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Lightroom Classic: Should be able to Sync full raw files to the cloud, not just smart previews

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 19, 2017 Oct 19, 2017

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Lightroom Classic, like Lightroom CC (what a confusion this naming causes!) should be able to upload full raw files to the cloud and not just smart previews. This is clearly a missing feature. This is especially handy if you mainly use Lightroom Classic because of its much more powerful editing and ability to actually print but would love to edit the full image from other machines.
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76 Comments
Adobe Community Professional ,
Oct 31, 2017 Oct 31, 2017

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Explorer ,
Oct 31, 2017 Oct 31, 2017

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For a long time now, I've been hoping Adobe would allow Lightroom to upload full resolution raw files to the cloud as a backup location, gallery, and with ability to edit. Adobe finally answered my wishes - but at a cost. Lr-Classic has the power I want, but STILL cannot upload full resolution photos to the cloud. Is it a difficult thing to enable/allow Lr to sync actual folders? 

Instead I've found I can upload photos through Lr-CC - and when I open Lr-Classic, guess what... it DOWNLOADS THE FULL RESOLUTION PHOTOS BACK TO MY COMPUTER. So 1 photo session might have 2gb worth of data. This brilliant setup means I need to upload 2gb through Lr-CC, and then have another 2gb downloaded again through Lr-Classic. I'm left with double the internet data usage, and duplicated photos on my computer thus taking up twice the space! Genius! 

Furthermore, Lr-Classic decides to ignore the Folder/Album setup in Lr-CC, and just lists all the Albums in alphabetical order as Collections, while dumping the physical files into one giant "mobile" folder under hard-drive. 

So my request is, allow Lr-Classic to upload FULL-RESOLUTION RAW files to the Lr-Cloud instead of smart previews. 

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Engaged ,
Dec 10, 2017 Dec 10, 2017

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I am shocked that Adobe has not developed this functionality in the last update with the "new" Lightroom. Without uploading of the originals to the cloud "Edit with..." functionality in the Lightroom Classic is useless! And, what is pretty "fun" too, this functionality is completely absent in the new Lightroom. So, the workflow is completely broken — I can't easily edit in other application from the Lightroom CC because I will not have access to the original without my filesystem (guys, are you sure that you know what the "cloud" is?), and I can't simply edit from the new Lightroom just because it doesn't have such functionality, so I need to open in Photoshop, save as TIFF, open in the other editor... Applauses, you've just changed one click into the hell-that's-a-lot-of-clicks.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 19, 2017 Dec 19, 2017

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Wow! It seems that my mobile devices (iPhone and iPad Pro) are not able to recieve and edit the raw files from my MacBook then. I just don ́t understand: What is up with my iPad Pro showing the RAW tag on my pic? And then on a closer look, it tells me, that I am looking at the Smart Preview. In CC preferences the "Only Download Smart Previews" is off. I want to download the actual RAW to my iPad Pro. Is there really no way I can do this? I remember there was a lot of fuzz about now Lightroom CC mobile could edit RAW? Maybe so, but we can only get a Smart Preview? Really? 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 19, 2017 Dec 19, 2017

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Lightroom CC mobile can only edit full size raw if the full size raw are in the cloud, and they can only get to the cloud from one of the LRCC apps or web interface, not Lightroom Classic.

Lightroom Classic sends small raw files - aka smart previews - to the cloud. They behave almost identically to the full size raw, but are an awful lot smaller.
-------------------------------------
The Lightroom Queen - Author of Adobe Lightroom Classic - The Missing FAQ and Adobe Lightroom - Edit Like a Pro books.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 19, 2017 Dec 19, 2017

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The RAW tag on the picture tells you that the original is a raw file, and not a jpeg. It doesn't tell you that the raw file is currently loaded. So you could see the RAW tag and still have a smart preview only on the device. You can have the original raw file on your device, but that tag doesn't tell you this.
-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 19, 2017 Dec 19, 2017

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Thanks, Victoria and Johan, for clearing things up.

