Best HEIF (HEIC) to JPG workflow

Participant ,
Dec 29, 2017 Dec 29, 2017

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Hi all. What is the best workflow to get HEIC files out of Apple Photos and converted to JPG format that will maintain the best quality? They're currently on my Mac in Apple Photos as originals and on my iPhone as optimized.

My ultimate goal will be to merge the JPGs into LR Classic and manage them there.

Should I just import them into LRCC mobile or the desktop app and let it convert them to JPG automatically, or would the quality be better if I exported them from Apple Photos to JPG?

Lastly, in the future, should I continue to shoot HEIF on my phone or just shoot JPG if I don't want to shoot RAW? I've heard mixed reviews of HEIF, with some sites saying they're way better than JPG and others saying to stick with JPG. I thought HEIF would be more like a "compressed RAW" format, kind of like the Sony compressed RAW format, but after reading more about it, it seems more like a slightly better JPG format with a higher bit depth. Thanks for any help.

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Adobe Employee , Aug 22, 2018 Aug 22, 2018
Hi All,We're happy to announce the release of Lightroom Classic CC 7.5 & Lightroom CC 1.5.This update includes the support for HEIC image files on Windows platform.Here's the list of what's new in this release:Lightroom Classic CC 7.5: New features summary for the October 2017 and later releases of Lightroom Classic CC Lightroom CC 1.5: New features summary for the October 2017 and later releases of Lightroom CC across devicesLet us know if the update resolves the problem for those affected and ...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 29, 2017 Dec 29, 2017

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I would be surprised if Adobe doesn't support the new format sometime soon. At the moment, I have no clue what way is best for conversion. However, if you have an iPhone, the very best way to shoot is to shoot raw in the Lightroom CC app on your phone and have the dng files sync straight into Lightroom.

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Advocate ,
Dec 29, 2017 Dec 29, 2017

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I agree with Jao vdl - -

HEIC (a spinoff of HEVC) is quite new to the file format scene.

Problems and confusion abound.

I, for one, will just wait until the dust settles then give it some testing.

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New Here ,
May 16, 2018 May 16, 2018

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Some online tools can easily be identified as malware when you convert HEIL to JPG,that what i've been through , don't waste time and energy, a effective tool will do better than them .like this

How to Convert HEIC to JPG Format on Windows 10/8/7 in 3 Ways

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New Here ,
Feb 27, 2018 Feb 27, 2018

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This is what has worked for me on Windows 10 and my iPhone until there is native support:

  1. Create a new HEIC_CONVERSION folder somewhere outside of your current photo directory structure. You'll want to back these up, but they don't necessarily need to get mixed in with your other photos unless your tools support them.  At some point, you'll probably delete the jpg versions that we are creating, so keeping them separate will reduce the confusion later
  2. Connect the phone via cable and use any tool to copy files from Pictures into a new subfolder in your HEIC_CONVERSION called ORIGINALS somewhere outside of your your current photo directory structure.
  3. If the photos are *ALL* HEIC, then you don't need to separate them.  However, if you are like me and have a phone partially filled with HEIC and non-HEIC photos (and videos, more on that later), then you don't really want to re-process the non-HEIC files.  Youll need to use a tool to determine if the files are HEIC or not.  Fortunately for images, the file extension is '.heic', so those are easy to identify.  For HEVC (videos), the filename extensions are all .mov, so you'll need to another tool.  Quicktime Player has a menu that is easy to access called "Show Movie Inspector" that will tell you if the video is H264 or H265/HVEC.  If you don't know the date when your device changted over to HVEC, you'll need to poke around with various dates to find exactly which video is the first HVEC.  After you find it, copy/move that file and all subsequent files to a new folder under HEIC_CONVERSION.  It's easier if you create separate folders for images and video, so I created 2 subfolders called HEIC_ORIGINALS and HEVC_ORIGINALS.
  4. Now that you have HEIC files all by themselves, youll want to convert them.  I use the free iMazing HEIC converter.  It only accepts a single folder as input, and will output to a single folder.  I created a new subfolder called HEIC_to_JPG for the output.
  5. For HEVC files, use Handbrake to convert from H265/HEVC to H264.  There are lots of tutorials out there on this conversion process, so I won't repeat the steps here.  Essentially though, the default settings for H264 work well.  Creating a new output folder called HEVC_to_M4V keeps them separate.
  6. import new jpg and m4v files into Lightroom, etc for editing

