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Raw / JPEG

Apr 8, 2012 2:10 PM

Hi there. New to Lightroom4. I have my camera set up to take RAW + JPEG, it looks like its importing both the RAW and JPEG file into windows, but it appears that I am only able to edit the smaller JPEG version in light shop. I am looking to do the following:

1. Verify that I am editing the RAW file

2. How can I save the newly developed/edited image without overriding the original copy?

3. How can I export edited (RAW) file to folder to save/burn and develop?


Thanks in advance.

  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 8, 2012 2:27 PM   in reply to GoshawkCso

    1. The RAW file will have a "raw" extension, e.g. .NEF for many Nikon cameras, .CR2 for many Canon cameras, etc.


    2. Lightroom automatically saves your edits in the Lightroom catalog. You do not have to issue a save command. Lightroom never changes your original.


    3. File->Export (although I have no idea what the "develop" word is doing here, you "developed" the photo before you exported it in the Lightroom Develop module.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 8, 2012 4:14 PM   in reply to GoshawkCso

    Re: # 2 - so I can basically change whatever I want, but always go back to click "original"? - and it will revert back?

    In Lightroom Develop Module, you can view the original and the edited by toggling with the backslash key. To go back to the original so you can start over, you would press the Reset button. You might also want to use a virtual copy.

    Re # 3 - I see the size of the original CR2 file is about 32MB for a particular picture. When I go to export, the file size shrinks dramatically - down to 6 or so MB? Don't I want to be able to save this as a larger file size - ie making/printing v. large portraits? I would have thought after the export, file size would not have changed. When I am exporting, is it changing to a different file type? I basically want to edit the original RAW file, and be able to print that same RAW image.

    The Lightroom Print module will allow you to print the edited RAW. If you want to send the photo to a commercial printer for printing, then you have to export a JPG (some places take TIFF files as well), but commercial printers can't print a RAW. JPG is a compression technology, and is 8bits versus the RAW which is either 12bit or 14bit, so yes the JPG will be smaller. Nothing to worry about.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 8, 2012 4:54 PM   in reply to GoshawkCso

    DjP thanks again - you are one step ahead. So just to be clear on #3. I have a handful of RAW images that I have edited - I am satisfied and now I want to send them to a photo store to have them print a certain sized image. According to the above, all I need to do is simply click on the files I want printed > Export > Export as JPEG, then save to device and bring into store - is that correct?

    Sounds good to me

    Is there a specific reason for commercial printers not being able to / allowing for printing of RAW?

    Because their hardware/software isn't designed to handle RAW

    ... but isn't RAW the best quality you can use? So for example, the quality of the JPEG image will be poorer/less clear than that of RAW? Let's say I wanted to print a life-sized mural - wouldn't exporting as JPEG and subsequent printing result in poor(er) quality?

    Converting a RAW to a JPG will cause some degradation of quality, but assuming you choose a relatively high level of quality when you convert to the JPG, most people can't see the difference between the RAW on your screen and the converted JPG on the same screen. Yes, there is a difference, and if you know exactly what to look for, or if you blow it huge, you will see a small difference.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 8, 2012 5:31 PM   in reply to GoshawkCso

    You rarely need quality of 100. For most people, 80 or 90 suffices and saves disk space. See


    To print at 16x20, you first need to crop to 16x20 (or 4x5). Then in the export dialog box, under Image Sizing, you choose width and height to be 16inches x 20inches. PPI of 240 (or maybe even a little lower, big photos don't need as high resolution because they are usually viewed at a distance), and then export. there a place in Lightroom where I can select a border/frame to go around the image before exporting?

    Maybe there's a plug-in that can do this (I don't know), but Lightroom itself will not do this.

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  • HarrieB
    342 posts
    Nov 11, 2009
    Currently Being Moderated
    Apr 8, 2012 5:37 PM   in reply to GoshawkCso

    What the borders concerns: take a look at

    This Lightroom plugin may well be what you mean.

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