Gnarbox Olympus Raw Support
Olympus / OM System,  Photo Gear,  Software

Gnarbox 2.0 – Lack of RAW Support for Olympus Cameras

I really like my Gnarbox 2.0 SSD for backing up my photographs while I’m traveling. It’s rugged and dependable, and I feel better having my photos backed up. 

I typically travel with an iPad Pro instead of a laptop so I was really excited that I could connect the Gnarbox to my iPad Pro and edit photographs while traveling.  There is only one problem.

Gnarbox is way behind in its support for Olympus RAW file formats.  Raw files for all the newest Olympus cameras are all not supported for Gnarbox 2.0.

Olympus Cameras Not SupportedRelease Date
OM-D E-M1XFebruary 2019
OM-D E-M1 Mark IIIFebruary 2020
OM-D E-M5 Mark IIINovember 2019
OM-D E-M10 Mark IVSeptember 2020
Topaz Labs

This means that while the RAW file can be backed up on the Gnarbox, they cannot be viewed. So if you want to view or edit your files on the road, you will need another option. 

The files can be saved to iOS, copied, moved, and renamed.  But it is impossible to determine which photos you want to save to your device or edit if you cannot see them.

Gnarbox App with No Preview
Gnarbox App with No Image Preview

One work around is to set your camera to shoot in RAW + JPEG mode.  You will be able to view the JPEG images in the Gnarbox app.  The JPEG and RAW files will be named the same except for the extension (JPG, ORF).  The downside to this approach is that you will have twice the amount of files to cull through when you get back home.

Workaround for Viewing an Editing Olympus Raw Files on your iPad Using the Gnarbox 2.0

I sent an email to Gnarbox in March of 2021 asking when these Olympus RAW files would be supported.  The response was that while they do plan to support these Olympus RAW files in the future, they do not have a timeline when support will be available.

I was excited when I was recently notified by Gnarbox that they released software update 2.8.0. But after installing the upgrade to both the Gnarbox and the iPad app, RAW file support for my OM-D E-M1X and E-M1 Mark III cameras was still not available.

Gnarbox is a terrific device for backing up your photographs while on the road.  I just wish they would update RAW support for easier viewing and mobile editing while traveling.

Written by Martin Belan

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