What formats does Phototheca support?

Phototheca supports many image and video formats. They are described in this section below.

Plain formats

There are a few basic image formats that are well known to us and that have been used with PCs for decades.

They are: JPEG, BMP, GIF, PNG, and TIFF. Phototheca supports them all, though there are some limitations present.

JPEG is fully supported by various features and options.

PNG is fully supported.

BMP is fully supported.

GIF is partially supported; an animated GIF is not played and only the first frame is shown.

TIFF is partially supported; for multi-page TIFFs, only the first page is shown. TIFFs of industrial origin containing images with a huge resolution, like medical images, geospatial images, or aerospace images, might not be displayed correctly.


Phototheca supports a variety of RAW file formats via the Windows Imaging Component (WIC) framework for Windows 7, Windows 8, and later versions of Windows.

The full list of supported cameras is growing constantly. If you have a mainstream DSLR or mirrorless camera and are using Windows 10, there is an excellent chance that the RAW format of your camera is supported by Phototheca.

For more details about Phototheca’s RAW support, read here: RAW in Phototheca

For RAW photos, Phototheca supports so-called XMP sidecar files that are produced by Lightroom software and contain extra metadata, usually keywords and a description of the photo. At the time of writing Phototheca can read XMP sidecar files, but not update them.

Below is a full list of supported file extensions:

.3fr, .ari, .arw, .bay, .crw, .cr2, .cap, .data, .dcs, .dcr, .dng, .drf, .eip, .erf, .fff, .iiq, .k25, .kdc, .mdc, .mef, .mrw, .nef, .nrw, .obm, .orf, .pef, .ptx, .pxn, .r3d, .raf, .raw, .rwl, .rw2, .rwz, .sr2, .srf, .srw, .tif, .x3f, .tiff

If you have RAW files with an extension that is missing from the list above and you are able to view them in Windows 10, please write to us and we will add them quickly.


Phototheca supports a wide range of video formats that includes all popular and many not-so-popular formats of videos and movies, even AVCHD (MTS/M2TS) format.

Below is a list of supported file extensions:

.3g2, .3gp, .3gp2, .3gpp, .3gpp2, .avi, .divx, .dvx, .flv, .h264, .mov, .mp4, .mpe, .mpeg, .mpeg1, .mpeg2, .mpeg4, .mpg, .mpg2, .mpg4, .mts, .m2ts, .qt, .swf, .wmv, .xvid

A few pieces of metadata can be seen on the Phototheca UI as well: frame size, frame rate, length of video, and codec used.


HEIF is the new image format that is coming to replace the good ol’ JPEG format that has been around for decades.

HEIF stands for high-efficiency image file format, and it takes 50 percent less space than JPEG does for the same quality of picture. HEIF is being actively promoted by Apple and is used internally for all recent models of the iPhone.

The common file extensions of this format are: .heif, .heic

Phototheca supports reading and displaying of HEIF/HEIC files on Windows 10 if two special extensions that bring support for HEIF are installed from the Microsoft Store.

How do you enable HEIF support on Windows 10?

Just install these two extensions from the Microsoft Store: