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Google+ gets improved Raw-to-JPEG conversion

By dpreview staff on Sep 26, 2013 at 20:35 GMT

Google+ has introduced improved Raw-to-JPEG conversion for a number of cameras with some help from Nik Photography. As before, Raw files may be uploaded to Google+ for storage, and are automatically converted to JPEGs for previewing. The conversion from Raw has been fine-tuned for about 70 cameras, including high-end models like the Canon EOS 5D Mark III, Nikon D800 and D800E. 

We tried out the new conversion on Raw files from the RX100 and RX100 II. The RX100 is included in this round of cameras to get improved Raw conversion, and the RX100 II isn't. Accordingly, the preview of the RX100 Raw file looked much nicer than that of the RX100 II's.

JPEG conversion of .ARW file from Sony RX100 JPEG conversion of .ARW file from Sony RX100 II

Here's the full list of cameras with newly-improved Raw conversion:

  • Canon EOS: 100D, 1000D, 1100D, 1D Mark III, 1D Mark IV, 1Ds Mark III, 1Dx, 20D, 30D, 350D, 400D, 40D, 450D, 500D, 50D, 550D, 5D, 5D Mark II, 5D Mark III, 600D, 60D, 650D, 6D, 700D, 7D, M
  • Canon Powershot: G12, G1X, S100
  • Nikon: 1 J1, 1 J2, 1 J3, 1 S1, 1 V1, 1 V2, Coolpix A, D300, D300s, D3000, D3100, D3200, D4, D40, D40X, D5000, D5100, D5200, D600, D700, D7000, D7100, D800, D800E, D90
  • Olympus: OM-D E-M5, PEN EP1, PEN EP2, PEN EP3, PEN EPL3, PEN EPL5
  • Panasonic: LUMIX DMC GF1
  • Sony: Alpha 700, NEX-5, NEX-5N, NEX-6, NEX-7, NEX-C3, NEX-F3, RX1, RX100, SLT Alpha 55, SLT Alpha 77, SLT Alpha 99
Via: Engadget, Source: Google+

Comments

Total comments: 50
munro harrap
By munro harrap (6 months ago)

Ladies and Gentlemen, the purpose of the internet is NOT to give you free cloud storage or let you show 6 billion others your work, but to make money, as much money as possible, out of YOU.
If you want to give your work away, carry on regardless.

If you do not, do not post work on the web or store it online. Do not even keep any files on a machine with any form of internet connection, because it will be stolen, if it's any good, by anyone capable of accessing it.

First your ISP can steal it, then Microsoft or Apple can steal it, and now anyone from A-z can steal it as well.

Would you leave all your work on a laptop, and then leave the laptop on a train?? No? Well, this is what that is.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (6 months ago)

You do realize that in making this comment on this website that you're using the cloud?

As for internet connected devices being hacked, sure that's possible, but it's also possible to turn off internet connections when not in use.

Comment edited 60 seconds after posting
0 upvotes
Johnsonj
By Johnsonj (7 months ago)

No more Adobe products.

Period!

4 upvotes
JonathanRphoto
By JonathanRphoto (7 months ago)

Hoping Capture One Pro will add the CS features it doesn't have yet so CS will no longer be needed.

0 upvotes
pedroboe100
By pedroboe100 (7 months ago)

The point is to have a transition to a complete CLOUD system. Quality will continue to improve gradually. For those of us who own Chromebooks, this is good news. I can now upload to Google drive all my RAW files, store them there, edit in G+, share them with family etc. When I get home, I can access them from my desktop. Everyone who is a major OS company is aiming for this anyway. Apple is trying to do it, although awkwardly and Microsoft will also transition into "cloud only" by Windows 10. Next year, I will probably only using

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (7 months ago)

And how long does it take to upload say 8GB of raw files?

6 upvotes
Houseqatz
By Houseqatz (7 months ago)

i hope the data is transferred to the cloud, before rav -> jpeg conversion begins..

0 upvotes
wansai
By wansai (7 months ago)

I just got done with a shoot. 80GB of RAW.

I guess for very select personal photos I can see a use for cloud RAW; but even with a 100mbps connection, I'm not crazy enough to attempt an 80GB upload.

2 upvotes
pedroboe100
By pedroboe100 (7 months ago)

I should have made clear that I am not a pro, just an end user. I don't need to upload torrents of data and I did experience slow uploads this summer while traveling. But Gdrive tan store a lot of data!
Google, Picasa and G+ are for users. Pro photographers have to shell out $$$ to obtain the adequate and robust software that a pro needs. If you are going to spend 5K on full frame tralala photo equipment, don't be whining about something that is basically still beta. Give it time. We are in the "Wright Brothers" stage of cloud computing.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (7 months ago)

pedroboe100:

It's pretty easy to shoot several GB of stills with say a Sony RX100. And it's not like one can simply upload 5GB of jpegs or raws in a few minutes over even a reasonably fast connection--perhaps in South Korea or Finland.

