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Surviving with a 40GB mobile-only Lightroom plan? Backup strategies? Keeping only smart previews?

New Here ,
May 25, 2021 May 25, 2021

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I have a subscription for Lightroom mobile with Premium features, which has limited cloud storage (40GB). Since in the normal workflow all original RAWs are uploaded and kept in the cloud, this storage space will fill up very quickly. Assuming that I do not want to upgrade my plan to the 1TB Lightroom Plan or the 20GB or 1TB Photography Plan with Lightroom Classic, the only possibility seems to be to free up some space time to time by downloading RAWs with the applied edits as backups, and then delete them from LR mobile.

 
It seems that I have 2 options for extracting my RAW files, together with the edits I made, from LR mobile:
 
  1. In LR mobile, I select the images and export them as DNGs. In this case, my original (proprietary) RAWs will be converted to DNG, with all my edits embedded to it. The disadvantage is that (at least, in my case), these DNGs will be ~30% larger than my lossless compressed RAWs, and there may also be other issues related to the RAW to DNG conversion.
  2. On my desktop, I use the free Lightroom Downloader tool, which downloads the original RAWs with xmp sidecar files. It seems, however, that this tool is a brute force downloader with no other option than download your full catalog in a single step, which is a bit inconvenient.
 
Now my questions:
 
  1. What can I do if I want to re-edit some of the images later, which I have only in the backup? It seems that if I choose option 1 from above, I can simply re-import the DNG to LR Mobile, and all the previous edits saved in the DNG file will be automatically applied. Very good. But, am I right, that if I choose option 2, then I cannot do this (if I have access only to LR mobile), because I cannot re-import a RAW+xmp file pair?
  2. The smart previews are very powerful, they very effectively replace the original RAW files as long as you don’t need resolution higher than 2540 pixels along the longest edge and they need only <1MB storage space per image. This opens the possibility to keep all the images using my 40GB plan I likely to take in the foreseeable future as smart previews. This leads me to the question: Is there any way to delete the RAW files from the cloud, but only the RAWs, keeping the smart previews? This would allow for a fully functional catalog with all my images accessible from my mobile devices and from the web, though with a limited, but usable resolution. 
 
Thanks for your thoughts,
 
Tamás
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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Adobe Community Professional , May 25, 2021 May 25, 2021
Yes, you're correct with the first two options and the downloader tool has been thoroughly tested by a leading member of the Lightroom community and can be buggy in some instances. As for the the questions, indeed you cannot import RAW + XMP into Lightroom Mobile (on Android only can import XMP Presets but I don't know if they will import at the same time as a RAW). And unfortunately no, you cannot keep Smart Previews in the Cloud and delete the full resolution RAWs. I don't work for Adobe b...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 25, 2021 May 25, 2021

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Yes, you're correct with the first two options and the downloader tool has been thoroughly tested by a leading member of the Lightroom community and can be buggy in some instances.

 

As for the the questions, indeed you cannot import RAW + XMP into Lightroom Mobile (on Android only can import XMP Presets but I don't know if they will import at the same time as a RAW).

And unfortunately no, you cannot keep Smart Previews in the Cloud and delete the full resolution RAWs.

 

I don't work for Adobe but if you can push to it the cost of the 1TB Cloud Plan I think it's pretty good value compared to the Mobile Plan (most territories I believe it's double the price approx £/€/$ 10 as opposed to 5).

 

Another member of the community may have other suggestions... good luck, hope you find a suitable workflow.

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