1 Reply Latest reply on Aug 23, 2014 10:49 AM by dj_paige

    Smart Previews, normal previews, JPEGs & RAW originals

    Feanor_

      I've been doing a fair bit of reading about Smart Previews and there are a few things that don't quite make sense to me. I haven't had the need to use them yet as I've been limited to my creaking Core2Duo desktop I built in 2006, but as I have a 2014 Macbook Pro on order I'm likely to want to use this feature.

       

      Noone seems to mention the limitations of Smart Previews for editing, beyond the lack of resolution making certain tasks such as noise reduction impractical. But everything I've read says that it's best to shoot RAW to ensure photos can be edited as much as possible if the need arises.

       

      Surely the DNG compression used by Smart Previews means that tasks such as recovering significantly under- or over-exposed photos wouldn't work very well without access to the original RAW file?

       

      Or does none of this matter because, even if the edited Smart Preview might not look great, as soon as Lightroom gets access to the original RAWs it'll regenerate both Smart and normal previews so that they look as you'd expect?

       

      I'm not sure whether I'm expressing myself very well here. For eg, though, I read one blog post that tried explaining that once Lightroom can see the original files it would update them with the changes made to the Smart Previews. But that goes against everything I understand about Lightroom being completely catalogue based and never making adjustments to the original files! So I'm sure that statement was nonsense but it's left me even more confused.

       

      Thanks in advance

        • 1. Re: Smart Previews, normal previews, JPEGs & RAW originals
          dj_paige Level 9

          For eg, though, I read one blog post that tried explaining that once Lightroom can see the original files it would update them with the changes made to the Smart Previews. But that goes against everything I understand about Lightroom being completely catalogue based and never making adjustments to the original files!

          Once the original files are available, Lightroom will render the image (not update the file) with the edits made to the smart previews. Thus the image you will see on your screen (and receive if you choose to export) the exact same image as if you had never used the smart previews, as if you had used the original full image the entire time.