they are still saving as JPG files.

    I have a laptop PC, which runs Windows 10. It is set to only NEF file format, I may use NEF+JPG to see if I get anything different. It is incredibly frustrating as I feel that I am ready to start working with RAW files.
  • That is very odd, as my windows 10 laptop (among others) picks up Nef files just fine. Many programs cannot resave the edited version as Nef and will save them as Raw, but they should go into the computer as Nef originals.

    If you put a file into a folder in Windows, and open that folder in Windows explorer, what is its suffix? (you can make sure extensions are shown by checking the "file name extensions" in the "View" menu. If the files are not showing up there in Nef form, then it's a mystery for sure. But do remember that with a few exceptions such as the Nikon View and Capture programs, most programs can probably not resave Nefs after editing, and will write JPG or Tiff by default.
  • Show Off, I'm using Nikon's Transfer2 to download from the SD card (inserted in the card slot on my Win 10 laptop). I have it set up to open the files using ViewNX-i and they open there as whichever file format I've set the camera to use to record. [Note: To edit the NEF files in PS Elements, I do have to go through either Camera Raw or Capture NX-D (a free Nikon download)].

    Transfer2 and ViewNX-i are both free programs from Nikon and I've been very happy with both. I tried to find the link for Nikon Transfer2 and it doesn't show up on the Nikon website, but ViewNX-i is posted there for free download. Not sure if this will help, but am just tossing out there as a possible thing to try.
  • My own preference is to copy the files completely to the hard drive before working on them, as I have (fortunately only once seriously) had problems with writing back to the memory card. That may depend a bit on how reliable your USB and card port are. The laptop I had problems with had a tendency to drop connections occasionally and when it did one time, it unfortunately did so while changing the card index, and clobbered the whole thing. I've since changed computers and the new card reader works fine, but I'm still cautious.

    Working on files in the hard drive itself also usually goes faster, as the read/write time for files on card or camera can be pretty slow.
  • I have a Acer Chromebook 15 Laptop, I would like to learn to process RAW images, will my Laptop process RAW format images?
    I am a Senior and not real Computer savy, so any help I will appreciate
  • Any recent Windows version should be able to access Raw images, but you'll need some program other than Windows itself to do any processing. Nikon provides some free programs that do some of the basic stuff, and one can also get other freeware programs that do basic color corrections, resizing, and whatnot. If you get very involved with processing, you'll likely need a program like Lightroom. But you can do a lot with the Nikon programs and others if your images are not too far from what you want already.

    My recollection is that Windows XP and Vista needed an added "codec" file to open Nikon's raw (nef) files, but that Windows 7 and 10 did not. I just installed the programs, and the images open fine.

    One free program that works pretty well, though it's a bit complicated at first, is called "Raw Therapee." I think I got that suggestion from someone here, and have tried it and find it works pretty well. It has many capabilities, some overlapping, but it does a good job on things like color and exposure correction, sharpening, and so forth.

    Some versions of Windows make it a little difficult to set which programs open a file by default - in other words, if you simply have a file and click on it, what program will appear. But if you start the editing program and open files within it then all will work OK.

    The best way likely to find out how your computer handles Raw files is to try opening one. If you have a Nikon camera, either View NX-2 or Capture NX-D (free from Nikon's web site) should open them fine. Some other programs may need a plugin, but some don't.

    When you work on a Raw file, you will generally save the result as a JPG for display elsewhere.
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