0 upvotes
pedroboe100
By pedroboe100 (7 months ago)

I agree, I would do it in small batches, until I get there. But the point is that it can be done, G drive can hold a lot of RAW files and it would be a great backup on the road, even with crappy internet connections.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (7 months ago)

pedroboe100:

But you're missing the point: It's easy in shoot say 5GB of raws in a few hours, or less. And those would be raws you'd want to look at, so logically one would take the card to one's computer and transfer the files in less than 20 minutes. Look through them and begin processing them.

Who on earth is going to waste hours and hours transferring that much data to a cloud unless that's the only possible way to convert these raw files?

Sure what you're describing could work for a few raw files (or tiffs from a Nikon) if that's all you're planning to put on a server, but that's not how many people take digital pictures.

So to say the least, this Google rawphoto cloud thing remains really limited if not dumb.

Then video: For editing, not viewing, AVCHD files need something like extraction too. Imagine transferring an hour of 60p AVCHD video to a cloud just to edit it down to 10 minutes of MPEG4 video. Ugh.

Comment edited 10 minutes after posting
1 upvote
T3
By T3 (7 months ago)

@HowaboutRAW - it's not a problem just looking through them on a computer, then dumping the non-keepers, before uploading the rest of them up to the cloud.

Every new, transitional, or non-status-quo idea is considered a "dumb" idea by people like yourself. Browsing the web on a smart phone was considered a "dumb" idea. Having a smart phone without a physical keyboard was considered a "dumb" idea. The iPad was considered a "dumb" idea ("it's just a giant iPod!"). Putting video in DSLRs was considered by many to be a "dumb" idea. Yep, so many "dumb" ideas. But frankly, I think it's important to see which companies are pursuing, supporting, and developing these "dumb" ideas before labeling them as "dumb." With big names like Google, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Adobe, etc, all pursuing cloud storage, computing computing and cloud services in one form or another, maybe its the naysayers who are the "dumb" ones. Maybe such ideas are too ahead of the times for some people.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 12 minutes after posting
0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (7 months ago)

T3--

Clearly you don't understand this point: Many people keep several GB of photos from just shooting for a couple of hours. The idea of picking the ones you want and dumping the rest is a really dumb idea particularly if you're doing that picking based on what's on a tiny camera screen.

Then this whole cloud thing for big files remains a dumb idea as long as upload speeds are so incredibly slow.

That upload speeds will increase yes, but so will file sizes.

There is a way of fixing this mess, but it would put most communications companies out of business in 5 minutes and is not tech that would likely be released to the general public.

Your claims read like someone who's never thought about this for ten minutes or ever tried to either upload or download a gigabyte of data.

The video in DSLRs thing isn't even a good misdirection.

Microsoft is run by fools, Google is an ad and tracking company. Adobe is being really stupid. And Amazon is just a contractor, renting space.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
pedroboe100
By pedroboe100 (7 months ago)

Like I said in my original post: as of today, Chromebooks are for end users, not power users. If you are a pro, or shoot 5 to 8 gigs of keepers, then you need a more robust alternative. For me, I don't shoot that many keepers. It's nice to know that, if I am in the middle of Indonesia and I have an internet connection, no matter how bad, I can upload a couple of keepers in RAW and will be there in the event that I lose my chromebook or my camera drops in the water, etc. It's good insurance, albeit still needs to be better, I admit. I used it this summer and with very frustratingly bad internet connections. But I was able to upload something to Gdrive.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (7 months ago)

pedroboe100--

Right, for limited data storing and transfer of course the cloud can be really useful--see webmail, or jpegs on Flickr.

However as I was saying to T3: Reliance on it as the only method of data transfer, storing, and processing will remain a dumb idea with several gigabytes of data for years.

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
urix Lukin
By urix Lukin (7 months ago)

Pentax anyone?

0 upvotes
Azurael
By Azurael (7 months ago)

Picasa still doesn't support a99 ARWs though.... Well, not if you don't like pink casts.

Why would anyone upload a RAW file to social media anyway?!

1 upvote
Abhijith Kannankavil
By Abhijith Kannankavil (7 months ago)

wish they did that for picasa and gmail.