So now my question is: In order to get RAW files from Classic to CC Mobile, what would be the best thing to do?
I have CC on my desktop, but I suppose that does not help with uploading RAW if the files have been synced by Classic first. So I am guessing, that I need to unsync the files from Classic first. But when I do that, the files will disappear from CC desktop. So loading the files into CC desktop will be quite tedious, plus I feel it will be messy and confusing. Like, everything would be SOOOO easy, if there was a switch in Classic, letting me choose to upload RAW instead of Smart Previews.
What would the experts suggest?

Thanks!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 19, 2017 Dec 19, 2017

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Don't unsync from Classic. It's not an officially supported workflow, but... if the photos are already synced from Classic and synced down to LRCC as smart previews, if you then add them to LRCC, it should be smart enough to recognize these are just originals of the same images. Try it with one or two photos before going the whole hog. 
-------------------------------------
The Lightroom Queen - Author of Adobe Lightroom Classic - The Missing FAQ and Adobe Lightroom - Edit Like a Pro books.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 21, 2017 Dec 21, 2017

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Thanks Victoria, that works. But quite a mess Adobe had made here. 😞

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New Here ,
Dec 27, 2017 Dec 27, 2017

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Could you maybe explain that workaround workflow with a bit more details? Thank you, Chris

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Dec 28, 2017 Dec 28, 2017

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Sure Chris, which bit? Are you already familiar with how to sync photos in Classic? 
-------------------------------------
The Lightroom Queen - Author of Adobe Lightroom Classic - The Missing FAQ and Adobe Lightroom - Edit Like a Pro books.

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New Here ,
Dec 29, 2017 Dec 29, 2017

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Hi Victoria, Yes, I'm familiar with the standard sync with the cloud. From CC as well as Classic. I understood that it is possible to add the raw files to the cloud after the smaller "previews" are already synced from Classic to the cloud. Exactly in this step I'm interested since I have already edited many files in the cloud and want now to add the raw files to the cloud.  Thank you, Chris

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 01, 2018 Jan 01, 2018

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Sorry for the delay Chris. So if the photos are already synced to the cloud, and downloaded as smart previews in to LRCC, when you then try to add the same photos to LRCC through it's normal Add Photos dialog, it'll let you add them but won't (shouldn't!) create duplicate files. It should just go ahead and upload the originals. It's not officially documented, and could break at any time, but right now it works as long as you haven't changed the originals (e.g. written to xmp, etc.)
-------------------------------------
The Lightroom Queen - Author of Adobe Lightroom Classic - The Missing FAQ and Adobe Lightroom - Edit Like a Pro books.

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New Here ,
Jan 07, 2018 Jan 07, 2018

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I am having this same issue and the thing about is that before the new Lightroom CC was unveiled I didn't have it. In other words, I would sync files to Lightroom Mobile using a synced folder and then sometimes edit on mobile and post to mobile apps like Instagram. Perhaps it worked the same way before as it does now, but I never noticed it. Anyway, now I can't really post to IG with this workflow because my photos look like garbage w/ the smart preview. I would really hope Adobe can find some way to make syncing of LR Classic files full rez, my mobile workflow is now broken unless someone has an easy workaround. I don't want to reimport raw files and then sync settings. I'd have to go into Finder to find specific raw files which I know is easy but it defeats the purpose of using a DAM in the first place. 

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New Here ,
Jan 07, 2018 Jan 07, 2018

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I am having this same issue and the thing about is that before the new Lightroom CC was unveiled I didn't have it. In other words, I would sync files to Lightroom Mobile using a synced folder and then sometimes edit on mobile and post to mobile apps like Instagram. Perhaps it worked the same way before as it does now, but I never noticed it. Anyway, now I can't really post to IG with this workflow because my photos look like garbage w/ the smart preview. I would really hope Adobe can find some way to make syncing of LR Classic files full rez, my mobile workflow is now broken unless someone has an easy workaround. I don't want to reimport raw files and then sync settings. I'd have to go into Finder to find specific raw files which I know is easy but it defeats the purpose of using a DAM in the first place. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 08, 2018 Jan 08, 2018

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Nothing's changed as far as syncing smart previews to the cloud goes, so if it was working ok before, there's another issue here Ricardo. 2560px smart previews should be plenty for posting to instagram. Start another thread with examples and let's see if we can't figure it out. It's possible there's a different bug in the mobile app that's causing a problem.
-------------------------------------
The Lightroom Queen - Author of Adobe Lightroom Classic - The Missing FAQ and Adobe Lightroom - Edit Like a Pro books.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 08, 2018 Jan 08, 2018

