Converting ARW to Jpeg

Started Oct 5, 2010 | Discussions thread
arthurb2 Regular Member • Posts: 158
Re: Converting ARW to Jpeg

britpol wrote:

Hi everyone,

I've been looking for a program that will batch convert my ARW (Sony) pics into Jpeg format. I actually bought ReaConverter 5 Pro because I was tiold it would do the job. Alas, it does not see them at all. The thing is I have 2000+ from Viet Nam. I want to send them to people but they can't see them. Hense Jpeg. Can someone here please help me. Please remember I am a complete novice with this.
Thanks in advance,

I struggle in vain but hope to gain

You can do batch conversions with Sony's Image Data Lightbox, which you should have on the software CD that came with the camera. I only rarely convert in batch, so the fact that IDL is a bit clumsy, and perhaps slow, is not a problem for me, but I have done up to 400 images, in groups of up to 30-40 at a time, and it was ok - not something I would want to do every day, but fine for now and again.

To do batch conversions, IDL calls IDC (Image Data Converter - Sony's raw image conversion/editing program). Start up IDL and import a set of images by filename or folder, select one from a bunch that seem to need similar processing (I use Preview Display with files down the left for maximum preview size), call IDC and adjust that image as necessary, and save the settings:

Edit -> Image Processing Settings -> Save

Then switch to Thumbnail display (very important as multi-file select only works in this mode), select all of the files you wish to apply the same processing parameters to, then click the 'output' button on the toolbar (it has a Raw-> picture symbol). You can then select the processing parameters you saved earlier, and can set the output parameters (e.g. compression and location). IDL will then call IDC repetitively to convert each image you have selected in batch mode. For a lot of images this can take some time...

Actually, it takes almost 3 minutes to create 9 or 10 Jpegs on my rather old machine (AMD Athlon64 @ 2GHz, 2GB, Win XP SP2).

Please note that this batch process will update the original raw files, and thus they will be saved in V2.1 format (my A700 creates V2.0 and they are changed - but V2.1 allows for the version stack, so within each image file you have the original image and the new version that has your processing parameters applied). See this Version Stack in IDC at the bottom right corner.

Many people do not seem to like using IDL, and I can sympathise with their viewpoint, but to me it does a decent job when I need to batch-convert. If I had much more money, and needed to do a lot of batch work maybe I would shell out for Adobe's Lightroom, but I don't and don't, and therefore I won't. IDL does have two things going for it: it uses Sony's own converter which contrary to what some appear to believe does actually give good results, and it is free...

One last thing: I always save the Jpegs as best quality, but if I want to send them to a lot of friends (e.g. by e-mail for PC viewing), then I batch down-size them using FastStone Image Viewer (also free although I have now donated), which has, to me, an excellent batch tool.

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