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Pix4DCapture Collecting Raw Imagery

Hi there,

I would like to know if there are any efforts being made towards enabling Pix4DCapture users to capture imagery in RAW format. I have seen this feature being requested as far back as 2015, and it’s unfortunate that no progress has yet been made. I understand this file format is not compatible with Pix4Dmapper, but for advanced users who first need to process their imagery, for example in Adobe Lightroom, having the ability to shoot in RAW is of significant value. 


If your processing data before end processing, it’s easy to do the transform in the pre-processing step.

This is part of my workflow already because like you the image data is used for more and in different ways than photogrammetric purposes.

In some sensor the option to collect in multiple formats simultaneously maybe possible.

Hi Adam and Gary,

At the moment it is not possible to capture RAW images with Pix4Dcapture because this image format is not compatible with our software, Pix4D Desktop. We only support .jpeg and .tif. However, we have forwarded this suggestion to our product team for the mobile application.


Thanks, but I my opinion there to many raw formats for Pix4D to support, Tiff’s and Jpg’s just fine.

Thanks for the reply.

I should have specified that this is an issue for me when using a DJI Phantom 4 to conduct photogrammetric surveys. Pix4Dcapture will only permit the user to save photographs in JPEG format. Even if the settings in DJI GO are changed to RAW or JPEG+RAW, Pix4Dcapture will ignore or override these settings. 

I believe it would be extremely beneficial to users if Pix4Dcapture allowed for a greater control over camera parameters in their Advanced Settings.



I don’t know why you stopped supporting RAW-s. From 7.2016 to 10.2016 I was using pix4 with Phantom 3 pro and the most important thing. All photos where saved as a JPEG+DNG not only JPG( 15k photos!!! ). You can say whatever you want about processing JPEGs but It is impossible recover details from highlights and shadows from JPEG files. That’s why I stopped using Pix4. 

Hi All,

As @Adam mentioned, at the moment we override the settings from DJI GO and we force the app to take .jpeg images. 

There are no news regarding this topic but rest assured that we have forwarded your request in order to be taken into account. 

Hi, how do I change PIX4D from capturing in RAW DNG to jpeg? I cant see the option.

RAW is great most of the time but when I want to process the images quickly it would be good to be able to swap to jpeg without having to convert the images all the time. 


At the moment it is not expected that you will be able to take images in RAW format. By default images are taken in .jpeg format. There is no option in the settings of Pix4Dcapture that would allow you to switch between formats. 

Also, you will need to convert RAW images to .jpeg or .tiff before processing the dataset with Pix4D desktop or cloud.


I am also a professional photographer.  There is far more shadow detail in raw images.  It should be trivial to allow the the drone to select RAW plus JPEG (like DJI GO).  You can the upload the jpegs at the end of flight, or I can choose to not upload automatically but to review and prepare images and provide optimized JPEGS or TIFFS made from the raw files before uploading to Mapper.  More work for me, but more control and the workflow I would prefer.

Key point here is this feature request does not negatively impact the mission, PIX4D and requires no development support for RAW files… simply allow me to select the drone mode of saving raw plus jpeg.  Only negative is requires more car space… not an issue.

There is simply no technical or marketing reason not to support this request.



Hi Mark,

We are aware that having the possibility to select RAW format for the pictures would be a nice functionality for Pix4Dcapture but software development is always subjected to last-minute changes especially in the field of cutting-edge technology and the developer’s team is not considering to implement it at the moment. However, I shared your needs with them so that they put a higher priority on this feature.

If really needed, I would suggest you to consider testing another third party mission planning application that can handle it.
If any progress, we will not miss the opportunity to communicate on this post updates.


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I am just testing your software, and am interested in purchasing the full version. However, I am very surprised that I cannot take the RAW images, That’s really a disappointment. I want to process the images myself. Hopefully the function comes soon. 

I want to process the images myself. Hopefully the function comes soon. 

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Really this conversation about possibility shooting pictures as a raw is … . Especially because in 2016 I was shooting pictures as a RAW+JPG using pix4D (Phantom 3 Pro) . So question is where is the problem? As a developer and designer can’t find any excuse for Dev Team. I’m still using DJI Drones but always I’m shooting pictures as a raw never as a jpg. I stopped using pix4d because at the moment is useless for me. It was a piece good software but after changes hmmmmm. Nearly year ago I bought UgCS license. In UgCS you can save pictures as a raw and UgCS has one big advantages. No waypoints limit. 

BTW DJI users please compare pure JPG and raw converted to JPG in different software than Adobe Camera Raw, you will see big difference. 

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Hi Gaël,

Having following this issue for some time now, I really have to agree with Mark and Rob. I simply cannot understand the technical nor marketing rationale behind Pix4D’s decision to not provide the ability to save images in RAW format. The fact his feature has been requested since 2015 demonstrates that there is in fact a need for it. I would really like to hear from someone on the development team directly as to why they’ve consciously decided to restrict our ability to make full use of our equipment.

Simply directing someone to use another third party mission planning application is not a satisfactory answer, especially when we’ve invested thousands of dollars on the Pix4Dmapper desktop software.


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"but software development is always subjected to last-minute changes especially in the field of cutting-edge technology and the developer’s team is not considering to implement it at the moment."

This response that makes no sense and is completely irrelevant in this case, and I think it reflects a complete lack of understanding in what everyone here is asking for.  We simply want you to allow collection on the drone of RAW+JPEG during the flight  We do not want you to upload, process, or in any way handle any of the RAW files collected - in fact we prefer that you do not!  We want raw because we want to control the RAW to JPEG conversion ourselves.  You simply need to ALLOW the drone to do what it is able to do - collect RAW files along side the JPEGS during flight.

