iPhoto makes jpg copies of all RAW files

iPhoto library size

Are you shooting your digital images in RAW format? If you use iPhoto to organize them, there is something you should know.

I was under the impression that whenever you edited a RAW file in iPhoto, iPhoto created a jpg copy of the image. As it turns out, that’s not really the case. iPhoto actually makes a jpg copy of EVERY RAW file imported into iPhoto. It doesn’t matter if you edit it or not. Two copies (RAW and jpg) get stored in your library folder.

If you shoot a lot of RAW, this could start adding up quickly. It’s something to consider if you have limited drive space.

3 thoughts on “iPhoto makes jpg copies of all RAW files”

  1. Wow, you scared me, Paul! For a second I thought you meant it converts RAW to JPEG and then ditches the RAW… and then I caught on to what you meant. I had to run to my iPhoto directory and check just to be sure… Whew! I’m not exactly a “pro” photographer but as a guy who makes a little money on the side through photography, it’s really important that the RAW files remain RAW!

    I guess I should actually be using something other than iPhoto, but it organizes everything so nicely. Aperture is too rich for my blood and Lightroom is Beta, which means it won’t be free forever. Besides, it goes through thousands of images “like butter”! Anyway, thanks for the tip.

  2. iView Media Pro is pretty slick if you have a small ammount of cash to spend. I love it and I have thousands of files (11000+). It’ll do images as well as videos if you want, but I use it just for images.

  3. If you’re shooting RAW, you really should be looking at Apple’s Aperture or Adobe’s Lightroom apps anyway.

    iPhoto is a spectacular solution for most users, but the pros really need to look at more professional apps.

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