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Lightroom - How to convert RAW to JPEG to save cloud storage space

New Here ,
Oct 16, 2019 Oct 16, 2019

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I currently use dropbox to store photos (>1TB) and edit in Lightroom classic CC. I am considering moving all files into the Adobe cloud so that I can edit on various devices and have a better file management and viewing system than dropbox. I've downloaded the Lightroom CC and had a test and can't work out how to do what I commonly do in Classic. 

I import files in RAW, edit and then often convert all to JPEG and delete the originals. I can only see options to convert to JPEG and store in a file on the device I am using. Is there a way to 'convert to JPEG' so that the files stay on the cloud and in the same folder that they currently live? I need to do this to save space as could not afford the cloud service with all photos staying in RAW. 

Thanks a lot everyone and I hope that this makes sense. 

Christian

 

 

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 16, 2019 Oct 16, 2019

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Hi Christian,

 

In Lightroom Classic we have an option to add the exported image to the catalog from the folder to which it is exported (in your case I presume you are exporting the JPEG to the original folder containing the RAW file) however in Lightroom (cloud based) the image once saved/exported would need to be re-imported to the application to sync with the Lightroom ecosystem. We do not have an option to convert the file or automatically import the exported file.

 

You can suggested this as a feature request as the forum linked below. The forum is monitored by our product team and they can check if the feature can be included in a future version.

https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/categories/photoshop_family_lightroom_cc

 

Regards,

Nikunj

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New Here ,
Oct 16, 2019 Oct 16, 2019

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Thanks a lot for the quick reply. This should be manageable and won't be an issue except where the internet is slow or metered and expensive (I move around a lot). I will post the request but presumably seeing as I haven't found this question before, it is an unusual and not popular request! It woudl be cool thought to have a button which said 'convert to JPEG to save space'.Thanks.

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Community Expert ,
Oct 17, 2019 Oct 17, 2019

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Converting a raw file to jpeg and then deleting the raw file is a very bad idea. First of all, jpeg is a 'lossy' format. It throws away information that you can never recover. Secondly, applications like Lightroom are being improved constantly. What may seem like the best you can get out of a raw file today, may be totally different in a few years. This is not just theory. I've seen this in practise, where newer algorithms made it possible to re-edit an old raw photo, and making it look like it was shot with a better camera and a better lens. You throw away all those opportunities if you throw away the raw files.

 

If all this is not important to you, then why shoot in raw in the first place? Shoot in jpeg, then you don't have to convert anything.

 

You do not need expensive cloud space to be able to edit your images on all devices. If you sync your Lightroom Classic catalog to the cloud, it will upload smart previews and these do not count against your cloud space allotment, so the standard 20GB you have now will be enough. Those smart previews are perfect for smartphones and tablets and edits you make in Lightroom Mobile on those devices sync back to Lightroom Classic.

-- Johan W. Elzenga

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New Here ,
Oct 17, 2019 Oct 17, 2019

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Thanks Johan. I knew someone would respond with these points! I think I have a good reason for working the way I do. I shoot RAW so that if I happen to capture a special image I have the ability to do more with it. But for routine family photos etc, unless they really capture something special I am happy to convert them to jpeg, either immediately or sometimes after first recovering some shadows.

I didn't know about the smart previews, that could have been a really good option if I only used one PC. But I have a desktop with all photos as the main backup, but then do most edits on a seperate laptop and sometimes also use the phone on the go with Lightroom CC. I assume that smart previews would not let me see sufficient detail on the laptop in this case so the Lightroom CC is the only option. Thanks a lot for the suggestion and insight though. 

All the best, 

Christian

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New Here ,
Sep 25, 2022 Sep 25, 2022

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"Converting a raw file to jpeg and then deleting the raw file is a very bad idea." No, it is not a bad idea when you have a specific Use Case as explained by the opening author Christian. I have the same workflow as his: shooting RAW, editing them in Lightroom CC. Then the finalised edit is ony needed in JPEG format. (as per our Use case and not your opinion on how to deal with RAW files) 

Keeping 60MB size files in cloud storage that are not needed is a waste of precious space.

Sure, some interesting pictures can be kept in RAW-format, but when you shoot events, only JPEGs are needed to share with interested people and to keep backups for yourself.

 

"If all this is not important to you, then why shoot in raw in the first place? Shoot in jpeg, then you don't have to convert anything."

We shoot in RAW for the capabillity to make better finalized pictures in Lightroom CC. You know, shadows are much more retrievable in RAW then in JPEG and many more aspects. So yes, it does make sense to shoot in RAW and store the finalized picture in JPEG format.

 

Please, next time when you give advice, step away from your own perespective and first try to understand the person you are trying to help. Understand the persons' Use case first.

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LEGEND ,
Oct 17, 2019 Oct 17, 2019

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It may be best to use collections in LR Classic. No export required. Simply mark the collection for sync and smaller DNG smart previews are sent to the cloud. This would optimize your storage as mentioned by Johan and only photos shot directly with your mobile device would count as part of your storage limit.

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