A Complete Guide to Converting RAW to PNG

April 01, 2024Ashley Mae

Get some RAW pictures and want to convert them to PNG while persevering the source high quality? RAW and PNG are two popular image formats, each catering to different needs. This article explores their characteristics and tells how to convert RAW to PNG with three different methods.


Part 1. RAW vs. PNG and Why Convert RAW to PNG

RAW (Raw Image Format) files are unprocessed data captured directly by a camera sensor. They contain all the information the sensor recorded. RAW offers the highest potential image quality and flexibility for editing later. They are typically larger and require conversion to a more common format like JPEG or PNG for sharing or editing with most software.

PNG (Portable Network Graphic) is a lossless image format that adopts compression to reduce file size while preserving the original image data. PNG is widely supported by most software. Moreover, it offers transparency. That can be ideal for graphics with transparent backgrounds. However, compared to RAW, it has a lower color depth and offers less flexibility for editing.

Why Convert RAW to PNG

While RAW offers higher image quality and more editing potential, there are situations where converting it to PNG might be necessary.

Due to their large image size, RAW files are not suitable for sharing or posting on social media and email. Converting RAW to PNG allows for a smaller file size while maintaining good quality.

RAW files can cost lots of storage space on your device. Changing them to PNG can help save storage, especially for large collections of images. If you only need some basic adjustments and don't require extensive editing controls, PNG can be a better choice.

Moreover, not all software supports RAW viewing and editing directly. Converting RAW to PNG ensures compatibility with various image viewers and editing software.

Part 2. How to Convert RAW to PNG Without Losing Image Quality

RAW files are not standardized, and they may vary significantly depending on the camera manufacturer and model. Aiseesoft Video Converter Ultimate is equipped with the necessary decoders to interpret and process the unique information stored within each RAW file. Its specially designed Image Converter can easily handle RAW image processing.

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Step 1.
Download the RAW to PNG converter software and launch it. Click the More Tools tab and open its Image Converter. Click + to import your RAW files. Besides RAW, this image converter can convert ARW, JPG, JPEG, BMP, TIF, and WEBP.
Image Converter MAC VCU
Step 2.
Select PNG from the drop-down menu of Convert All to. You can click the Output Settings button to customize Zoom and Quality. After that, select a suitable destination folder and click the Convert All button.
Convert RAW to PNG VCU

The introduced RAW to PNG converter offers many other useful video, audio, and image editing/converting functions. While the software boasts a wide range of format conversions, it is primarily designed for video and audio files.

Part 3. How to Turn RAW into PNG Using Adobe Photoshop

Many popular photo editing software options like Adobe Photoshop, GIMP, and Lightroom offer RAW conversion capabilities. You can compare their features and choose one that best suits your needs and budget. This part tells how to convert RAW to PNG in Photoshop.

Step 1.
Launch Photoshop and add the RAW files you want to convert. You can adjust various settings in the Camera Raw window. Also, you can explore control aspects, detail adjustments, and other options to improve the overall appearance and quality of your RAW image.
Step 2.
Once you are satisfied with the adjustments (or if you want to keep the original RAW data), go to the File menu and choose the Export option. In the Export dialog, choose PNG from the Preset dropdown menu. You can optionally adjust various output settings like Quality, Interlaced, and Color Depth. Click Export and choose a filename and location for your converted PNG file.
Photoshop Export Menu

Part 4. How to Change RAW Files to PNG with Free Online Converters

Several free online RAW converters are available. These websites allow you to upload your RAW files and choose PNG as the output format. However, you should be cautious about uploading sensitive data to unknown websites. Ensure the converter has a good reputation and security practices before using it.

Convert RAW to PNG Online with CloudConvert

Navigate to the specific CloudConvert RAW to PNG Converter page. Click Select File to choose the RAW file you want to convert. CloudConvert may have limitations on file size for free conversions. Be sure to check their terms and pricing if your files exceed the free limit.

CloudConvert RAW to PNG Online

Ensure the output format is PNG and click the Convert button. This free online RAW to PNG converter offers various conversion options. You need to proceed cautiously, especially with a free account. If you want to convert RAW to JPG, you also can use this tool.

Convert RAW to PNG Online with ZAMZAR

Visit Zamzar’s RAW to PNG website and click Choose Files to upload your RAW file. Click Convert Now to start the RAW processing. Once the conversion is complete, Zamzar will provide a link to download the resulting PNG photo.

Convert RAW to PNG Online Zamzar

Part 5. FAQs of How to Convert RAW to PNG

How can I open RAW files without conversion on Windows?

There are two main options for viewing RAW files on Windows. You can use the Photos app with the RAW Image Extension. Download and install the free RAW Image Extension from the Microsoft Store. After installation, try opening your RAW file with the Photos app. What’s more, several free and paid RAW viewers offer fast and basic viewing of RAW files. Some popular options include FastRawViewer, IrfanView, and XnView MP.

Is PNG lossless as a RAW file?

Yes, PNG is considered a lossless image format, just like RAW. When you capture or save an image file in the PNG format, the source image data will be preserved without any discarding. But you should know that PNG applies lossless compression for smaller file sizes.

Why is RAW better than PNG?

RAW keeps the most image information and offers the highest potential quality. It typically stores data in 12 or 14 bits per channel. That allows for smoother color gradients and richer detail. However, due to the lack of compression, RAW files can be several times larger than PNG images. They need more storage space and additional processing.


Converting from RAW to PNG will lose some image data, potentially impacting the final quality. If you prefer the highest image quality and maximum editing freedom, RAW is the ideal option. However, if file size, sharing, or compatibility are major concerns, converting RAW to PNG might be the better choice.

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