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Is it possible to convert a PDF to NEF?

by Casey Schmidt  |  October 16, 2019

3 min. read
A Nikon camera lens close-up.

The NEF is the extension for images taken using a Nikon camera. Due to the raw, high quality resolution of the NEF, users sometimes wonder if it’s possible to convert other file types into a NEF to reap these benefits. Is this operation of converting a PDF to NEF achievable? Here’s a complete breakdown.

What is a PDF?

The PDF document file is a Portable Document Format file that manages printed documents. It has extensive user features including searching and viewing links. The PDF is capable of holding multimedia such as audio and video. It is a secure file type professionals use to share business documents.

What is an NEF?

The NEF image file is the Nikon Electronic Format file extension for any images that are taken using a Nikon camera. The NEF is a raw, high resolution image file that has the exact amount of quality as the photograph snapped – nothing is lost from camera to NEF. It is hard to edit, so users convert it to a different file type often.

A man takes a photo using a Nikon camera.
The NEF is the extension for files from Nikon camera photos.

How to convert PDF to NEF

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to convert a PDF to NEF. The NEF exists exclusively as the file extension for photographs taken by a Nikon camera. Anytime a Nikon camera’s contents are moved onto a computer, the images contained are automatically stored as NEF files. The NEF is intended to be converted into different image file types for editing.

The NEF is like a baby bird hatched from an egg. Once the egg breaks, the bird is free and lives outside the shell the rest of its life. The natural process, therefore, is egg>bird. There is no possible way to take a bird and make it into an egg. Similarly, taking other image types and trying to convert them to NEF is like taking an animal and trying to fit it into a broken egg shell.

A group of broken eggshells.
The NEF is like a bird recently born from an egg shell – once it’s out, it’s not going back in.

How to convert a NEF to PDF

Even though you cannot convert the PDF into a NEF, the inverse is possible. The reason a user would want their NEF to be a PDF is to share it without the possibility of the recipients accidentally editing it. There are a couple different ways to convert a NEF to a PDF. The first is by using a desktop system. Desktop converters are great for converting a lot of files at once. CoolUtils has an effective desktop converter product.

The other way to convert is by using an online browser-based system. Browser-based programs are perfect for users who don’t want to take up hard drive space on their system. They’re also convenient when only a couple of files need to be converted. Convertio has a simple interface and fast upload speeds.

It’s impossible to convert a PDF into a NEF. Fortunately, you don’t need to. The PDF has benefits separate from the NEF for users of all necessities.