Google photos doing weird things with raw files.....

THis may have always been the case but I can’t really recall. Normally I have all my photos on my Pixel 3a get uploaded to Onedrive. I often have it set to shoot raw and Jpg …its the only way to get a raw file it won’t only shoot raw…I understand it does a lot of computational stuff. Over Christmas I have noticed when I go in to Google photos which also has my photos as the phone is a Google product. I thought in the past it uploaded all my pictures normally but now it uploads a jpg which seems to be quite small …exif says approx 4:2:0 and says its about 90% and it uploads a low resolution DNG file. WHen I download the DNG it downloads a jpg so to me this looks like they are uploading the jpg preview from the dng however still calling it a DNG and when you download it you get this JPG file…on my phone the DNG file is 13-16 MB while the ones on Google photos are 500K. Up until now I had been relying on this as a bit of a back up at least for keepsakes from my phone but I would like to be able to save higher quality JPG and understand what is going on with raw files. The pixel comes up occasionally and tells me all my photos are safely on the cloud do i want to clean up space…if I do this I will need to grab those raw files manually or if this current process continues I would lose that original DNG file…mostly just curious if any other pixel users have noticed any thing…I know a lot has happened recently Android 11 new photo app and new regulations on storage…

Is your backup set to high or original quality? Note that if you change it from high to original the syncing probably won’t update the files already in the cloud.

thanks for your comments yeah it is set to high but that’s not a change it just seems like there was some weird things going on but I think maybe now I’ve taken a few more pictures just to test it and look and and it’s behaving properly again so im not sure what the reason for it but maybe I was experimenting with some of the camera modes and I wonder if the multiple HDR exposures just were giving it grief or my phone was acting up or who really knows but it was strange for sure Thx

I am going to temporarily set it to original just to see…I know that Google says that setting to high will reduce quality a little bit but I think this is more aggressive than I remember. For sure even thought it says files will be capped at 16 MB on high…my DNG are not normally bigger than that and they are being saved now in a 500 K file “DNG” file that downloads back out as a 500K jpg…?? And the JPG on my phone is 3.4 MB and only 1.6 on Google Photos…that is far more aggressive than I remember and I can’t find any setting that I have changed and my phone is set to full res captures so I guess maybe this is the new norm??

On my phone they are as expected…

and the DNG shot with open camera was 24MB…maybe a higher quality embedded jpg with that…

I guess I will have to change the setting and do a systematic check

There was a recent thread “Apple pro raw image support?” on the IM forums: https://github.com/ImageMagick/ImageMagick/discussions/3060

IM was told to read DNG files, IMG_0017.DNG etc, supposedly “Apple pro raw images, taken with an iPhone 12 pro max”. It turned out that these files weren’t DNG files, but JPEG files with the wrong extension.

I don’t know what created those files, but beware: some software somewhere creates DNG files that are really JPEG files.

Sounds like Google extracted the preview image or trimmed the raw data and left the JPG intact. To confirm my theory, I downloaded a sample Pixel 3a raw file to extract the JPG: sure enough it was <1 MB.

Well I will continue to monitor this but the issue was when my pixel flagged me to clear up space that my images were safely stored on the cloud I thought okay sure why not…I had not noticed previously this sort of manipulation…I know now to manually extract them from the phone to avoid this…usually they sync to onedrive and that is not a problem but one or two groups of photos I took had not…ah …live and learn…thanks for your comment…funny thing I took a raw shot with open camera and it was 24 MB…much larger than the ones created by Google camers…I will have to look at the difference…maybe they have a higher quality embedded preview??