I recently upgraded my GoPro HERO 3 black, to a new GoPro Hero 8 black.
One of the many new features available on the new GoPro's is to be able to shoot photos in RAW...
What is a RAW file?
A Raw file is like a digital negative, an unprocessed image. When you take a digital photo the camera has its own on board processor that will process your image according to how it is set by the manufacture or by the settings chosen by the photographer. This will make decisions on white balance, colour, contrast and sharpening, this limits how much data is left to edit your image afterwards.
Raw files are much larger than JPEG because of the amount of data available (approximately 5x the size), having all this extra data allows you can make all of the adjustments afterwards.
Whats the problem with GoPro RAW files?
Nothing really, but GoPro use The General Purpose Raw (GPR) which is a 12-bit raw image coding format that is based on Adobe DNG® standard. Because GoPro camera's have limited computing resources one of the trade-offs is GPR don’t contain an embedded preview JPG, many photo editing software programs that edit RAW rely on an embedded JPG preview.
GoPro recommends using “Adobe Camera Raw (ACR), version 9.7 or later, Adobe Photoshop Lightroom CC (2015.7 release or later) and Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 6 (version 6.7 or later).”
I still use an old version of Lightroom, Lightroom 5, this works well for me and the need to upgrade or join the monthly paid subscription service Adobe offer hasn't really appealed to me and its never cause me an issue, until I brought the GoPro HERO 8. The GPR files won't open in Lightroom 5 and after almost considering paying out for a newer versions or a subscription service I discovered I can convert the GPR files to DNG, and the advantages of this is, almost all photo editing programs can handle DNG files.
Download the Adobe DNG Converter
It is FREE and available for Windows and Mac - Download HERE
How to use the DNG converter
This is a very easy layout and super simple to use.
Specify compatibility preferences, for me using Lightroom 5, Camera Raw 7.1
(Camera Raw 7.1 and later: The DNG file will be readable by Camera Raw 7.1 (Photoshop CS6) and later, and Lightroom 4.1 and later.)
Upload all your GoPro GPR files into a New Folder eg "GoPro GPR", I personally then create another New Folder eg "GoPro DNG "
- Select Images to Convert - the folder with GPR files eg "GoPro GPR'
- Select location to save converted images - either Same location or New location, I use a new location, "Select Folder" find your folder with uploaded files eg "GoPro DNG"
- Select name for converted images - I leave as is, and file extension will already be set to .dng
- Preferences - Should be set from first set, make sure all is as you need