Photos - cloud backup

Two related questions: I use the stock macOS Photos app to process pictures from my Sony A6000 camera. I’m not an avid photographer, mostly high days and holidays sort of stuff. Over the years, however, I’ve accumulated about 5,000 pictures, which as I save them as RAW from the camera amounts to about 75Gb. Living in rural Scotland I have constrained broadband; it’s relatively slow and and limited to 30Gb/ month on my connection.

I would like to use iCloud photo storage, but it seems to want to upload everything. Is there a way to tell it upload just the JPEGs. and not both JPEG and RAW? This would reduce the amount of traffic to a manageable amount.

Because I couldn’t find a solution I’ve been using the free tier of Google Photos, which is limited to JPEGs only. It worked fine with the old Google Photos desktop uploader, but that was replaced with a new Backup and Sync app, since when I’ve found that newly imported photos (in JPEG) in the Photos Library aren’t being synced. The iOS version works fine syncing pictures from my iPhone, but camera -> macOS Photos library -> Google Photos doesn’t. Any suggestions?

If neither can be made to work, does anyone have any suggestions for a Photos replacement?


I usually don’t keep RAW files on iCloud, as I’m using only iCloud free tier (5GB). So Here how I managed my library… mostly manually, but it works and not so time consuming for me.

  • All photos taken with the phone are exported to an external drive (jpeg, RAW and live).
  • I take the chance to sort photos by location or event, and rename the files adding the date (from IMG_0000.JPG to 2018-07-07-img_0000.jpg), using a folder action script I attach to the folder. BTW this script could for example create a jpg file from the raw too
  • If I want to keep a selection of photos on my phone / iCloud, I then only upload jpeg photos in a specific album, or… in a shared album, which is separate from your iCloud photos.

It’s a bit of manipulation, but it let me review and select exactly what I want. he automation helps too. Instead of the script, an automator workflow or Hazzle workflow could do the same and more.