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Editing/exporting using Smart Previews in Lightroom Classic

Community Beginner ,
Nov 01, 2019

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Long story short, I upgraded to a high-res camera recently (a 45MP camera) and now have to deal with large RAW files (like 90MB).  So I've gone back in my LR catalog and created smart previews for all images.  I've created smart previews that are 2880 (highest possible resolution in LR).  Up to this point, I've always had the RAW files available, but am going to start utilizing Smart Previews instead (since I've determined at 90MB per image, I will go through disk space quickly). 

I'm not wanting carrying multiple HDDs with RAWs on them--that and my Surface PRo 6 which I use for light editing on the go, only has one USB port anyway (I share my catalog between multiple computers so I have it stored on a portable SSD).

 

So my question is more on if this method (smart previews) works well for those who are traveling, and mostly doing edits, not so much exporting for publication/print/posting to a gallery.

 

Thoughts on this?  Again, I've always had the RAWs available so I never really thought about this but just wanted to get some input and experiences from people who have use a Smart Preview-only workflow in LR while traveling.  How well does it work, and if they've had any issues come-up?  Is there any noticeable differences using the Smart Preview for editing vs the actual RAW?

 

Lastly, what are my limits in terms of exporting images for screen/display usage...  Is the limited to the max size of the smart preview (in my case 2880px)?

 

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Editing/exporting using Smart Previews in Lightroom Classic

Community Beginner ,
Nov 01, 2019

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Long story short, I upgraded to a high-res camera recently (a 45MP camera) and now have to deal with large RAW files (like 90MB).  So I've gone back in my LR catalog and created smart previews for all images.  I've created smart previews that are 2880 (highest possible resolution in LR).  Up to this point, I've always had the RAW files available, but am going to start utilizing Smart Previews instead (since I've determined at 90MB per image, I will go through disk space quickly). 

I'm not wanting carrying multiple HDDs with RAWs on them--that and my Surface PRo 6 which I use for light editing on the go, only has one USB port anyway (I share my catalog between multiple computers so I have it stored on a portable SSD).

 

So my question is more on if this method (smart previews) works well for those who are traveling, and mostly doing edits, not so much exporting for publication/print/posting to a gallery.

 

Thoughts on this?  Again, I've always had the RAWs available so I never really thought about this but just wanted to get some input and experiences from people who have use a Smart Preview-only workflow in LR while traveling.  How well does it work, and if they've had any issues come-up?  Is there any noticeable differences using the Smart Preview for editing vs the actual RAW?

 

Lastly, what are my limits in terms of exporting images for screen/display usage...  Is the limited to the max size of the smart preview (in my case 2880px)?

 

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FAQ, Performance, Windows

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Adobe Employee ,
Nov 01, 2019

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Hi there,

 

The Smart previews in Lightroom are basically lossy DNG files that are created from the RAW files. These are compressed and resized files.

 

I personally use the smart previews for editing images and it is a handy feature as it lets you edit the images but since the previews are created from compressed lossy DNG files, the exported image is limited by the maximum available resolution of the smart preview. It is helpful if you need to quickly export and send an image to someone, however it is always recommended to export your work with the originals online. 

 

For more details, you can refer the the article linked below.

https://helpx.adobe.com/in/lightroom-classic/help/lightroom-smart-previews.html

 

Let us know if that helps.

 

Regards,

Nikunj

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 01, 2019

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OK thanks.  That's sort of what I was thinking.  I don't plan on exporting any images for the most part, except for "emergencies" (when I need to deliver something while traveling).  But as far as editing goes, the experience is almost the same as using the RAWs (in terms of accuracy/detail at least of the image)?

 

My biggest fear is making edits that might be "incorrect" due to some issue with the Smart PreviewDNG (such as a color shift or exposure problem during the DNG conversion process).

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