Ho to make photoshop save photos?
August 5, 2009 1:02 PM   Subscribe

How can I save JPG images in Photoshop CS so that a digital camera can read them? Cheap crappy software can do this easily, but no matter what file settings I use in Photoshop, I've never been able to get any of my digital cameras to be able to read any JPG that was written by Photoshop - I have to load and re-save them with other piece of software to get them to work. Surely there is a way to make Photoshop save JPG files that cameras can read?

My impression is that (naming conventions and so forth aside) there is a JPEG standard that most or nearly all cameras read, rather than every camera having it's own random special requirements.

I want a way to start saving files in that standard, because I'll be using a camera as an image storage/display device, and want to load the memory card with images and graphics in addition to photos it has taken, but right now, I have to individually process each file to do this, or the camera won't read it, and it's driving me nuts.
(I also don't want to save as RAW or TIFF)

posted by -harlequin- to Technology (10 answers total)
Apart from the "Save for Web", generally speaking you might be creating a JPEG with anormal parameters. For example it could be in CMXK colour mode, which is perfectly fine, but most computer viewers cannot display. Or it's too big in size for the camera to handle.
posted by oxit at 1:23 PM on August 5, 2009

Photoshop writes perfectly valid JPEG files, but unlike simpler programs and converters, it inserts colour profiles and other things using standard extension mechanisms. Your cameras probably just messes up when they see those extensions, either due to outright bugs or because they think they understand the extensions but don't. (After all, the camera software is designed to read JPEG:s created by the camera itself; it's not a general purpose image viewer.)

Greg Nog's suggestion should fix this, I think.
posted by effbot at 1:25 PM on August 5, 2009

Response by poster: "Save for web" does not work, (or else requires some arcane combination of parameters that I have not yet discovered, and that have not been mentioned).
I don't see a "save for web and devices" option - I assume this is a CS3 or CS4 thing.

Theory and what should work aside, has anyone managed to get it to work in the real world? That would be a starting point - knowing that it is at least possible. Right now, I don't even know if this is something that Photoshop is capable of doing.
posted by -harlequin- at 2:28 PM on August 5, 2009

Response by poster: Clarification: I am not referring to a particular installed instance of Photoshop, but many computers, spanning many versions, over many years - I've had this problem as long as I've been working with digital cameras (so probably starting around about version 4 of Photoshop, through subsequent versions over various machines over the years, and currently I use different machines with CS and CS2).

Likewise, there are a range of cameras involved, some of them old, and the most recent one I just now got via pre-order - it only became available to purchase (other than by pre-order) two days ago.

So I don't think it's a case of messed up default settings, or a weird camera. It seems likely that either Photoshop can't do this, or there is some arcane trick to it that I haven't discovered yet, (or maybe that it's a feature of CS4 arriving ten years too late). Perhaps there is a plug-in?
posted by -harlequin- at 2:49 PM on August 5, 2009

The JPEG Standard is used however there are lots of weird edge cases and permutations and what not that aren't handled properly by all devices notably cameras. Think about it this way, in the most general case, a camera only needs to be able to display images taken by that very same camera. Photoshop is serious professional piece of software that is going to use every trick in the book to store metadata about your image. These things may be tripping up the image processor in the computer. Opening and Saving your image in your favorite alternative piece of software may be stripping away all that extra Photoshop stuff that is tripping up your camera.

It may be useful to list you cameras and a sample image that is giving you fits.
posted by mmascolino at 3:11 PM on August 5, 2009

Ok, again - cameras are designed to display images they save themselves, not to display random stuff you throw at them. They're cameras, after all, not display units. Photoshop (all versions) add Photoshop-specific information to the files, using standard-compatible extension mechanisms. Photoshop also uses certain JPEG parameter settings (color spaces, quantization tables, subsampling, etc). The cameras you have tried cannot handle the images due to the extensions, the parameter settings, or some other encoding detail, because they're not designed to be general-purpose JPEG display units.

To figure out exactly what differs between Photoshop-produced images and your other JPEGs, run working and non-working files through JPEGINFO or a similar tool, such as this online tool (look at the basic information at the bottom and Color Space/Components parts of the Exif section, if present).
posted by effbot at 3:19 PM on August 5, 2009

In the Photoshop preferences, have you got 'Save Image Preview' turned on? Might be worth turning it off, to see if it makes a difference ...
posted by woodblock100 at 3:26 PM on August 5, 2009

Make sure you have "progressive" jpeg turned OFF. I believe it's on by default in photoshop versions dating back as far as 2004. Progressive jpeg is a newer standard, and for the longest time wasn't supported in the standard libraries everyone used to use to work with JPEGs.
posted by jenkinsEar at 4:21 PM on August 5, 2009

You might be able to massage a Photoshop JPEG into something the camera can digest by stripping EXIF data out of it, or even adding some header stuff that Photoshop doesn't. The multitalented Matthias Wandel made a utility that can do pretty much anything to JPEG headers; there are other utilities that only strip headers off files.
posted by dansdata at 6:50 PM on August 5, 2009

I don't know if this is helpful, but maybe you could consider using another device to view images like an iPod?
posted by qmechanic at 1:06 AM on August 7, 2009

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