In order for you to view raw images, PhotoRaw must first import them. When PhotoRaw imports an image, three things happen:

  1. The image is demosaiced, and converted to RGB for display;
  2. The image is sharpened, in accordance with the sharpening settings (you can change these settings by going to the settings screen). Note: You can't change sharpening once an image has been imported; the only way to change sharpening is to re-import the image (iPhones and iPads don't have the processing power to sharpen raw images in real-time);
  3. The image is converted into PhotoRaw's internal format - this format is optimized for efficient display on iOS devices.

Note: If an image import fails, you will see a yellow warning icon next to the image. Touch the Information button (i) to get more information on the reason for the failure.

How to import images

Getting images into PhotoRaw is really a two step process - first you need to get image onto the iPhone or iPad, and then you need to import the image into PhotoRaw. There are three basic ways to do this:

  • Use PhotoRaw to open an image file in another app. If an app supports document transfers to other apps, you can just touch on a raw file in that app - for example, in Mail or file sharing apps such as DropBox. You will then be presented with the option to open the file in PhotoRaw. See below for an example of how to use PhotoRaw in conjunction with DropBox
  • Import images from the Photo Album. You can import files from the Photo Album by using PhotoRaw's Import button (top left of the main screen). Typically you get files into the Photo Album via the Apple Camera Connection kit - see the discussion below. Note: If your device asks about allowing access to location or location services, answer "Yes". This is iOS's way of asking for access to the Photo Album. If you have already answered "No" to the Location Services prompt, see this page. 
  • Import images loaded from a Eye-Fi Wireless SD Card. In order to import from an SD card, this must be enabled in preferences. The images must then be imported into the iOS camera roll via Eye-Fi. One this is done, Eye-Fi imports will appear separately in PhotoRaw's import screen.
  • Transfer images via the "File sharing" options in iTunes. PhotoRaw supports transfers from iTunes. Simply select your device in iTunes, then select it's Apps screen. At the bottom of the Apps screen is a File Sharing section. Simply transfer your images files into PhotoRaw. Note: PhotoRaw will not begin converting files transferred from iTunes until the main (library) screen displays. If the library screen is already displayed, switch to another screen momentarily (e.g., the help screen) to trigger the import process.

Note: Do not use the iTunes "Sync Photos" function to transfer images that you intend to use with PhotoRaw. The "Sync Photos" function converts raw files to low resolution JPEG images prior to transferring them to your device. Only the iTunes "File Sharing" function transfers the full raw file.

Note: Import operations can, depending on file size, take up to several minutes. While the import operation is ongoing, the activity indicator for the file will be displayed.

Working with Apple's Camera Connection Kit

Apple's Camera Connection Kit allows you to import images either from an SD card, or from a camera connected via USB. 

Note: You will not be able to import images from an SD card via the Apple Camera Connection kit unless the camera in question is supported by Apple. You will still be able to import images into PhotoRaw via any of the alternate means - email, iTunes file sharing, via file sharing programs such as DropBox, etc. For a current list of cameras that are supported by the Apple Camera Connection Kit, see the supported cameras page on the Apple site.

In order to use PhotoRaw with the Camera Connection Kit, follow these steps:

  1. First use your device's Photo Album to import the images into the device Photo Album;
  2. Then use PhotoRaw's import button to import the images from the Photo Album to PhotoRaw.

Working with File Sharing Apps such as DropBox

File sharing apps such as DropBox are a convenient way to transfer images to PhotoRaw. This example applies to DropBox, but most other file sharing apps behave in a very similar fashion.

Firstly, install the file sharing app on both your PC, Mac or laptop, and on your iPad or iPhone.

Then add the image file you want to transfer to the shared folder on your PC, Mac or laptop. Open the file sharing app on your device, and wait for the file to download. Then simply touch the export button, as shown in the screenshot (don't be concerned about any "Unable to view file" messages - that's what PhotoRaw is there for). The file sharing app will offer you the option of opening the image file in PhotoRaw. Select that option, and PhotoRaw will begin the import process.