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Is there a way to convert the JPG image file to an ORF?

by Casey Schmidt  |  February 6, 2020

3 min. read
A man holding a camera.

In theory, converting the JPG to the ORF should be beneficial to users who want a high resolution image. Unfortunately, things don’t always work out the way they seem. Is it possible to make this conversion? If not, what are some alternatives? Let’s first breakdown both the JPG and ORF.

What is a JPG?

The JPG image file is a lossy compression format, meaning it loses quality the smaller that it is reduced in size. There’s typically confusion as to how the JPG differs from the JPEG image file. In fact, they are the same and only different in acronym/name. Feel free to use them completely interchangeably throughout this article. The JPG is an extremely accessible image file with plenty of versatility.

What is the ORF?

The ORF image file is the official digital format for all pictures that are transferred from an Olympus camera onto a computer. ORF stands for Olympus Raw Image File. It is a high quality, raw representation of the exact picture the photographer snapped on an Olympus camera. Though this replication has its merit, the file lacks accessibility and editability.

An Olympus camera on a desk.
The ORF is a raw image file from Olympus cameras.

Now that we have given a background for the JPG and the ORF, let’s dive into the conversion possibilities.

How to convert the JPG to the ORF?

The JPG is on the lower end of image format quality. For this reason, it makes sense that users want to convert it to an image type that is more capable of handling higher resolution. Eventually, the idea of converting it to an ORF could come into play, as the ORF is extremely high quality. Unfortunately, this conversion isn’t possible and here’s why. The ORF is an exclusive digital file for images from a specific camera. Files in the ORF format are in their initial stages of a process, meaning they’re waiting to be converted into a different format for editing and sharing. That all being said, the good news is that you don’t really want to convert the JPG to the ORF anyway – it just doesn’t make sense logically.

The JPG is already in an ideal format for things such as editing and sharing, two things that are difficult to accomplish using an ORF file. Even though the JPG is lower in resolution, that’s one of the trade-offs that sometimes come with accessibility and versatility. If you absolutely need to convert out of the JPG, consider switching to other popular, similar image files like the PNG. Finally, if you have an ORF file and you want to convert it to a JPG, this is indeed possible.

A pair of glasses viewing a man against a wall.
Conversions can drastically change the perception of an image.

How to convert the ORF to JPG

Unlike converting the JPG to the ORF, the reverse conversion is possible. It’s fairly straightforward so long as you’re willing to use third-party programs. There are two different ways to accomplish this conversion, both with drastically different advantages and drawbacks. The first way is a bulk, system converter. It’s called a bulk converter because it handles a lot of files at once. This type of conversion is great for users with extensive hard drive space and limited internet access. All it requires is an initial download of a program followed by an installation. I recommend the PearlMountain system when it comes to bulk converting.

The other method is a browser-based conversion which lets users navigate to a website and upload then download files. This process is ideal for users who have limited hard drive space but fast internet access. It’s also convenient for anyone who only needs to convert a few files. I recommend Zamzar when you need a browser-based conversion.

In the end, if you have JPG files you wish to convert to ORF, it’s just not possible. Fortunately, this particular conversion is illogical and there are a lot of superior choices. Make sure you have some alternative image types in mind.