4 upvotes
Deleted78792
By Deleted78792 (7 months ago)

Storing raw files in the cloud does not enthuse me, I just don't have that sort of bandwidth and internet speed.

But Google Plus has recently incorporated features from Nik suite, and they appear to be excellent. I couldn't easily view the image files at 100%, though.

What I really want Google to do is to update Picasa with these killer Nik features. Why do they seem to perpetually ignore updating Picasa?

Comment edited 35 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
ThePhilips
By ThePhilips (7 months ago)

"I just don't have that sort of bandwidth and internet speed."

I have the bandwidth, but neither am I unenthusiastic. Even with 1MB/s uplink, and say 20MB per RAW, it is 20s per file. My typical session is 100-150 shots, that is 30-50 minutes to upload. (Compare the 1MB/s with 60MB/s or higher transfer rates of the modern memory cards.)

"Why do they seem to perpetually ignore updating Picasa?"

These G+ updates are certain sign of the soon death of the Picasa. G+ is the Google's poison pill: they would go on killing off services which do not integrate with the G+.

1 upvote
Deleted78792
By Deleted78792 (7 months ago)

I agree, ThePhilips, it's just too much data transfer, and as you point out takes a good while even on a fast link. And to what end? The raw editing facility rightly belongs at the client computer.

I also agree regarding the G+ observation, the pressure to win at social seems to be every company's priority these days. I did not find the new UI on G+ photos to be good however. It does not utilize the browser real-estate well at all.

Apart from G+ and Picasa, Google still has a third alternative, to make available the photo editing Nik application on Chrome using its native code (Nacl) facility. They can also tightly integrate that app with G+ and it can satisfy both the photo enthusiast as well as the social guy. Why they haven't done so is beyond me. They have not used the Nik acquisition to really dominate photo editing. Maybe there is some kind of parallel agreement with Adobe not to cannibalize their market share among photographers.

0 upvotes
Brunaita
By Brunaita (7 months ago)

My problem with google+ is the copyright protection. No where is to see, what does happen with those right. Flickr has a quite clear copyright possition...

4 upvotes
ijustloveshooting
By ijustloveshooting (7 months ago)

whereas facebook converts uploaded jpegs to crap.

13 upvotes
Pedal2Floor
By Pedal2Floor (7 months ago)

Give me a 1Tb like I have on Flickr and then maybe we can talk Google. While nice, 15gb does not go a long way when you have 32gb+ memory cards

9 upvotes
cplunk
By cplunk (7 months ago)

Are they going to put the updates in Picasa? or is that abandoned?

2 upvotes
forpetessake
By forpetessake (7 months ago)

If that is a solution, then what is the problem?

11 upvotes
G Davidson
By G Davidson (7 months ago)

True cloud storage and sharing, with many companies competing to be the obiquitous standard. Dropbox was arguably first, but the race has just begun.

Being able to have viewable raws in moments, without resorting to clunky solutions like in-camera editing, seems to me a step in that direction for photogs.

0 upvotes
HowaboutRAW
By HowaboutRAW (7 months ago)

G Davidson:

"viewable in moments", do you have any idea how long it takes to transfer 4GB of data to a server? And that's not many raw shots with a Sony RX100.

Whereas if you put the card in a card reader attached to a computer, those raws all are actually viewable in moments--assuming you have a computer. And then with an USB3 connection those files can all be on one's computer in a few minutes for backup and further examination and editing.

Yeah, sure DropBox can work, with a few files at a time. But this whole cloud wireless thing is a joke for transferring several gigabytes of data. And by the time that upload speeds catch up, we'll be shooting 4K video in the raw.

0 upvotes
D200_4me
By D200_4me (7 months ago)

Hmmm....I didn't even know they supported raw in the first place :-) I guess that's just not something I need Google to do for me.

2 upvotes
CameraLabTester
By CameraLabTester (7 months ago)

Google!

Google!

You are pushing those proprietary raw converter rip offs out of business!!

Good!

GOOD!

.

1 upvote
mick232
By mick232 (7 months ago)

So if I upload 100 pictures, I should now upload 2.5 GB of data instead of 200 MB? No thanks.

7 upvotes
forsakenbliss
By forsakenbliss (7 months ago)

it's your choice to upload jpeg or raw, what's the issue here?

4 upvotes
tompabes2
By tompabes2 (7 months ago)

The issue is that some people want everyting (even impossible things like uploading RAW pictures using the same space of JPEGs) and what's more usually want it for free.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 1 minute after posting
1 upvote
mario GTI
By mario GTI (7 months ago)

Where is fujifilm google+ ??