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You should only notice the shortcomings of smart previews with very heavily edited images (i.e. strong settings of shadows/blacks, etc. or strong edits in the color sliders. There smart previews can show their limitations. Also, to post to instagram, I recommend looking into the Lightroom Classic plugin LR/instagram. It cuts out the step of having to go to mobile and directly posts to instagram from the desktop Lightroom Classic at the optimal quality possible. Instagram is extremely limited in the image size and jpeg compression it will accept and it will always be pretty bad but if you do everything right (like the plugin does) you might be able to get reasonable quality. I would not trust any mobile app to do this right by default.

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New Here ,
Jan 09, 2018 Jan 09, 2018

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Here's what my image looks like in Classic on the left and CC on the right. Check upper right corner. 

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New Here ,
Mar 20, 2018 Mar 20, 2018

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I wrote about the lack of full res upload from Classic three months ago. It still really saddens me.
Lightroom Classic is my main tool, and there is NO way (read: lack of crucial features) I can just use LR CC instead. However, importing into LR CC is so far the only way, I can get full res material onto LR mobile on my 13” iPad Pro (that I bought for its wonderful editing abilities.) So basicly my iPad Pro is collecting dust.
Yes, if I know in advance, that I want to edit on the iPad, I can import directly to the iPad after the shoot, but this is not the general choice, since getting the files til my main machine, would then be via the cloud. Remember, not everywhere is internet cheap and screaming fast. Also, I can not use the iPad as an on-the-road tool, working on older projects. Yes, I can select the project collection I want to work on, and sync it to the cloud from my main machine, but what in gods name is the point of that, since I will not be able to work on anything but a “smart preview” on my iPad Pro.
I short, the workflow is tragicly broken.
If you are a working photographer, you are in need of LR Classic, but utilising the wonderful editing capabilities of an iPad Pro (with the AWESOME pencil) is *just* out of reach, because of a senseless software limitation.
Please, please, please fix this, Adobe.
Thank you.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 20, 2018 Mar 20, 2018

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There is a workaround to get that dust off your iPad Pro (waiting for Adobe to fix this probably won't). After you've synched the images from Lightroom Classic, import the same images into Lightroom CC. Lightroom CC is smart enough to recognize that the images are already in the cloud as smart previews, and will replace those smart previews with originals. Set the preferences of Lightroom CC to store 0% copies on your hard disk, so you don't need twice the storage for the same image.
-- Johan W. Elzenga

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 20, 2018 Mar 20, 2018

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You can do the same thing by dragging them into a web browser opened to https://lightroom.adobe.com but avoiding the duplication issue. 

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New Here ,
Mar 21, 2018 Mar 21, 2018

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Seriously though. If you had a mobile workflow before "the schism" and are now trying to keep the same workflow using LR Classic you are screwed. You basically can't use mobile unless you are using LR CC. Given that Adobe can push updates and bug fixes easily through the subscription scenario, and haven't yet, it makes you wonder if it's by design.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 21, 2018 Mar 21, 2018

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Don't think so. Any mobile workflow that you had before the new Lightroom CC came out remains the same... If you prefer Lightroom Classic 100% (together with LR Mobile and Web), then you can effectively ignore that Lightroom CC even exists, and everything should work the same as it did. 

You'll still only get Smart Previews uploaded from Classic, but that is the same behavior it had before.

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New Here ,
Mar 21, 2018 Mar 21, 2018

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Actually, it is quite different now. My photos looked fine in LR mobile before, now they look like garbage. Something has changed, which is whey there are multiple threads on this topic. 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 21, 2018 Mar 21, 2018

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Hmm. Mine look just fine on LR CC/mobile with just the smart previews. Could you show us what you are seeing? There is an annoying bug in LR CC and PR CC mobile where if you only have smart previews available (i.e. synced from Classic) it will zoom to the resolution of the original raw instead of to the smart preview's resolution and will show you a pixelated image because of that. I've submitted that as a bug on this forum and elsewhere but it is not getting fixed.

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