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Where Are RAW Files Stored and How to Save to SD Card

For mobile phone photographers, RAW + JPG is a great combination in some conditions, but it is not easy for newbies to get started without learning how to take RAW image with mobile phone. The inquiry below is one example: 
I like raw image files. I opted for saving both a jpg and a raw image file in the camera app. However in Gallery I only seem to see the jpg. If I go into files and look there is only one image file. Are the jpg and raw files stored in the same place? How come I don't see both?

Why Can't I Find RAW Images on My Phone?

You have enabled "Save as RAW file" in camera app, but it turns out to be no RAW image in Gallery after capturing. Two possibilities may cause the problem:

*You are not shooting in Pro mode, which means RAW image is not saved.

*There is no RAW image in Gallery, but actually existing in phone memory. That's because the Gallery app on your phone don't support displaying RAW, or DNG more specifically. 

For the first cause, just keep in mind that you should enter Pro mode in order to shoot pictures in RAW format. For the latter, however, you should find where the RAW files are stored in your phone, and then learn how to view them with your phone or a computer.

Related: How to open and view RAW image with Windows computer

Where Are RAW Files Stored on Android Phone?

Currently, almost all mobile phones save RAW files as well as the JPG companions in phone internal memory, which can shorten the time to save big-size RAW photos. The exact path is DCIM > Camera. Only if you don't shoot in Pro mode or turn off RAW option, the setting for storing JPG files to external storage would apply. It is fixed for stock camera app. Though there are several workarounds, it is not necessary that the result would be perfect to go.

How to Save RAW Images to External SD Memory Card?

The quality of RAW image is cool, but the size is not. Many people are seeking a way to save RAW images to SD card since the internal memory is limited. As a matter of fact, there are several methods to do that.

*Use third-party camera apps

Open Camera, for example, allows users to save images, including RAW photos, to SD card. Please refer to the FAQ here for the instruction for different Android versions. However, as we all know, it is slower to save and access files on SD card than internal memory. Additionally, the size of RAW is bigger than JPG, which means it might take longer to save our shoots and we may miss some scenes.

*Format SD card as internal storage

Since Android 6.0 Marshmallow, Android allows us to format inserted SD card as adoptable storage so that the internal storage is actually expanded. Please do a search on Google for the guide for your device. The only drawback may occur in the future, when you want to view the files in the SD card without the mobile phone, neither another phone nor a PC will be able to access it. Therefore, you should back up the files regularly. 

*Move RAW images to SD card or other external storage manually

Obviously, you'll have to do much work if choosing this option, but it is not that bad. By moving the files you don't urgently need to external storage, like SD card, PC, or hard drive, you can not only free up a great amount of space, but also make backup for important data. 


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