Google+ Unveils Improved RAW-to-JPEG Conversion, Supports Over 70 Cameras


It’s hardly news that Google+ is doing its damnedest to secure itself as the social network of choice for the photographic community. And the network’s ability to handle full-size RAW uploads, in addition to the easy-to-manage system and powerful new in-browser editing tools, in many ways already makes it a shoo-in for that title.

But get ready, because Google isn’t done yet. Another update has been pushed Google+’s way, and this time it concerns your RAW photos. Or, more specifically, how good they look when they’re automatically converted to JPEGs for viewing.

Although Google+ supports full size photo uploads for backup, the system automatically generates a JPEG to show in order to keep the service snappy. And it’s that conversion that has now been updated, thanks to Nik Photography, to work noticeably better.

Here are the official before and afters (in that order). Pixel peepers can find the high-res versions at this link:





As you can see, you don’t have to be splitting hairs to see the difference, it’s definitely there. To try it out for yourself, just upload a new RAW file to your Google+ Photos.

Over 70 cameras are already supported by the system, and even though that should cover a majority of users, Google promises to add more as time goes on. At this point, a slew of Canon (both EOS and PowerShot where applicable), Nikon, Panasonic, Sony and Olympus cameras are supported.

To take a closer look at those samples, learn more about the update, or read the full list of supported cameras, head over to the official announcement by clicking here.

(via Engadget)

Image credits: Example photos courtesy of Ronald Wotzlaw/Google

  • Anonymoused

    Neat! I may have to actually start using Google+ now..

  • Pixel_K

    The “before” pictures are jpeg from a VERY outdated Lightroom 4.4. It would be more interesting to have the raw files, or files gone through a more up to date software.

  • olafs_osh

    …and that’s a Walmart for ya…

  • harumph

    Is it just me or does the before shot of the little girl look far better than the after?

  • dan110024

    People upload raw files to social media? o_0

  • oldtaku

    So hopefully this is coming to Picasa as well…

  • David Liang

    This will probably change as internet speeds increase and storage becomes and non-issue. But right now I can’t imagine uploading Raws to edit on the cloud…for now it’s still more efficient to process locally and only upload the finished product.

  • ViciousCircle

    they mentioned that they RAW upload is typically used as a form of backup, not necessarily for editing.

  • Martin Nilsson

    Well that is relative to where you live. I opted for a 30/30 mbit connection instead of a 100/10 mbit connection, which also would have been a bit more expensive. Nice to have the extra upload speed and who really needs 100 mbit downstream anyway ;-) But I think that overall here in Sweden you could probably get a 100/100 mbit line for less then some pay for a crappy DSL-line in thhe U.S. Speed really isn’t an issue here =)

  • Martin Nilsson

    Google+ uploads to a private album that is also linked to Google Drive. You store your RAW in the cloud, Google does to magic to get a JPEG that you later can share on-line. Google+ or other networks =)

  • Bill Binns

    Lightroom uses ACR for RAW conversion and ACR gets periodic updates right? Your comment caught my eye because I’m actually using Lightroom 3.3.

  • the-trouble

    Supporting NSA and giving all location+photo data to 3-party. No thank you.

  • Guest

    Google Chrome couldn’t display the images for me, how ironical

  • James

    Just you.

  • Guest

    Ok, I´m trying really hard to see why is an auto white balance function is so great, and why would you ever want to upload a RAW file on Google+. If you are shooting RAW you would like to edit it on something better than an online editor. And by the way, the amound of dead pixels on the first image is astonishing!

  • Viktor

    Ok, I´m trying really hard to see why an auto white balance function is so great, and why would you ever want to upload a RAW file on Google+. If you are shooting RAW you would like to edit it on something better than an online editor I guess. And by the way, the amound of dead pixels on the first image is astonishing!

  • Cathy

    Guess I’m a little confused … If one was to set the proper white balance, wouldn’t this be a non issue, even in raw? Goes to knowing your camera and technical settings.

  • WarDamnPhil

    Change up the white balance, recover some highlights, add some noise reduction. Is that it?

  • lololalallll

    This will go nicely once I have Google Fiber.

  • Dario Toledo

    No Pentax is actually supported. That really sucks.

  • Jason Dunn

    My suspicion is that this is the beginnings of long-term plans to supplant the entire Adobe suite.

  • Jessica Gonzalez

    agree with James, its just you.

  • Danny Garside

    Woah easy tiger.
    4.4 is still industry standard in my book.

  • Danny Garside

    Very interesting idea, but not sure it’s a fair comparison they’ve used. It looks like the main difference is a corrected white balance…

  • dbur

    I just moved to 5 but 4.4 rocks and 5 isn’t really much different.

  • dbur

    Please don’t plug up my internet with all those 20-30 MB RAWs. Process them to jpg yourself. You’ll get better results anyway.

  • Danny Garside

    I’d heard as much. Whilst I’m still working with people who all require Lightroom 4.4 catalogs, I shall keep on using Lightroom 4.4. When that changes I’ll be right on it!

  • Danny Garside

    Agreed. If you need google to process your RAWs, please just shoot jpeg, for the good of the rest of us, ta.

  • raulraj

    The before version of the pics are Breaking Bad version

  • Leif Sikorski

    True. I think it’s the future to some degree, it is just a matter of some years until the infrastructure is available to most people.

    Here in my city in Germany we get 200mbit down and 100mbit up for 55€/month, including phone and tv. The data is unlimited. And they already said that they could even double the speeds if the competition gets higher or the demand is there. It’s a project of electricity provider who connected district by district with fibre and did the house connections for free to compete with the tv and internet provider in the future.

    Combine this cloud scenario with the recent project by Google where you could beam your content from your phone to every display and use it as a touch screen. With our data in the cloud, our phone or something else as authentication or control unit and screens everywhere (or in 20 years maybe windows which can act as a screen) we could watch and edit our photos everywhere.

    It’s hard to imagine where we’ll be in 10 or 20 years, but local storage that we’ve to carry and connect to anything before we can access to our data doesn’t fit into that – maybe just for very personal stuff. If the stuff happens in the cloud all we need are display technologies that are connected to the internet. Saves power, space and opens up so many possibilities.

  • harumph

    Well, just me and 14 other people, I guess. The “after” shot is cooler with more contrast, and her skin tone is zombified. But it’s a subjective thing. I prefer the warmer tones of the original.

  • Guest

    the cooler tones look more natural, rain boots and jacket imply that its was a rainy/overcast day. There would be no sun on such a day to create warm tones. plus the overall image in the first one has a yellow cast. not just her skin tone. The buildings and the concrete are yellow in the first one. The rain coat looks yellow, and I don’t think it was meant to be yellow. The white balance is way off. I don’t think that looks good at all. In my opinion, it looks apocalyptic and grungy. Then again, maybe its me and my monitor needs to be recalibrated.

  • Dave

    Interesting, but don’t think i would upload my RAW files there unless there was a way to lock RAW files.

  • Toronto Product Photography

    My D800 spits out 75 MB files. I doubt I will upload those to Google. I also want to have the control on the colour correction since I know the auto can be very off sometimes.