RAW Power for Mac FAQ


Which OS versions is RAW Power compatible with?

The most recent version on the Mac App Store is compatible with High Sierra, Mojave and Catalina. When RAW Power 3.0 ships, it will support Mojave and Catalina only.


Is there a User Manual for RAW Power?

You can find the manual for RAW Power in the Help menu of the app.


Is my camera supported by RAW Power?

RAW Power includes support for a very large number of cameras because it uses the RAW engine built into macOS. The list of supported cameras (and any limitations) can be found here: macOS Catalina and macOS Mojave and macOS High Sierra.


Do you support DNG?

Yes. RAW Power supports DNG, including linear DNG files and iPhone RAW files. However, some DNGs from drones and a few unusual DNGs are not supported as is. To check to see if your DNGs will work, open them in Apple’s Preview application. If they work in Preview, then RAW Power also supports them. If they are not supported, you can use Adobe’s DNG Converter to batch-convert them to a version of DNG supported by RAW Power. You can download DNG Converter at: Adobe DNG Converter. For more information on performing this batch conversion, please contact us on our support page.


Can RAW Power 2.0 replace Aperture?

RAW Power today will not meet your needs for an Aperture replacement. However, as RAW Power evolves, it will meet the needs of more and more Aperture users. For example, when RAW Power 3 is released, you could move your Aperture library to Photos and then use RAW Power as a management and editing interface. You then get iCloud Photos support, as well as support for the newer cameras that Aperture doesn’t. Brushing will also be added in a future release.


Can RAW Power heal or clone?

The app currently does not have a clone or repair tool. Both are planned for the future. Clone may arrive before Repair, as creating a new Repair algorithm requires some research.


Can I open my Photos or Aperture libraries in RAW Power?

RAW Power 2.0 does not support Photos or Aperture libraries. Apple has added the ability for 3rd party apps like RAW Power to access a Photos library in Catalina. To that end, I’m adding support for Photos libraries in RAW Power 3.0 (in development now). Aperture libraries would be supported once they are converted / upgraded to Photos libraries. Apple does not allow apps to do anything they want to the library. Since iOS already offers this feature for apps, you could look at RAW Power for iOS as a good example of what will be possible.


Does RAW Power 2.0 support albums?

The standalone app today is a file browser, which views files that are visible in the Finder (in folders and what not). It doesn’t create albums or other synthetic constructs. The organization features in RAW Power 3.0 will be what Photos allows, which are albums and folders. There is a sidebar in both Photos and RAW Power.


Can the app show multiple images at the same time (“n-up”)?

RAW Power does not currently have the ability to show more than one image at a time (other than in the grid view). This is planned for the future.


Can RAW Power on the Mac send directly to Mail?

RAW Power on Mac doesn’t have a share function, but it’s something I will add sometime soon. It has an export function instead.


I have the standalone app. How do I get the extension?

The standalone RAW Power and extension are combined into a single application package. If you double-click the app, you have the standalone app. If you go into Photos, edit an image and click the … button you can select the extension.


What limitations are in the RAW Power for Mac Trial?

The trial is fully functional with no time limits. There are two main differences: the trial does not include the extension and exports are watermarked. The purpose of the trial is to let people see the workflow in the standalone app and evaluate the editing features. The trial doesn’t include the extension because if you later buy the app, you would have two extensions (trial and regular). MacOS doesn’t like that and will often pick the wrong extension (and there is no interface in macOS to let you pick a different). Now, if you delete the trial, then you’re fine, but many people don’t do that and then problems ensue. 


How do I buy the app if I like what I see in the trial?

Because the App Store doesn’t allow trials, the trial is a separate download. If you want to buy the app, you go to the App Store and purchase it there.


Is there a way to get Aperture to run on Catalina?

There are ways to get Aperture running on Catalina, but I cannot speak to how well Aperture runs in that situation. Here is a link to what one person has done: 


What are the licensing rules for RAW Power?

As an App Store app, these are the licensing rules set by Apple:

You can use it on as many of your computers as you like, for personal use. Each computer has to be signed into the same App Store account.

For professional, education, or government use, each user should have their own account and individually purchased copy.


Does RAW Power support lens correction?

Yes. Apple’s RAW Engine automatically corrects distortion and shading for cameras with fixed lenses (e.g., Sony RX100, Leica Q, etc.). It also corrects many images that have lens profile information stored in the RAW files (e.g, Fuji X-T20). It does not, however, have a general purpose lens correction feature.


