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How to Compress RAW Files and Save Space With Rawsie (Losslessly)

Rawsie is an application that allows you compress your RAW files, without loosing image quality. This can save you time, as well as up to 80% of drive space. The app is very user friendly and can work in tandem with your favourite programs such as Lightroom and any others that support the .DNG file format.

It sounds like magic, and for those of us who aren’t software engineers, it kind of is. That being said Rawsie could really benefit photographers who find themselves constantly filling up external hard-drives. Rawsie calculates that if you are averaging 60,000 raw photos a year, those photos would take 15 drives at four terrabytes (4TB) each. With compression, Rawsie claims you could use just three. 

Rawsie is currently available for macOS, though there’s good news for PC users: a waiting list is available on the site. The pricing model has a variety of packages to choose from; free, subscription, and a one-time fee. The no-cost option allows you to compress 30 photos a day, with no commitment or entering credit card information. The pay-to-play options offer the same perks: unlimited use, free updates and new cameras added regularly.

Not all cameras work with Rawsie. I've listed the current models at the bottom of the article, but check with Rawsie for up-to-date details about support for your camera.

How to Compress Raw Photos With Rawsie

One of the best things about this app is how it easily fits into your workflow, even allowing you to compress straight from camera. The software is very straightforward and offers a nice user experience that easily integrates with your existing tools, but with all the perks of dealing with a much smaller file size.

Let’s do a walk-through of the process, so head over to Rawsie and download the version you’d like to try. Note that Rawsie also works with the Lightroom catalogue system, but we're going to demonstrate using the stand-alone process in this tutorial.

Ingest

Open the app and you’ll be presented with two cards, as in the image below. Select Optimize Individual Raw Files. To locate your images you can hit Browse and navigate, or simply drop them from the finder onto the app.

Next, select your output options. Your output options allow you to choose where the compress filed end up on your computer.

Save Compressed Files

If you use culling software, like Photo Mechanic, check Full-size Previews, and Rawsie will build full-sized previews of your images. This significantly speeds up image loading for your review process.

Under  Save compressed to, choose a folder for where you keep your pictures. If you want to save the compressed files back to the same folder your originals, choose Original Location Subfolders. Rawsie will create a subfolder for the compressed file in the same folder as the originals.

Move Originals

Move originals allows you to do something clever. If you put the settings at Original Subfolders Rawsie will, bear with me, create a subfolder in the same folder where your originals were kept, and move the original files there after processing them. The new, smaller, speedier files take the place of the originals, and the originals are nicely organized next to where they were from the start, if you need them.

Then hit start and you are good to go! Rawsie really is that easy to use!

Camera Compatibility

As mentioned above, Rawsie has a growing catalogue of compatible cameras. As of publication, here are the camera models that are currently available:

SONY

a9 II, a6100, a7R IV, a6400, a7 III, a7R III, a9, a6500, a99 II, a6300, a7R II, a7S II, RX1R II, a7 II

CANON

EOS R6, EOS R5, EOS RP, EOS R, 6D Mark II, 5D Mark IV, 1D X Mark II, 5DS R, 5DS, 7D Mark II, 1D X, 5D Mark III, 5D Mark II

NIKON

Z7 II, Z6, Z7, D850, D5, D4, D750, D810, D800, D800E, D700

FUJI

GFX 50S, GFX 50R

DJI

Mavic Pro 2

Thanks for following along! We hope you enjoy your experience with Rawsie.

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