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Prevent Lightroom from writing to DNG files

Community Beginner ,
Mar 31, 2020

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How do I prevent LR from writing changes into DNG files? I don't want any changes whatsoever to my raw files. They should be kept as when imported from the camera.

 

 

Regards,

Lage

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Prevent Lightroom from writing to DNG files

Community Beginner ,
Mar 31, 2020

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How do I prevent LR from writing changes into DNG files? I don't want any changes whatsoever to my raw files. They should be kept as when imported from the camera.

 

 

Regards,

Lage

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LEGEND ,
Mar 31, 2020

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Does your camera save the file as DNG.? If so then you should never save metadata to the file to prevent any changes.  If your camera doesn't save DNG than you shouldn't be converting to DNG.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 31, 2020

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My cameras has the option to save as .dng, but how do I prevent LR to save changes to the .dng file when editing? Is the only solution to use proprietary raw format?

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LEGEND ,
Mar 31, 2020

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By default, Lightroom never writes to RAW or DNG files. You can turn on options to write to DNG files, or you can manually tell Lightroom write to DNG files. So, don't turn on that option and don't manually tell Lightroom to write to your DNG files. (Yes, I know there's no guarantee that you won't do it by mistake ... )

 

Another factor is to have pristine backups of your original DNGs. Then, even if you accidentally write to the DNG file by mistake, you still have an un-touched DNG file to use.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 31, 2020

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So where do I turn off writing to dng files?

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LEGEND ,
Mar 31, 2020

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Yes, non-DNG propriatary RAW files are the only format that doesn't save to the RAW except if you tell Lightroom to change the capture date and then save the metadata.  Then only the capture date is changed.

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LEGEND ,
Mar 31, 2020

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Like DJ said, make backups of you photos immediately.  Preferably make multiple backups.  I have 2 local backup drives, one offsite backup drive and most photos (keepers) backed up in the cloud (not Adobe Cloud)

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 31, 2020

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The stupidity of writing into dng files is among other things that backup software will see the file as altered whenever you edit it, and therefore will include it in the next backup, causing backups slow and huge.  If dng files were left untouched, they would only need to be backuped once.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 31, 2020

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What type of changes are you referring to? 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 31, 2020

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Quote " What type of changes are you referring to?"

I am not certain specifically what your question refers to but would just offer the following comment.

Lightroom Classic is referred to as a "non-destructive editor" and as such does not, by default, make changes or adds info to the original imported file. To achieve that you have to manually select to do so or select to have that automatically done in the Catalog Preferences. See the screen capture of the dialog box which shows the available options.

Screenshot 2020-03-31 at 3.53.56 PM.png

By Default Lightroom only Reads and Writes to the Lightroom Catalog file.   

Regards, Denis: System iMac mid-2015, 5K 27” monitor, macOS10.15.6: LrC 9.4, Lr 3.4.1, Ps 21.2.3, Camera OM-D E-M1.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 31, 2020

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Whenever you save metadata, it is written into the dng file, no matter what catalog settings you have.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 31, 2020

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Absolutely, it will save the metadata to all selected image files, DNG, Raw, Tiff, Jpg, PNG and PSD. It will also happen if you have the Auto Write selected.

Regards, Denis: System iMac mid-2015, 5K 27” monitor, macOS10.15.6: LrC 9.4, Lr 3.4.1, Ps 21.2.3, Camera OM-D E-M1.

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LEGEND ,
Mar 31, 2020

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Not RAW.  For RAW the metadata is saved to an XMP sidecar

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 31, 2020

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Yes, the sidecar sits alongside the RAW file and is specific to that file. For DNG file because of its structure the metadata is stored in the file header, The original poster is saying he does not wish that to happen.

Then all he has to do is not save metadata to file and not select the Auto write to xmp.

 

Regards, Denis: System iMac mid-2015, 5K 27” monitor, macOS10.15.6: LrC 9.4, Lr 3.4.1, Ps 21.2.3, Camera OM-D E-M1.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 31, 2020

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The manual "Save metadata to file" does the same thing as the "Auto save to XMP".

The metadata will be saved to the file header of the DNG file, if you do not wish that to happen then do not select either function.

Regards, Denis: System iMac mid-2015, 5K 27” monitor, macOS10.15.6: LrC 9.4, Lr 3.4.1, Ps 21.2.3, Camera OM-D E-M1.

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Community Beginner ,
Apr 01, 2020

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If you turn on "automatically write changes to XMP, LR starts to save XMP files for All your edited files, not just the files you selected to save metadata for. So that's not an option. And even with that option on, LR writes metadata in the dng file also.

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LEGEND ,
Apr 01, 2020

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You do not want that option ON, you want that option OFF, because you want Lightroom to not write to your DNG files. You also want to not use the command Metadata->Save Metadata to Files. In this case, nothing is ever written to your DNG files.

 

And as I said earlier, you need to make backups of all of your DNGs just in case you accidentally use one of these options/commands, so you always have a pristine copy of your DNG available.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 31, 2020

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Actually LR does NOT change the image, Sensor, Data of a DNG file. What it does do is IF You Edit a DNG and you have the option turned on to Auto Write changes to a Sidecar XMP file those edits get written into a special section of the DNG file but it does not Change the actual data that make up the image.

 

Only LR or ACR can Read and (This is the BIG part) DISPLAY those edits over the top of the original DNG image data. If you open that same DNG in some other editor youy will not see the edits you did in LR.

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