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Loss of image quality when importing and exporting in Lightroom for the purpose of metadata only

New Here ,
Jun 26, 2020

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Hello,

 

I have a bunch of jpeg images that need to be imported into Lightroom for the sole purpose of adding metadata and keywording.

These images will then be exported back to jpegs with no other adjustments.

 

My first question is;

Will the images lose quality as no actual adjustments are being made to the image itself or are the processes of decompression and recompression to and from jpeg will inevitably lead to a reduction in quality anyway?

 

My second question is;

If there is a reduction, how noticeable will it be?

The images are currently on a MicroStock site and I need to upload them onto other MicroStock Sites but as the metadata does not contain captions, titles, and keywords, it makes sense for me to import them into Lightroom to populate this data and then export to be uploaded.

 

As you can see, I can't afford to lose quality and as I don't know the answer, any help will be very appreciated.

 

Regards

Abdul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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FAQ, How to, Import and export, Performance, Problem or error

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Loss of image quality when importing and exporting in Lightroom for the purpose of metadata only

New Here ,
Jun 26, 2020

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Hello,

 

I have a bunch of jpeg images that need to be imported into Lightroom for the sole purpose of adding metadata and keywording.

These images will then be exported back to jpegs with no other adjustments.

 

My first question is;

Will the images lose quality as no actual adjustments are being made to the image itself or are the processes of decompression and recompression to and from jpeg will inevitably lead to a reduction in quality anyway?

 

My second question is;

If there is a reduction, how noticeable will it be?

The images are currently on a MicroStock site and I need to upload them onto other MicroStock Sites but as the metadata does not contain captions, titles, and keywords, it makes sense for me to import them into Lightroom to populate this data and then export to be uploaded.

 

As you can see, I can't afford to lose quality and as I don't know the answer, any help will be very appreciated.

 

Regards

Abdul

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Topics

FAQ, How to, Import and export, Performance, Problem or error

Views

108

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 26, 2020

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There should not be a nedd to Export those images. Changes made to Metadata can be saved directly to the original JPG by doing a Ctrl + s (Metadata menu "Save Metadata to File").

 

Loss of quality is based on youre Export Settings. In your case you do not need to export those files so there should not be any loss in image quality.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 26, 2020

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Use the Lightroom Classic menu command Metadata->Write Metadata to Files instead of exporting.

 

My second question is;

If there is a reduction, how noticeable will it be?

The images are currently on a MicroStock site and I need to upload them onto other MicroStock Sites but as the metadata does not contain captions, titles, and keywords, it makes sense for me to import them into Lightroom to populate this data and then export to be uploaded.

 

As you can see, I can't afford to lose quality and as I don't know the answer, any help will be very appreciated.

 

The way to determine the amount of loss of quality is to try it and then LOOK AT the results. Only YOU can determine if the quality meets your needs.

 

On an somewhat academic basis, you might want to read An Analysis of Lightroom JPEG Export Quality Settings

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 26, 2020

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One other alternative is to use Adobe Bridge. From there you can access all of the Metadata options and never do anything to the image(s) other than select them, open the Metadata window (Control/Command-i), enter what you want for the image(s), and then close the window. The big negative is that you cannot change the image selection(s) with the Metadata window open so it may be a bit slower than you'd like but it will not touch the image quality.

 

Good luck!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 26, 2020

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Lots of good advice already.

 

To answer the question asked, yes, if you do a read-write sequence to a JPG enough times you will eventually see the data degradation. Your choice of "quality" settings in the export/write command will govern the quickness of the data loss.

 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 26, 2020

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After seeing all of these comments I did a plain and simple test, Here's the way to do it:

 

When you import, -> Add <- the images into Lightroom from wherever they are, do NOT MOVE them into another folder.

 

Assign keywords as you wish, then Select them all and then do a Command/Control-s. This will save the metadata to the image.

 

Finally, go back to your orignal foder in Finder/Explorer and do what you want with the image. 

 

And finally finally, in Lightroom delete the images from your catalog since you will not be doing anything with them in Lightroom at this point.

 

Do NOT Export them out of LR. If you do, you will be doing one of the jpging a jpg issues that are talked about above. Saving the metadata to a file does NOT change the pixels, it just adds the metadata to the file. Two different things.

 

Good luck!

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LEGEND ,
Jun 26, 2020

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Or, you could do your metaddaata editss outsside off post processong software via metadata editors

 

https://www.geckoandfly.com/7987/how-to-change-exif-data-date-and-camera-properties-with-free-editor...

 

Just another Adobe customer; My Sys; APP: LRC 9.4, PS 21.2.1; CMP: WIN WS 16GB OS 10 v1909 (18363), mid 2015 MBPr 15” 16GB MACOS 10.15.6; 4K EXT DSPY; CAM: Canon 5D Mk III, Fuji X-T3

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