Instant JPEG From RAW Free Utility

We all supposed to shoot in RAW to get best result, or at least that is what is taught by all except guys like Ken Rockwell. RAW is the digital Negative, and JPEG is frowned upon as a inferior product as far as the purity of Information captured during Photography. But most of my friends don’t listen to my preaching that Raw is great. They shoot either with JPEG only or if I am around RAW + JPEG.

Let us see why JPEG is so favored. The file size is small, the generation of JPEG is fast, It does not need Post processing. It faithfully brings out the settings you dialed under saturation, contrast, color etc in the camera menu. You can fill lot of JPEGs per GB of card. So what is wrong with JPEG.

RAW on the other hand is huge and cumbersome. Needs post processing. It fills up your card fast. needs to be de-noised, sharpened and white balance corrected. So why shoot in RAW?

You will realize the potential of RAW once you shot using RAW. The information which is captured during shooting remains intact in Raw. Raw file is either 12 bit or 14 bit. So it will have more color information than JPEG which is 8it. Compression of JPEG is lossy, so if you start post processing JPEG file you will realize that resulting picture will be far inferior to that from a Raw. So if you want to post process shoot in Raw.

Most of my friends shoot both in RAW + JPEG. The reason they give is that that way they can give the JPEGs without post processing and when the need arises to do the post processing they have the RAW. What they don’t realize that this strategy is waste of space. Remember that there is an embedded JPEG within each raw file.

The ability to browse through raw files “instantly” in applications including BreezeBrowser, Irfanview, GarphicConverter, Adobe Camera Raw, Lightroom and scores of others, is still based, either fully or in part, on the ability to extract the embedded JPEG within each raw file. When we view the raw file in one of these applications, one of 2 things happens. Either we are in fact viewing the embedded JPEG based on the camera settings, or we briefly see the embedded JPEG, until the raw conversion software is able to create a new preview file based on the default (or adjusted) settings from within the specific raw application.

Instant JPEG From RAW Free Utility

IJFR - Running on a RAW file
IJFR - Running on a RAW file
IJFR – Running on a RAW file

OK. So I am here to tell you about a free utility that extracts this mighty embedded JPEG file from a RAW file. But how is that going to help you in your 2009workflow ? Well maybe it will and maybe it won’t, but I am hoping that for at least some of you, it will make your day (and that is a tough thing to do on the day after Photoshop CS4 was announced)!

Let’s take this typical fictitious example. I am doing a  shoot for a client. I have to make great pictures, under great pressure, but have to deliver a flash drive with large JPEG proofs immediately after the shoot, as well as email small JPEGs to a web gallery. Time is of the essence. Of course I shoot in raw format as I always do. Although I know that JPEG proofs will be required immediately after the shoot, I do not shoot in RAW+JPEG because it is much too slow and cumbersome and fills my card fast.

The shoot is done, the files are uploaded to my old laptop, and the client is extremely pleased but is impatiently waiting to leave with the proofs. There are many ways that the JPEGs could be created, but why create the JPEGs, when they already exist with the raw files? Here comes our The Instant JPEG from Raw workflow utility. It churns out all the JPEG needed from the whole bunch of Raw file in a very short time. So you have saved space on the Card plus have theJPEGs too. I creat2 2 sets of JPEGs one for the client and other smaller one for my web gallery. Whole creation takes less than a minute on my rickety laptop. Clint is happy so is the viewers of my web gallery.

IJFR - Running on a Folder of Raw files
IJFR - Running on a Folder of Raw files

I believe that IJFR is the fastest and easiest way to go from raw files to high quality proof files, especially on low powered machines and without involving running an application. What is great is that you can get JPEGs in various sizes too thus eliminating the resize work afterwords, so now you can have a JPEG with full 10-12 Mega pixel and one for the web at 800×600 pixel dimension.

The IJFR utility is available for Win or Mac OS, and is fast, simple, has a tiny footprint (uses very little disk space or RAM) and is free, and easy to have on all of your desktop and laptop machines, no matter how slow, or resource challenged. Download for free (but you need to sign in to get download link) from

3 thoughts on “Instant JPEG From RAW Free Utility”

  1. Maybe its outdated topic, but the software you recommended is great. Same goes for all the good stuff you posted at your website..

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