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New Here ,
Mar 20, 2018 Mar 20, 2018

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I'm using a desktop app to convert the HEIC photos to JPG as I don't think it's safe to use online tools. The app is called Joyoshare HEIC Converter. The best part I love it is its ability to keep the original image quality in JPEG. BTW, it supports converting HEIC to PNG, GIF and other formats too. You can download the free version from its official site: https://www.joyoshare.com/heic-converter-for-mac/

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Explorer ,
Mar 31, 2018 Mar 31, 2018

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  1. Use Image Capture to import HEIC to HD
  2. Batch convert HEIC with Photoshop CC > File > Image Processor
  3. Import to Lightroom as per usual

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New Here ,
May 29, 2018 May 29, 2018

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I've been downloading HEIF files to my desktop, opening them in Preview, then batch saving them as JPEGs. It's a bit tedious, but it's a decent work around until Adobe and others begin to natively support HEIF files. I'm not sure if there's a similar work around for a PC.

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Adobe Employee ,
Jun 19, 2018 Jun 19, 2018

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Hi All,

We are happy to announce the release of Lightroom Classic CC 7.4 & Lightroom CC 1.4.

This update includes the support for HEIF image files on macOS High Sierra v10.13 or later.

Here's a list of what's new in this release:

New features summary for the October 2017 and later releases of Lightroom Classic CC

New features summary for the October 2017 and later releases of Lightroom CC across devices

Let us know if the update resolves the problem for those affected and share your feedback with us.

Regards,

Mohit

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New Here ,
Jul 23, 2018 Jul 23, 2018

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What about windows 10?!?!?!?

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New Here ,
Aug 13, 2018 Aug 13, 2018

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What Comptu said... what about Windows 10??? 

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Adobe Employee ,
Aug 22, 2018 Aug 22, 2018

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Hi All,

We're happy to announce the release of Lightroom Classic CC 7.5 & Lightroom CC 1.5.

This update includes the support for HEIC image files on Windows platform.

Here's the list of what's new in this release:

Lightroom Classic CC 7.5: New features summary for the October 2017 and later releases of Lightroom Classic CC

Lightroom CC 1.5: New features summary for the October 2017 and later releases of Lightroom CC across devices

Let us know if the update resolves the problem for those affected and share your feedback with us.

Regards,

Mohit

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New Here ,
Aug 31, 2018 Aug 31, 2018

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no, not helpful for those of us who don't have lightroom.  I have CS6.  Please provide a solution.

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LEGEND ,
Aug 31, 2018 Aug 31, 2018

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On iOS11 device settings may be set to “keep originals” but the preference can be changed to automatic.

Go to: Settings >> Photos >> Transfer to Mac or PC 

Choose “Automatic”

Images should then transfer as jpeg which could be used in CS6.

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Explorer ,
Aug 31, 2018 Aug 31, 2018

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Where there is a will there is a way, and vice versa. 

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Explorer ,
Oct 25, 2019 Oct 25, 2019

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Nope, not a solution... at all. 

A- if you don;t have Lightroom

B- inefficient workflow

Is it so hard to get HEIC support and not 3 dimensional coagulation of reverse inverse yaqua silly feature? Really, HEIC import = EASY and LOGICAL. Some other feature adds are ridiculously NOT needed by most... but importing from an iPhone certainly should count. 


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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 24, 2018 Jul 24, 2018

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You can also use Bridge to batch save the HEIFs as jpgs.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 26, 2021 Oct 26, 2021

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I tried that, because that's my usual workflow. But it converted all my high-res HEIC files into low-res JPG files - even though my setting were to convert them at the highest quality level and 100% size.

 

In the end, I had to just open all the HEIC's thru Photoshop and set up an Action to save them as full-res JPGs.

 

Really inefficent.  🙂   I hope a Bridge solution can be perfected soon!

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New Here ,
Nov 22, 2018 Nov 22, 2018

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You can access Apowersoft's free online resource, which allows you to convert the HEIC format to JPG.

