7 Replies Latest reply on Oct 7, 2013 12:39 AM by Alexander Herring

    Lightroom:  Converting entire library to DNG

    Alexander Herring

      I'm intersted in converting my entire library to DNG in Lightroom 5 without losing any quality and

      maintaining the most flexibility possible.

      Currently I have all of my folders organized chronologically.

      Unfortunatley, over time I have switched back and forth between xmp and catalog based metadata which

      has left some folders with xmp and others without.

       

      I want everything to be consistent and ultimatley more efficient for Lightrooms performance.

       

      What is the cleanest, safest and most comprehensive steps to accomplish this?

      What boxes should I check in the "covert to dng" dialog box?

      Lossy will reduce the file size but compromise quality, correct?

       

      Any other tips for things that come up along the way would be greatly appreciated.

       

      All the best,

       

      Alex

        • 1. Re: Lightroom:  Converting entire library to DNG
          JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          If you are sure that is what you want to do then you would want to tell Lightroom to delete the original raw files, and you would probably want to include fast load data. That option is supposed to make the DNG files load more quickly.

           

           

          I just question your choice to do a total conversion. In my opinion, you impose a lot of limitations on what you can do with your images. There really isn't that much space savings in many cases, and you limit the software that you can open your DNG raw files with. Personally, I still believe working with original raw files from the camera provides the most flexibility. As far as difference in quality is concerned, I have never been able to detect any difference when I have converted to DNG. But occasionally I want to use non-Adobe software with an image, and converting to DNG limits my choices.

          • 2. Re: Lightroom:  Converting entire library to DNG
            areohbee Level 6

            Alexander Herring wrote:

             

            I'm intersted in converting my entire library to DNG

            If your present complement of software reads your files in their current format, why do you want to convert to a different format?

             

            Lr5 won't go any faster with DNGs, if that's what you were thinking.

             

            You mentioned consistency - do you have a multitude of raw formats to consolidate to DNG? what about your non-raw formats?

             

            Your motivation for conversion dictates whether you should convert or not, and if so, which options you should choose...

             

            R

            • 3. Re: Lightroom:  Converting entire library to DNG
              Alexander Herring Level 1

              Thank you so much for the feedback.

              I've been reading the DAM book by Peter Krogh

              and gong through the Lynda.com lessons.

               

              Most of what they are saying is the following...

              •the file is the same quality and yet a smaller file

              •dng allows the option to turn on FAST MODE in Lightroom which is up to 8x faster

              •no need for a side car xmp, which make the file more easily transportable

              •dng is non proprietary which is more stable for archive becasue it's an open source

               

              Having not taken such a large step like this with my entire library I thought it wise to see if anyone had and if there were any pitfalls

              by doing to much at a time, etc.

               

              Ultimatley for me, having my files in an open source format make me more comforable about the future and gives me better performance within adobe.

              • 4. Re: Lightroom:  Converting entire library to DNG
                Alexander Herring Level 1

                Rob wrote:

                 

                You mentioned consistency - do you have a multitude of raw formats to consolidate to DNG? what about your non-raw formats?

                 

                I have 7 different raw formats that I'm converting...only raw.

                I haven't decided whether or not to bring my layered file into Lightroom yet...I would never convert them obviously.

                But it does appear that they can be imported for organization and it won't hinder LR's performance...right???:)

                • 5. Re: Lightroom:  Converting entire library to DNG
                  areohbee Level 6

                  Alexander Herring wrote:

                   

                  •the file is the same quality and yet a smaller file

                  Most of the size reduction comes from reduced jpeg preview, raw data compression is about the same. Save fast-load data, xmp, and a full-size/high quality jpeg in there and it will be bigger than the original raw. Don't take my word for it - do the test!

                   

                   

                  Alexander Herring wrote:

                   

                  •dng allows the option to turn on FAST MODE in Lightroom which is up to 8x faster

                  That's pure crap.

                   

                   

                  Alexander Herring wrote:

                   

                  •no need for a side car xmp, which make the file more easily transportable

                  Whether sidecars are a net plus or minus is a subject of constant debate in this forum. I keep all my raws in proprietary format, but frequently give other people DNGs, in order to assure the sidecar isn't dropped. But I wish sidecars were an option for all file types including DNG & jpeg...

                   

                   

                  Alexander Herring wrote:

                   

                  •dng is non proprietary which is more stable for archive becasue it's an open source

                  Remember: you can convert to DNG at any time, but you can't convert back. Well, actually, you can revert with a little help from UnDNG.

                   

                   

                  Alexander Herring wrote:

                   

                  Having not taken such a large step like this with my entire library I thought it wise to see if anyone had and if there were any pitfalls

                  by doing to much at a time, etc

                  Lots of people convert to DNG and are proud of it - the only practical problem you may run into is if using non Adobe-converted-DNG compatible software. I mean, if you try 100,000 at once you may not make it through, since Lr often has memory leaks which can gang up, etc. but you can always restart.

                   

                   

                  Alexander Herring wrote:

                   

                  Ultimatley for me, having my files in an open source format make me more comforable about the future

                  In my opinion, the warm fuzzy feeling you get converting to DNG is the only good reason to do it (or the main reason anyway).

                   

                   

                  Alexander Herring wrote:

                   

                  and gives me better performance within adobe.

                  This is not true.

                   

                  Rob

                  • 6. Re: Lightroom:  Converting entire library to DNG
                    areohbee Level 6

                    Alexander Herring wrote:

                     

                    I have 7 different raw formats that I'm converting...only raw.

                    OK.

                     

                    Alexander Herring wrote:

                     

                    But it does appear that they can be imported for organization and it won't hinder LR's performance...right???:)

                    Right.

                     

                     

                    convert_to_dng_settings.gif

                     

                    These settings would probably work well for you. All are a matter of personal preference, except you definitely don't want lossy compression.

                    Compatibility: I recommend the highest you can choose and not be incompatible with anything you'll be using.

                    Only delete originals if you've already got them archived somewhere else, unless you really enjoy the thrill of burning bridges.

                    Embedding original is generally not necessary if you've already got them archived somewhere else, and makes for double-sized files.

                    Embed Fast Load Data is sortofa "don't care" - it'll use ACR cache for storing "fast load data" instead, if you uncheck it, but it may enhance that warm fuzzy feeling we were talking about to check it.

                     

                    Note: jpeg preview setting only applies until you save previews in Lr (or any other software), if you do.

                     

                    Any questions?

                     

                    Rob

                    • 7. Re: Lightroom:  Converting entire library to DNG
                      Alexander Herring Level 1

                      No questions...thank you so much for all the help , Rob.

                       

                      I really appreaite your time.