I use Adobe Lightroom Classic. I am not an expert or indeed experienced computer user but I have noticed whenever I export a file (RAW image) from Lightroom to my computer (as a JPEG image), these files are dramatically reduced in size. For example, my original file as imported from the camera as a RAW file is 27MB. I do not touch this file in any way...no editing or cropping whatsoever. I then export the file as a JPEG to my harddrive and the file has been reduced to 13MB. I do not tick the image sizing box and have the resolution box on its maximum of 300. In the quality I leave set at 100 and the limit file size is unticked. My question....is this normal and if so how large can I enlarge this image without lose of detail etc? Thank you for your help.
Yes, this is normal. RAW files contain a lot of information about the photo which allows you to do better editing of exposure and color. JPG is highly compressed, and while it may appear to look as good as the RAW, much of the information is "baked" into the file, making editing less joyful. You can still edit a jpg, but you will find the range of chnages you can make to exposure and color are significantly reduced.
Ergo; keep the RAWs for editing. Make JPGs for viewing on web and such.
Thank you Curt for the reply and the information. I really thought something was amiss. Just out of curiosity I am thinking of framing up a couple of the images for my wall. Would a 12MB image handle being blown out to say 50 inches x 30 inches for example without any quality loss?
I would say no.
300dpi is generally considered magazine quality print resolution. 12Mp would make roughly 9 x14" at 300dpi.
You can print at lower dpi and go much larger. If it will be viewed from a disatnce, may be fine. But 50 X 30 with no loss of quality? No.
I would say yes! So as not to discourage you from printing a great image for your wall!
(JPG Megabyte File-size and PPI alone do NOT indicate a print quality)
My 30X20" prints look great on the wall with all the detail I need from my 6000x4000px image files- I do not even remember the JPG megabyte size, or a ppi, of the files sent to the printer.
(My commercial printer will now also accept TIF files (no compression) for better quality)
Ok so what you are basically saying is don't worry too much about file size (up to a point of course). I am glad to hear that as I was starting to get very disconcerted about owning a digital camera and editing the images. I have a nice (to me its nice at least) capture in monochrome I took and it is cropped to 6000 x 3750 and I was hoping I could get it printed to say 32 x 20 inches for the wall with no image loss. I was a bit confused when I saw that well known British photographer David Yarrow who uses a D850 prints has his images printed very large without any loss. My D750 doesn't create images with as many MB as the D850 but I thought surely these can be enlarged to a reasonable size. Thank you for your input.
Except he asked if he can print a 50" print from a 12Mp image with no loss of quality.
The answer is definately no.
Sorry Curt I got my sizes wrong and meant no disrepect. I have no idea what Nikon D850 file sizes are but I know they would be larger than mine from a D750. However, I do assume that David Yarrow edits his images, on what program I don't know, but I will also assume his images when converted to JPEGs suffer the same loss as mine although his image files would be still larger than mine. That said, I have seen some of Yarrows work enlarged to really big prints without loss of detail which kind of confused me when you said mine could only be enlarged to 14 x 9 which is pretty small really. Thank you.