Step 1: Visit their website www.apowersoft.com.

Step 2: Select the Convert from HEIC to JPG function.

Step 3: You can download the desktop version or select the HEIC file to be converted.

In addition, there are many very good heic converter tools.

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Explorer ,
Sep 28, 2019 Sep 28, 2019

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Can I convert HEIC files to DNG files? Right now there are so many (very good file formats, anyway) but I am working with CR2’s (Canon raw files), DNG (iPhone raw files with Adobe CC app), TIFF, Jpeg’s, PNG’s....adding one more like HEIC’s will probably create confusion in the future, so to limit raw files to CR2 and DNG would be preferred in my opinion...

Now that I dont have too many HEIC’s for the time being, it would then be fairly easy to convert those to another format, and for the future to avoid the HEIC’s if possible...

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Participant ,
Sep 28, 2019 Sep 28, 2019

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Hi. Yes and no. It doesn't look like the DNG converter will do it, but I was able to export the HEIC files in LR Classic to DNG format.

 

I just downloaded the DNG conveter from Adobe but got the error "The source folder does not contain any supported camera raw files" when I pointed it to my test folder with a few HEIC files that were taken with my iPhone.

 

However, I can successfully import HEIC files into LR Classic (version 8.4.1, Camera Raw, 11.4.1) and then immediately export them as DNGs. When I exported them from LR, the exported files had my test Metadata like keywords & copyright info embedded in them.

 

It wouldn't be difficult at all to create an export preset that would export all the HEICs to a new folder and then automatically re-import them back into LR.

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Participant ,
Sep 28, 2019 Sep 28, 2019

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Your post actually got me thinking converting to DNG might not be a bad way to go. I prefer to shoot HEIC on my iPhone when I use the default camera app and was trying to come up with a good workflow. Converting to DNG might be the way.

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New Here ,
Jan 13, 2020 Jan 13, 2020

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I was looking for a solution for a long time. So to say I am using my iPhone for taking photos as well. But the .Heic Format is makes me mad. I mean it has a really good, quality but I need to edit it, more than that I need to convert it to JPEG, so that's why I was looking for a good editor that could make a good conversion. I saw on other forums people were speaking about www.softorbits.com/convert-heic-to-jpeg/ I am using it too, for now. To be honest, this app is doing all necessary stuff pretty good and fast, no quality loss and fast conversion, Don't know if this app will be a good solution for you as well, but at least I've tried

 

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Participant ,
Jan 21, 2020 Jan 21, 2020

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I think it is useless to convert CR2 files (14bit colors) to HEIC (8bit color, like JPEGs) directly. RAW files offer a much wider bandwith of correcting Lights, Shadows, Colors, Gradation etc.

If you convert a RAW file, any correction – even a standard correction – is fixed in a small text file, called *.xmp. HEIC converters do not include these corrections, so most RAW files (...and DNG files), according to my experience, show bad colors or contrast when converted directly to HEIC. So I convert RAW files to high quality JPEGs, then convert these to HEICs and delete the JPEGs. I might safe some space, as HEICs are 40-50% of hiQ JPEGs size. As I save the RAW files (which are about 23 MB for a 20 MPix camera, a DNG might amount to 50 MB!) plus the compessed JPEGs, the savings are small. However, I realized that there are less of the inevitable JPEG artefacts occurring when you open, process and store HEICs repeatedly.  

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New Here ,
Jan 21, 2020 Jan 21, 2020

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I just read Woodley's post, and that was never my intention to convert CR2 raw files to HEIC...no, I would prefer contiue to process and convert CR2s and DNGs in Adobe CameraRaw and then to TiFF and jpegs subsequently by opening them in Photoshop...

My query occurred since I discovered that some images taken with my iPhone 6s (up to previously six months ago) and now iPhone 8 provided me with HEICs somehow, and since I almost always only take iPhone pictures via the Lightroom (CC) app in my iPhone and thus get DNG raw files. To convert CR2s and/or DNGs to HEIC would not be practical for me...yet another file format to work with would probably only create confusion at times.

No, instead convert HEICs to DNGs would be practical (if possible) to minimize the number of file formsts.

I hope I made my opinion more clear now...

/B

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