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What is an ORF file? (And How to Open One)

expert photography author ingrid miranda
Last updated: March 13, 2024 - 5 min read
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Olympus digital cameras use file extensions for their digital images. Their specific extension for RAW format is known as an ORF file. Usually, you can only view or edit ORF files with a specific program. You can use file viewers or image editing programs.
Here is our guide on ORF files and how to open them.

What Is an ORF File?

An ORF file format is a Raw image taken by an Olympus digital camera.
ORF files don’t lose quality through compression. They store image data, like color, saturation, or contrast, exactly as captured by the camera’s sensor. In comparison, JPEGs lose quality every time you open them. Therefore, they don’t offer you the best editing possibilities. ORF files hold 12 or more bits per pixel. JPEGs only hold 8.
Like other RAW files, your computer might not easily view this image file format. You will need specific software to view, open, convert or edit ORF files. These could be editing software, specific programs from the manufacturer, or third-party converting programs.
an orf file of a lighting storm over a city at night

How to Open an ORF File?

There are a few options for opening an Olympus RAW image file. The best option is to use the Olympus Workspace. Owners of Olympus digital cameras can get this program for free. It works for both Mac and Windows operating systems. Just enter your camera’s serial number on the download page, and you will be able to install it.
There is another program known as Olympus Master. This software came with Olympus digital cameras until 2009. Also, a similar program called Olympus ib, which later replaced Olympus Master. If you still have any of these, they will work with older and newer ORF images.
There is also Olympus Studio. However, this will only work with E-1 to E-5 Olympus digital cameras. If you have any of these, you can still get this software by contacting Olympus.
Another option to work with the ORF format is using third-party programs. Adobe Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, and Lightroom will work well. These programs will allow you to view and convert ORF files simultaneously.
To open ORF files on Windows, you might need a Codec Pack. This tool will help you open various formats generally not supported by Windows, including the ORF format.
Mac, on the other side, shouldn’t give you any trouble.
If you are still struggling, it is best to convert your ORF files to a DNG (Digital Negative). This RAW file has more options for usage as most Adobe products can process it.
If you have tried everything and still can’t get your ORF file open, make sure it is an ORF file extension that you are dealing with. Sometimes the ORF format gets confused with ORF pictures or ORF Report file formats.
an orf file of a woman looking at dresses on a macbook

Can I Convert an ORF File?

Converting ORF files to JPEGs is simple enough if you have the right tools. You will need software that can read an ORF file. Adobe Lightroom opens the ORF image file with no problems, so this is the best option.
Adobe Photoshop is another option to convert the ORF file extension. But it is more complicated to use. Photoshop will recognise the ORF file as a RAW image and open Camera Raw. You can use this without having to open Photoshop fully.
The import process of Lightroom contains Camera Raw. These programs allow you to import, edit, and save or export the ORF files as JPEGs. You can then save them as  TIFFs, PNGs, or even GIFs.
If you use Windows, Corel PaintShop Pro or PaintShop Pro are good alternatives for converting ORF files.
a macbook featuring a comparison image of a airplane window

Can I Use Photoshop to Open an ORF File?

You can use Photoshop to open and convert images in ORF format. For the OM-D E-M10 Mark II and Mark III, you need Camera Raw 9.2 and 10, respectively. Other cameras need a lower version, but with version 10, you can open them all.
a laptop with a image adjustment program open

Does Lightroom Support ORF Files?

You can use Lightroom to open and convert your ORF files. You will need version 1.0 unless you have the OM-D E-M1X, then you will need 2.2. For classic CC users, you’ll need 8.2.
a desaturated image of a macbook pro with lightroom open

Are ORF and Raw the Same?

ORF files are an extension for RAW image files for Olympus digital cameras. It is similar to the lossless formats of TIFF. These large-sized files allow you to edit your images, keeping all the data the camera receives from the sensor.

a landscape shot of a river cutting through a canyon

ORF File or JPEG? Which Is Better?

It always depends on what plans you have for your images. However, any RAW image file is usually better than a JPEG because it holds more information. A JPEG is a lossy file format, meaning it loses quality every time you open it. A RAW format ORF file is much higher quality because it contains more data.
an image of a man looking at a macbook screen and comparing images to a printout


Shooting in RAW format is always a good idea. It gives you more flexibility for editing and increases creative control. Managing ORF files doesn’t have to be a problem if you have an Olympus camera. There are many options available to convert, open and process ORF files.
We hope our post has helped you find the best way to view and edit your camera’s ORF files!
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