Photo Transfer/Quality Issues

I’ve been having problems recently with transferring photos from my SD card to my computer. The photos are RAW images and are unable to be opened through my pc’s photo app, but even after installing the RAW photo extension from Microsoft and Lightroom, they still come out grainy and most of the photos are unable to even be added to my Lightroom editor. I have older RAW photos that can be opened without the extension or Lightroom with no problems, but for some reason my latest ones can’t. It’s really irritating because sending the photos to my phone diminishes their quality and the amount I can zoom in, so many times I have to resort to taking photos of the camera’s display screen, which also looks bad.

Just wondering if anyone knows of any workarounds regarding this? Would changing the image quality to L work? Are there any other extensions or apps I can try? For reference I have a Canon EOS 4000D. Sorry if this type of question is not allowed, I’ll take it down if so. Thank you!

Why do you send them to your phone?
Choose the highest quality, but they all should be opened in lightroom with no problems, could you please show an example of a grainy photo? Take screenshot of what you see, please.

I double checked and the quality is actually better now that I’ve closed and reopened the Lightroom app, before it would mess up the lighting and it was not very clear when slightly zooming. Regardless, I still can’t add most of my photos, it keeps giving me this error:

I transfer them to my phone because I can’t access most of them on my PC. If you know why this may be happening and a possible solution I will definitely try it. Thank you!

I think this error shows when files are damaged, at least in my practice, do you have another sd to try out?


What operating system are you using (Windows? Mac? I assume from the screenshot not Linux)

Despite your OS, here is my workflow for Canon

a) Ensure that Lightroom is closed
b) Plug in camera via USB
c) Download photos to PC using EOS Utility (I have the destination folder set in preferences)
d) Close EOS Utility
e) Open Lightroom, navigate to folder, choose import photos
f) Because you’re using RAW there are no adjustments made to the RAW file initially (unless you set things up) so they may seem grainy (for higher ISO shots) or not as sharp or as vibrant as they “should” be. This is the tradeoff you make when shooting RAW. You can set up auto adjustments on import though and there’s tutorials for that on the web. Personally I have an ISO dependent preset that applies noise reduction, sharpening, colour profile, sharpening and (C) metadata. I then sometimes tweak the photos further after all this auto stuff I have set up has been applied by LR…


A while back Canon changed their RAW encoding format and a lot of computers and software have had trouble with the newer CR2 format.

We had this problem in our office and found that Darktable (free, open source) didn’t have any problems with the CR2 format.

Eventually an update or converter for Windows came out and we are now able to open them in the native Windows viewing software, but it took some tracking to find one that worked. I’m not in the office right now, so I can’t dig up the specific piece of software that fixed the Windows integration issue.

For Photoshop and Lightroom we had the same problem, but eventually one of the Camera Raw updates fixed that. unfortunately, if you’re working with one of the older non-subscription versions of Photoshop you’re capped at what version of Camera Raw you are able to download, but that’s ok since the ones you can download handle the CR2 files just fine.


In my experience .CR3 are the bigger problem but I’ve never not had them not load (just the colours were all weird). Fortunately Adobe, Microsoft and Canon seem to have now sorted out whatever the issue was

When Canon made the switch to the newer version of CR2 we couldn’t open any of them, until we tracked down software that could.

Same thing when Sony came out wit the ARW format, although they were better about providing the software needed for your computer to use it. Still no good on Windows though, the default viewers don’t go full rez on it.

If Canon is now pushing their CR3 format, it would be utterly unsurprising if the same sorts of issues came up, and Canon is notoriously bad about coming out with the necessary software to integrate their RAW formats with computer OSs.

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Thank you, I don’t have a spare right now, but I’ll get one soon and test it out.

I’m using Windows 10 right now, not sure if that has any bearing on the steps you’ve provided.

Thank you for the detailed description! I need to get a new USB for my camera, which is why I’ve been using the SD recently. I’ll see if I can work around that with the SD for the time being and try the steps you’ve outlined.

Thank you! I actually just downloaded lightroom as a free trial because the RAW extension for windows is abysmal. The non-sub version may be causing the broken photos, so I will definitely check out Darktable, hopefully it will work out.

Not sure if this is related but when I received my Sony 7R two years ago I used the same workflow as I did previously. I would remove the SD card from the camera and download the ARW images from the SD card to my desktop. After transfer I would delete the files from the SD card using the delete on my desktop. When I loaded the SD card back into the camera, I would sometimes get error messages of the card not being recognized or sometimes the camera would refuse to take a picture.

After some research I discovered that deleting the files from the desktop was problematic. Since then I do not delete the files from the desktop. I now reformat the SD card after I insert it back into the camera. Since then I have had no issues.

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