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How to upload and edit my RAW photos without losing photo quality

Since when did Gimp start working with (actual) raw files? Did I miss a memo?
Yep, as others said, GIMP doesn't do a RAW format. Maybe try using another software? Photoshop or RAWTherapee? Also Photoworks is good for processing RAW images.
I think I may have read too much into this, but I suppose if one is using Gimp, then DarkTable and RawTherapee are good to have as well, since the three together would give one what is needed for a PP workflow. I thought I had read somewhere else that someone had actually created a plugin for Gimp to be able to work with RAW images.

Will GIMP open raw (.NEF, .CR2 etc.) files from my camera?​

Starting with version 2.10, GIMP features plug-ins for using darktable and RawTherapee to process raw images, as well as a preference for a default raw processing plug-in.

It probably didn't help that when I opened a DNG image in Gimp, I didn't pay attention to Gimp automatically using RawTherapee (as a plugin) to open the image.
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I'm a long-time DT user. I've tried GIMP and wasn't in love with it. If memory serves, it had a lot of the old Broderbund Print Shop feel to it due to the features. I also tried it with DT as a plug in and wasn't thrilled. Having said that, it could've just been my inexperience with GIMP, I know a lot of people use it and it's popular.

I separate post into two categories: Processing, which is Darktable's (and other programs of its ilk) focus, and Editing, like Photo Shop and Gimp. 99% of what I do is processing, but if I want to get deep into editing like layers, I use Affinity or Paint.net.

HUH? PAINT.net? Yup. Originally conceived by MS as an upgrade to Paint, it was ultimately abandoned. The main designer turned it into an open source project. It's free, well supported, and pretty versatile. It won't open RAW, but if you want a free editor that looks very familiar (think Windows) and is user-friendly with a very shallow learning curve, it's a good option.

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