How do I use the RAW Power Extension?

Once RAW Power is downloaded, you can enable the extension either in System Preferences > Extensions, or by clicking the More… button in the Extensions section of the Edit module of Apple Photos. Once RAW Power is enabled, you can pick it from the Extensions section of the Edit module of Apple Photos.


Where does RAW Power save its edits?

RAW Power is a fully non-destructive editor. In the standalone app, edits are saved to a sidecar file. The sidecar file is located in the application’s “sandbox folder,” rather than with the original image, because RAW Power is a sandboxed application. You can then quit RAW Power, reopen the image at a later date, and continue where you left off. When RAW Power runs as a Photos extension, the edits are saved to the Photos library. You can continue where you left off in this case as well, as long as you don’t use another extension (or Photos itself) to edit the image. This is a limitation of the Photos application.


How does non-destructive editing work in Photos?

I have written a detailed article about this on the TidBITs website. You can read it here


Why don’t I see a RAW Processing adjustment for my image?

RAW Processing only appears for RAW images — not for JPEGs, TIFFs or other image formats.

When using the Photos Extension, you may not see the RAW Processing adjustment even if your original is a RAW. That is because the Photos app will send a JPEG to the extension if the image was previously edited in Photos. Edits in Photos include anything in the Edit module, including Auto Enhance, Crop, Rotate, and Filters. To avoid this problem, press the Revert to Original button in Photos before using RAW Power.

The Photos Extension will indicate this situation with a yellow triangle in the toolbar as shown below. This triangle does not appear in the standalone application.


When should I use Boost?

There are two reasons to use Boost. The first reason is to get the best results for over-exposed images. For those images, decrease the value of Boost to 0.5 or less before using other sliders like Exposure or Recovery. This will allow you to minimize the amount of Exposure or Recovery you need to apply, keeping the image bright. The second reason to use Boost is to get a flatter-looking (more “raw”) image before adding adjustments like Saturation.


What are the circles right above the histogram?

Those circles light up whenever there is pixel data being clipped in that channel (brighter than can be displayed). There are indicators for red, green, and blue. If you click on any of the red, green, and blue circles, it engages the “hot pixels” feature for that channel only. Clicking on the gray circle shows hot and cold pixels, where red means a pixel is clipped in red, green, or blue, and where blue means a pixel is black (0.0 in all three channels).


Is there a way to quickly zoom in and out?

Pressing the “z” key will toggle between 100% zoom and zoom to fit. You can also double-click on the image to do the same thing.


What does Recovery do?

Recovery works like “selective exposure.” It affects the brightest areas but without touching the shadows or midtones.


What is the best way to use the White Balance Sampler?

It’s best to identify a reasonably-sized area in your image that should be a neutral gray. Don’t pick a bright white area.


What is the difference between RAW Sharpen and the Sharpen adjustment?

RAW Sharpen (found in the RAW Fine Tuning adjustment) is a subtle sharpener that works as part of the RAW decoding itself. The Sharpen adjustment is a luminance-oriented sharpener that runs after decoding, but still operates on the linear data found in RAW files.


What do the Linear / Gamma and Luminance / Equal RGB controls in Curves do?

The label of the buttons indicates the current state of the control, so if you see “Linear”, then Curves is operating in a Linear mode, but if you see Gamma, then Curves is processing in a gamma-corrected mode. This is also true for the Luminance / Equal RGB button.

RAW Power works with floating point, linear pixel data. If you choose Linear for Curves, then Curves will manipulate the linear pixel data as is. If you choose Gamma, then Curves will gamma-correct the pixels, apply the curve, and then undo the gamma-correction (so the pixel data is converted back into linear values).

Equal RGB means that the Combined curve will apply changes to the Red, Green, and Blue components of each pixel equally. This will affect any tint the image has. However, if you choose Luminance, then the Combined curve will modify the luminance value of each pixel, and will not affect the tint.


What does Show Overlays do in Curves?

When checked, Show Overlays displays the red, green, and blue curves along with the combined curve (when you are looking at the Combined curve). It doesn’t do anything when you are just looking at the red, green, or blue curves. This feature allows you to see at a glance how all four curves are applied.


Are there any tutorial videos for RAW Power?

Yes. There are tutorials on YouTube at the Gentlemen Coders Channel