Transfer raw files to external drive using Mac Book Pro

Discussion in 'Beginner Questions' started by bandannaman, Feb 8, 2018.

  1. My computer has run out of hard drive, so I wanted to move my photos to an external drive. The problem is the files change from RAW to JPEG! I don't want that I want to keep them in RAW format. Any suggestions? Very new to this Mac system. Thank you for any advice you might have!!!
    spammer likes this.
  2. How are you transferring them? I admit that I make essentially no use of photo management systems, and just store the images in the file system (with some semblance of a logical directory naming convention). I just copy the files off an SD or CF card and into a directory either on my HDD or on an external drive using the Finder - which is literally just moving the files and knows nothing special about photo types.

    I guess you're using some kind of photo management software if it's aware enough of what it's looking at to try to do a format conversion?
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  3. Oh boy here is how I have been capturing my photos onto this MAC.
    1 plug in my SD card into the MAC
    2 use "image capture" to get the photos onto the MAC
    3 at this point they are in my photo icon where is promos me to import images
    4 at this point the images are still in RAW format
    5 remove my SD card
    6 plug in my external drive and open it
    7 click on my photos in the photo icon and copy them to paste in the external drive
    8 once copied they somehow are always jpeg files!
    spammer likes this.
  4. Image capture? Interesting. I gather it's a thing, but I've never tried it. (I use a Mac for photo editing, but I've got to say I'm not deeply tied into the Apple ecosystem.)

    When you say the images are still in raw format, are you looking at the files, or a view inside an app?

    You should be able to view the SD card in the finder - extra devices appear on the left. If you click on it, it should look like any other folder. You should be able to drag files from it to wherever you want - whether that's somewhere on your local disk or on your external drive. If you can find your raw files in the file system, I'd expect the same to apply if you just want to copy them off. Or you can do a whole disk backup, of course.

    I'm guessing that dragging images out of image capture attempts to do something clever and convert them to some portable format that it thinks you're going to use, or at least that it thinks you want the version that it's processed. While there may be more organised ways of managing your files (which I'll leave to others), if you copy things using the finder, they stay copied - it won't convert them in any way.

    That probably leaves the question of where "image capture" has been putting your files, so you can find them to copy them off. That may be somewhere completely obvious, or may be buried, and at that point I'm going to be googling for the answer!

    I hope that's the beginning of a help, before someone who knows the tool chain chimes in. :)
    spammer likes this.
  5. I work the way Andrew works (on a Mac). I have Image Capture (it came with the Mac) but have never used it. Have you tried backing up to your external through Image Capture (if that’s possible) instead of by clicking and dragging from your photo icon. In other words, open Image Capture and look around for a backup or copy files function. If you’re still having trouble, I have found the Apple Help Line by phone or the kids at Apple stores always to be helpful and knowledgeable. This should be a relatively easy thing to do, so they ought to be able to help you. My guess is that Image Capture stores all your RAW files two ways, as RAW and also as jpg, which is what allows you to see the thumbnails of them. You’re likely just copying over those jpgs and the RAW files are hiding somewhere else. If you know the name of one of the RAW files, you could do a search for it, and perhaps discover what folder all those RAW files are stored in and copy that folder over directly to your external. My guess is what you’ve been copying are only the jpgs that Image Capture has generated from your original RAWs.
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  6. How about not copying them to the Mac at all? Simply plug your hard drive in and copy them directly from the card to the stand alone hard drive. Better yet get a card reader and don't plug your card directly into the computer. I don't know if that makes any difference, probably not but worth a try. Take the computer out of the equation except for copying files. Another alternative is to get a low cost windows laptop and use that to move your images over to the hard drive. I have an older Windows 7 laptop that does quite a good job at this kind of thing and cost is dirt cheap.

    Rick H.
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  7. Rich, that's a good suggestion, though I sense the issue is OP already has a multitude of photos on his computer from over the years or months that he wants to transfer to his external drive. What you're suggesting could work going forward, but I think he's got a problem with his current situation that he needs to address.
    spammer likes this.
  8. Thank you for ALL the advise!!!! I've been on the road for three weeks and as soon as I get home its of to the Apple store I will go!!!!
    spammer likes this.
  9. Good luck, bandannaman!

    Rick: I usually actually do copy straight to an external drive (plugged in on one side of the Mac, with a card reader on the other) - depending on how portable in trying to be. But copying them from the internal drive shouldn't be any harder, the only question is where image capture is putting them.

    This (first result of googling) suggests that the images should be going into a directory that was explicitly specified, so I hope just going there with the finder will work.

    I don't think throwing another computer into the equation should be necessary. Arguments about the capabilities of the two platforms (three if you throw Linux into the equation) aside, they can all copy files!
    spammer likes this.
  10. I’m not familiar with the software you’re using but clearly it’s creating JPGs at some point in the process, on import or export. You need to either find the option that exports raws (might be referred to as originals or masters) or locate the files in Finder and copy them.

    It’s always helpful if you can manage the originals on the hard drive in folders that correspond to projects. Makes it easier to work in other software or transfer between computers. My library has got to the point where it doesn’t fit anywhere but (thanks to fast internet and cheap cloud storage) I have it all in the cloud and accessible to a couple of computers.
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  11. A Macish way to do this is simply to drag the files from one drive to the other on the desktop. No software is needed unless you want to change file format.

    Ditto, for dragging files and folders from the card to a HD or wherever you want the files to go.
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  12. Andrew, one thing to be aware of is that the folder the RAW files are stored in might be in a hidden directory. You sometimes need to perform a few extra steps to find it. I know that was the case with iPhoto for a time, though I stopped using it a while back. The folder was not visible in the normal directory, but google had instructions on how to access it, which I forget now.
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  13. I believe you, Fred. The impression I got was that Image Capture either imports directly to an application (via a temporary folder) or to a user-specified folder - in which case, I hope it's visible. But I don't know what's happened in this case, and I've never used that software.
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  14. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    That's a huge waste of time. The problem is probably that Image Capture is putting the photos into iPhoto, which automatically converts them to jpgs, regardless of what the file type shows. What you need to do is download the photos from the card directly, which the OS is perfectly capable of doing. Skip Image Capture and everything should be fine. I suspect you may have lost the original RAW files if Image Capture has been going to iPhotos.
    spammer likes this.
  15. Okay, so the fake (unless some hacking has happened) "admin" account that keeps trying to advertise dietary aids, for some reason specifically on this thread, and whom I've now reported twice, has now taken to "liking" everyone. I assume in an attempt to get everyone to look at their profile, which presumably contains more adverts.

    If there's a person behind it, please stop trying. This really isn't the place, the admins have better things to do, and all you're doing is annoying people. I trust everyone follows my strategy of actively avoiding products "advertised" in this manner. Just pay for a normal advert in the normal place like everyone else, and it might even get targeted.

    Site staff: I'm assuming it's still the same account so far, so could you lock it? After that, maybe block the ip? Or maybe you have, but we can't get rid of the "likes". Unless it's actually an admin account, in which case good luck tracking the hack, and I hope you'll tell us if there's any risk to our personal details.

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