What Is an RW2 File?

How to open, edit, and convert RW2 files

A file with the .RW2 file extension is a Panasonic RAW Image file that was created by a Panasonic digital camera, like the LUMIX AG-GH4 or LUMIX DMC-GX85.

A RAW image file perfectly reproduces what it captured. In other words, there hasn't been any processing done to the file since it was taken by the Panasonic camera. These files are ideal for image editors that adjust the photo's color, exposure, etc.

RW2 files are similar to other RAW image file formats created by digital cameras in that they all exist in those formats in a pre-processed form. Some examples include Sony's ARW and SRF, Canon's CR2 and CRW, Nikon's NEF, Olympus' ORF, and Pentax's PEF.

How to Open RW2 Files

Open RW2 files for free with XnView, IrfanView, FastStone Image Viewer, and RawTherapee. Other programs that can open RW2 files—but they're not free to use—include Adobe Photoshop Elements, ACD Systems Canvas X, Corel PaintShop, and FastRawViewer.

RW2 files in a Windows 10 folder

The LUMIX RAW Codec adds RW2 file support to Windows. However, it's said to only work with Windows 7 and Windows Vista.

If you need to open the RW2 file in some other program that isn't listed above, the easiest way to do that without having to pay for an RW2 image viewer program is to use one of the file converter tools below. They let you save the RW2 file to a different file format that your program or device most likely supports.

How to Convert an RW2 File

Convert your RW2 file to DNG with Adobe DNG Converter. DNG is a more widely used image format than RW2, so chances are it will open in more programs than if you keep it in the RW2 format.

Adobe DNG Converter works with lots of other RAW image file formats, too.

ILoveImg.com is a free online RW2 file converter that works on any operating system, which means you can convert RW2 to JPG on Windows or on macOS by just uploading the image to that website and then downloading the JPG to your computer. It can even load RW2 files from Dropbox and Google Drive.

After your RW2 file is in the JPG format, run it through another free image converter program to make it a PNG or some other image file format.

Still Can't Open Your File?

A common reason for not being able to open a file of any format, including a Panasonic RAW Image file, is that you've misread the file extension or some other program claims that file extension.

  • Can Photoshop and Lightroom open RW2 files?

    Yes. Both Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom added support for RW2 files in 2019. If you have an older version, you must first convert the file to a compatible format.

  • Is RW2 better than JPEG?

    Yes. JPEG is a lossy format, which means that some image data is lost in the compression process. That said, JPEG files are smaller and more widely used.

  • What's the difference between JPEG vs. TIFF vs. RAW images?

    JPEG, TIFF, and RAW are different image file formats that digital cameras support. Professional photographers prefer RAW files because they contain the most detail. Unlike JPEG, TIFF uses lossless compression, making it the prefered format for publishing.

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