1 upvote
completelyrandomstuff
By completelyrandomstuff (7 months ago)

The most annoying service ever. I uploaded bunch of JPGs and it was automaticaly edited, added contrast, auto-levels, unrealistic colors etc. I had then an option of reuploading all 500 shots, or turning 'auto-awesome' features one by one.

7 upvotes
tompabes2
By tompabes2 (7 months ago)

Why don't you just turn off those features once for all in the preferences? Ah, right, because you wouldn't be able to complain anymore...

6 upvotes
completelyrandomstuff
By completelyrandomstuff (7 months ago)

Did you even read what I said? When these features were introduced, there was no information about it whatsoever.By default, it was turned on. You would upload a bunch of photos, sent a link, to let's say a client and the aforementioned client would get photos 'edited' by google plus. There was no option of removing the google plus edits for the previously uploaded pictures. It was either reuploading, or editing one-by-one, as I wrote.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Eric Hensel
By Eric Hensel (7 months ago)

I read what you said --you would send a link to photos you hadn't looked at, from a service you never used before? Right.
You uploaded a bunch of your photos without checking to see how the first one looked, and now you're complaining? Right.

0 upvotes
JTHAIN
By JTHAIN (7 months ago)

So, can these RAWs also be edited using the new Snapseed-like tools built in Google+? Or does the editing software only read the jpeg?

0 upvotes
Richard Shih
By Richard Shih (7 months ago)

From the Google+ post: "From there you can edit the JPEG copy as much as you'd like with our new editor, and download the original RAW file whenever you want."

0 upvotes
DavidKennard
By DavidKennard (7 months ago)

Not sure why you'd upload a RAW file to Gplus?

Even if people are uploading RAW files, surely extracting the embedded JPEG would be good enough for web size sharing, and give a result similar to an out of camera JPEG? Or do not all RAWs include embedded JPEGs?

6 upvotes
Richard Shih
By Richard Shih (7 months ago)

You can also use Google+ as file storage with their underlying Google Drive service. They give you 15GB to start with and then you pay on top of that: https://support.google.com/drive/answer/2375123?hl=en

Comment edited 13 seconds after posting
1 upvote
forpetessake
By forpetessake (7 months ago)

Even if somebody wants to use Google simply for storage, there is nothing preventing people to store much smaller jpeg for viewing.

0 upvotes
HappyVan
By HappyVan (7 months ago)

Richard Shih,

Flickr offers 1 tera for FREE.

Each D800 JPG (Normal qualify) is 10MB. 15GB will only hold 1,500 images.

Anyway, the article is about RAW conversion. Will Google do a belter conversion than Nikon Capture software? Doubt it.

Will Google have sufficient editing tools? Doubt it.

Does Google protect your copyright? and privacy Uncertain.

Does this article have sufficient depth to assess the value of Google as a tool? No.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Richard Shih
By Richard Shih (7 months ago)

David asked why people would upload Raw files to G+. Backup is one of those options. I don't speak for Google but they never advertised this update as replacing your Raw editor of choice; they were saying, "Hey, look at all these Raw files you've been storing; well their thumbnails are going to look better now."

Legalities aside, Flickr is not a viable backup option since you cannot store RAW files on there and you cannot easily download all your JPEG files at once without using a third party application.

If you're storing the full-sized D800 JPEG, why not take it one step further and backup the original Raw file? If storing the JPEG is your cup of tea, then G+ gives you unlimited storage for pictures of 2048px on the long edge, good enough to view on just about any device except 4K monitors. But if you're only storing JPEGs and you want to store the full version, then Flickr may be a better option. Choices are great, no?

0 upvotes
HappyVan
By HappyVan (7 months ago)

Richard Shih,

D800 RAW files are 40MB each. Can't see myself bothering with Google. I would pay $99 for a 3T HD with USB 3. Much easier to upload, search with a standard file editor, view and download.

P.S. I have no doubt that Google will analyze your images to help sell you things.

0 upvotes
Richard Shih
By Richard Shih (7 months ago)

As would I. The amount of money spent on cloud services could be put towards a new hard drive every year, hopefully negating the fear of catastrophic hard drive failure. You still don't have the security of redundant backup though, something that I'm terrified of losing 10+ years of images.

As for Google using my data to sell me things, I don't really care about that aspect, but that's besides the point.

0 upvotes
YiannisPP
By YiannisPP (7 months ago)

Not a fantastic conversion of the RX100II file..but then again the RX100 jpeg engine is generally difficult to beat even with manual RAw conversion.

0 upvotes
privater
By privater (7 months ago)

Fuji user don't Google+

2 upvotes
Total comments: 50