This has to be TRIVIAL to implement, and would simply be a setting for the mission that would be fed to the drone at the start.  You can turn off RAW for a drone that was configured for RAW+JPEG, so you are also able to turn it on.  I think this would take your development team 5 minutes max to implement this feature.  

"If really needed, I would suggest you to consider testing another third party mission planning application that can handle it.
If any progress, we will not miss the opportunity to communicate on this post updates."

Again, I think this is inconsiderate response and you should think before you post comments like this to clients.  You are basically telling your paying customers to go elsewhere!  I like Martin am in the testing phase before making a decision to license or look further.  Martin and I alone represent about $8,000 a year of revenue for your company… and we probably represent many others that do not take the time to comment.

I am worried that this forum is not really of any use in that good suggestions that are easy to implement are disregarded independent of the merits and simplicity of implentation.  Support’s job is not simply to keep the development team insulated from customers - those gods in development are likely not so overwhelmed with cutting-edge technology that they cannot consider simple great suggestions to further improve the product.


Even if they are heavier and require a faster memory card, the ability to capture images in RAW / DNG would aid in normalization from the colors, saturation and image exposure, ensuring visually more homogeneous mosaics.

Hi Mark and all,

Thank you all for the feedback. As mentioned by my colleague Gaël, this feature is not available nor considered for future development of our free mobile application Pix4Dcapture.

There are many reasons but a significant one is that neither Pix4D Desktop nor Pix4D Cloud support the RAW format. 

Our first goal is to define a workflow from image acquisition to processing that is simple for the user. We may lack information on why RAW format would be useful in photogrammetry, but also we have to consider that processing RAW format implies knowledge of digital photography adjustments.

Providing us with details would be useful for us to understand how RAW imagery can be used from A to Z in our tools without adding extra complex steps.

@Mark indeed the feature development may not take a lot of development time, but maintaining is always a big part of the picture. As a consequence, if this feature proves the contrary of adding value it may be discarded from the roadmap for the time being.

We suggest using a third-party software because we develop an app that fits photogrammetry needs and which may not meet the requirements of all the industries that use images as input.

I am looking forward to the scenarios that would help us to understand how supporting RAW data in all our applications would help.

I hope this will help.

Thank you,



Images in RAW format are images not altered by the processor containing much more information. To use these images in other Pix4D applications simply convert to tiif before starting the rendering by making the job with a higher quality.





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Thank you for your input Ina.

I am little bit confused by your post as it implies you do not really understand the value of RAW images, but on the other hand I would guess that Pix4D is well aware of the RAW image possibilities but still decides to not add it to their workflow. So please forgive me if what I am writing is something you are already fully aware of.

A RAW image is really superior to JPG and can reveal great amount of details in shadow and highlight areas of images. Also when shooting raw you do not have to thing of white balance. White balance can be adjusted in post processing and if the light condition change during the flight, the white balance can be custom set from image to image, so all images will have same or very similar color tonality. Color rendition of image can be different from lens to lens and from flight to flight. Thus letting the user adjust white balance in post can allow to color match multiple flights in different time of the day and year, with different ligthing conditions.

Additionally, there are only two white balance settings available in Pix4D. The following example is little bit exaggerated, but it is like letting user to choose between two colors, when there is an infinate number of color tones to choose from.

I know that most of the users will not use a RAW workflow, but for us who have some understanding of photography the possibility of shooting in RAW format has a great value. Additionally to shooting RAW it would be greate if we could also adjust exposure settings (at least to set minimal shutter speed and have ISO to adjust accordingly). I would rather have grainier images than blurred.

Usually the cameras allow users to store images in RAW and JPG at the same time. So you could use the JPG for cloud processing and just store the RAW on the card for a user who enables this option. After the flight user could choose to convert the RAWs to JPGs and reprocess the project with new set of images.

Attahed are 2 images when one is out of camera and other is adjusted in RAW editor. Images are not the best examples of RAW possibilities, but that is what I had avaialable to me right now. Please notice the level of detail especially on the light areas of roof and the timber detail on the deck in the top middle part of the image.

Image straight of the camera: here

Post processed image in RAW editor: here


Kind regards



Good summary Martin.

I think part of the issue is that the term “raw file support” scares developers - but we are not asking for raw file support.   There is no need for PIX4D to actually process or even ever see raw files.  Simply allowing JPEG + RAW capture in the drone (perhaps by simply honoring camera settings that are in place before the flight) would allow knowledgeable photographers to produce better images, which leads to better maps!

As Martin mentioned - flexible white balance is one very big advantage of raw files.  The other big factor here is that you can extract much more detail in the shadows and highlights of difficult lighting situations (i.e. bright direct sunlight with stark shadows).  These shadow details are extremely helpful to the mapping process itself.  JPEGS compress and may lose much of this detail which can result is large areas without accurate tie points - this reduces the quality and accuracy of the map and 3D mesh.

Your own technical experts know this.  Contact Angad Signh - trainer from the San Fransisco office.  He gave an excellent presentation at the recent DroneU Fly-In about the what impacts map quality.  One technique that can increase map quality can come from expert processing from raw images.  He also spoke about the value of setting all camera settings manually (including specifically fixed focus distance) before flight to make sure there are no camera variations between shots - that is where I learned my capture work flow described earlier here.

So again - we do not need raw processing support - just allow the drone to capture raw plus jpeg if the pilot desires.  This is trivial to implement.  You already honor existing camera settings, so this is simply consistent with that design.  Enabling raw plus jpeg capture but still not “supporting” the direct processing of raw images gives us all we need and and it does not add any development or support workload to your team.  Please make sure when people discuss implementing this feature they understand this distinction so this request does not get rejected for the wrong reasons.