iphoto exported "originals" are smaller than originals

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Hi,
I am trying to export my iphoto library onto an external hard-drive. I want the photo files to be exactly as they were when they were taken in the camera, before making any changes in iphoto. I think the correct export setting to use is: "Original". When I use this though, the exported file sizes are way smaller than the originals actually were. In my camera they were about 20MB, after iphoto exports them they are only 3MB. Am I doing something wrong? I am afraid that I somehow screwed up the quality of my photos by importing them into iphoto. I have previously only backed my my photos using time-machine, after they were imported into iphoto. I don't have the original files saved anywhere else. Does anyone know why they are not exporting to the original file size??
Any help would be much appreciated,
thanks,
Molly
 
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Explain the steps you are taking to Export your photos.
 

IWT


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Hi Molly

Welcome to the forums.

There's actually quite a lot we need to know. For example, you say that your images in your camera were about 20MB each. Well, first off, were these taken in RAW format? It sounds like you have a fairly top-end camera (DSLR?). If you import RAW format images into iPhoto, they will retain their 20MB size allowing sophisticated editing; but when you export them, they can only be exported as JPEG images and even 20MB RAW pictures will be reduced and compressed. This is because no two cameras use the same RAW format. Having said that, 20MB to 3MB is not right.

So, in iPhoto, if you select an image, then click on the "info" tab bottom right. This will show you what camera was used, give you all the exposure parameters, file format (RAW or JPEG) and the file size. Does it read 20MB or thereabouts for each image? If "No", then maybe you imported the photos at a lower resolution. If "Yes", then also check the format—RAW, JPEG etc.

When you export from iPhoto, you appear have done the correct thing. It's File>Export; then choose the file format. If you choose "original", you'll get the RAW images exported uncompressed, but pretty well unreadable because of the unique nature of RAW images. If you choose "JPEG", then you can select the resolution. Choose maximum. The exported photos can be read universally.

Again, if your iPhotos are not RAW but JPEG (seems pretty unlikely given they are 20MB each), export as JPEG, maximum resolution.

So, some questions for you to answer. Sorry, it's been a long reply, but I was trying to cover all possibilities.

Ian
 

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