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How to convert from the ORF to the AI

by Casey Schmidt  |  April 20, 2020

3 min. read
Digital points changing in width.

The ORF is a file type photographers love to use, to a certain extent. When it’s time to share images with others or edit them in-depth, these photographers realize the ORF won’t cut it. If this is something you’re dealing with and you need a real solution, this guide will handle everything. If you tried to convert the ORF to AI but didn’t know how, chances are you missed some basic methods. Before we get into those, here’s a quick description of both the ORF and AI.

What is an ORF image file?

The ORF image file is the official file extension for digital pictures that come from the Olympus camera. ORF (Olympus Raw Image File) has limited editing and sharing potential, due to its accessibility and large size. It is best suited for the Olympus Viewer program, the official Olympus software. Users typically convert the ORF when they need to edit it extensively.

A woman holds a vintage Olympus camera.
The ORF results from an Olympus camera photograph.

What is an AI image file?

The AI image file is the official file extension used by the popular design software Adobe Illustrator. The AI uses vector graphics, which create the entirety of an image by hooking different points together. It is a completely resizable file that suffers no quality loss when shrunken. The most common use for AI files is building digital branding images, such as logos.

Different ways to convert the ORF to AI

There are a couple methods to convert our ORF files over to AI. The first way is for users who don’t have a lot of files to change. This method is the browser-based system, which allows for the uploading and downloading of individual files (as opposed to in bulk). All this requires is a serviceable internet connection and enough hard drive space to take on the new AI file. I recommend using Convertio for this conversion, due to how easy it is to use and how quickly it offers downloads.

A digital eye that looks like a lens.
There are different ways to change from the ORF to AI.

The next method requires more hard drive space but doesn’t necessitate as fast of internet connection. The system-based conversion is done with a program that the user installs onto their personal computer. From there, they can convert a large quantity of image files all at once without any internet access. For this type of conversion, Filestar is an amazing option, as it provides a basic, unintrusive system for the less technically-inclined users.

What are the main reasons to convert?

The ORF has very limited potential in its original format. It is restricted to some basic editing within the Olympus Viewer tool. It’s also quite inaccessible, as most users are unable to open it without downloading and installing third party software (or making their own conversion!). Though this isn’t a huge issue if you plan on keeping the ORF file as-is and not share it, it’s clearly a problem for anyone wanting to do more with their images.

A spherical digital outline.
There are a lot of reasons to convert to an AI.

This is where the AI could really help users out as an alternative. With the AI format, users could make a lot more – and more effective – edits to their image. It would give them a chance to create a digital project that encompasses their original ORF image. On top of all this, it would also make sharing their image easier.

Now that you have some clear paths to convert the ORF to AI, take advantage of the different options available to share your images or include them into important projects.