January 4, 2019

Photopea 4.0 – NEF, CR2 and ARW support!

New release of Photopea is here! It has 68 161 lines of code. Play with it at the main site.

New features

  • Support for Nikon .NEF format
  • Support for Canon .CR2 format
  • Support for Sony .ARW format
  • Step back with Ctrl+Z (holding Shift is optional)
  • Improved API - better integration with an outer environment
  • Several bugs fixed

RAW formats

Many modern digital cameras allow storing a picture in a so-called raw format. We introduced the support of the open DNG raw format in Photopea more than a year ago.

We can think of the DNG format as a "JPG for raw images". A lot of progress has been made in camera technology, we have bigger resolutions, improved color quality and better photos in general. But both the old and the new cameras store images in the versatile JPG format, which is widely supported by many kinds of devices and software. We can be sure, that our 20-year-old JPG photo will work well in modern programs, and our todays photos will work in programs of the future.

The DNG format was designed to be equally versatile format for raw images. It is an open format, that can be adapted by any manufacturer for free. By using DNG, we can guarantee, that any raw image will work in any raw software, even if they were created in different decades (as it is true for JPG). The DNG format has been adapted by Leica, Hasselblad, Ricoh, Pentax, Casio and some smartphones (Samsung, LG, Motorola, Sony, OnePlus).

However, currently the biggest camera makers - Nikon, Canon and Sony - use their own "secret" formats instead. E.g. the Canon's CR2 format is not publicly described anywhere, so only Canon can guarantee, that their software will process CR2 files correctly. They probably do so to keep users dependent on their software, and prevent them from using any alternatives. One needs Canon software to view photos from Canon cameras, Nikons software to view photos from Nikon, Olympus software to view photos from Olympus, etc.

The open-source community has done a big effort to understand the meaning of Ones and Zeros in CR2 and NEF files. Today, programs like Darktable and Rawtherapee can open many CR2, NEF and ARW files.

Starting today, Photopea can open CR2, NEF and ARW files, too. It can probably open 95% of such files, and it will take some time to get to 100%. Try it out and if your file does not work, send it to us! :)