1 2 Previous Next 66 Replies Latest reply on Jun 11, 2017 3:42 PM by malibuphotos

    Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?

    plumleygator Level 1

      My image file sizes are much smaller after editing and exporting through Lightroom. Is it impossible to maintain original file size to preserve image quality? Will this smaller file size have negative impact on prints? Any help is appreciated!

        • 1. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
          ssprengel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

          Are these JPGs or raws you’re editing?  Presumably you’re exporting JPGs.

           

          A few different things affect the size of the Exported image:

           

          Most obviously if you resize the image to smaller pixel dimensions the resulting file would have less pixels and could be smaller.

           

          Secondly the Quality setting (for JPGs) turned up all the way to 100 will be the best quality.

           

          Thirdly, if you used significant smoothing or cropping of the image within LR then it would be smaller than it would be otherwise all other parameters being the same.

           

          Without knowing what sort of images you’re starting with, what sort of images you’re exporting, and what you’re doing to them in LR as well as what Export parameters you’re using it’s hard to give a more detailed answer since so little detail was provided.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
            dj_paige Level 9

            File size is not an indicator of image quality! You are looking at the wrong measure.

             

            File size is determined by the number of pixels you have, the quality slider in the Export dialog box, and about a dozen other things, most of which you can't control.

             

            You want to look at the number of pixels (height and width) and not the file size.

             

            Is it impossible to maintain original file size to preserve image quality?

            Not only is it impossible, it is also meaningless (see above)

             

            Will this smaller file size have negative impact on prints?

            Instead of looking at the file size, you need to look at the number of pixels in the exported photo (width and height), and this will determine if you will get a decent print. The usual standard is that you need 300 pixels per inch.

            2 people found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
              Poste Level 1

              I too am having this issue with Lightroom 5. My files shot in RAW are huge but upon exporting are downsizing to under 3 MB. I understand that the JPEG are smaller, but that should be by 40% or so. My 17 MB files should downsize to 6 MB ( approx), 24 MB files should downsize to 10ish. Any and all downsize to under 3 MB.

              I have even gone back and attempted to "re-export" files that I have previously exported which exported at the correct size and they too are now down sizing to under 3 MB. My 24MB files are downsizing to 1.8-2.4 MB files. I do not  have file re sizing checked. Have JPEG at 100 % quality. Not sure why this is happening.

              Is this a lightroom issue?! Anyone else having this problem?!?! or know what the issue is?!?! Help please!

              • 4. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                dj_paige Level 9

                I too am having this issue with Lightroom 5. My files shot in RAW are huge but upon exporting are downsizing to under 3 MB. I understand that the JPEG are smaller, but that should be by 40% or so.

                I don't agree with the 40% number. I never heard that before, and as I said, the size of the JPG depends on things you can control and things you can't control. So I see nothing wrong with a 3MB JPG in your case.


                The idea that you, a human users of the software, can pre-determine a "correct size" for a JPG export is, in my opinion, wrong. Lightroom applies the JPG algorithm to your photos, and I have never yet seen a case where LR (or any other software) improperly sizes your JPGs given the settings in the Export dialog box.

                 

                Lastly, I don't think you can judge quality by the size of the exported JPG file. If you go down this path, it will only mislead you. The proper way to judge the quality of your images is to see if they have enough pixels for the intended purpose, and did you select the proper options in the Export dialog box (quality, resizing or not, sharpening, etc.)

                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                  Poste Level 1

                  I understand I cannot judge the size a photo should be as such but I think I do have a fairly good understanding of where file size usually ended up. As I said, I re exported some files that I had exported before which came out to 7 ish MB and upon exporting now, they came out under 3MB. Not an issue before, issue now. I have done nothing more to the photos , exported with the exact same settings and the "newly exported" files are half the size they were previously. If I have changed nothing, then the files should export at the same size and with the new update, they do not!! I have selected the proper settings in teh dialog box, ie. JPEG, 100 quality, non sharpened, no resizing, so this should not happen in my estimation. I shoot for stock photos and with the current exporting issue, cannot even upload photos as they are rejected "due to size". I should not have to re size the files as they are "large enough" in RAW format to export in correct size as a JPEG. This is not an issue with Photoshop. Any photos directly imported into photoshop, when saved are around the size I expect but...if I open the photos from lightroom into photoshop, they are much smaller. This seems to tell me there is an issue when files are uploaded into lightroom!

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                    dj_paige Level 9

                    Then we'll just have to disagree. I say you cannot tell the image quality from the 3 MB. I say trying to judge "quality" from image size is meaningless.

                     

                    Can you look at this exported 3MB at state clearly in detail what about the photo is now low quality?

                     

                    Can you share one of these photos via Dropbox or similar (and provide us the URL) so we can look at it too?

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                      trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      JPEG uses lossy compression and file size is highly dependent on the subject material in the image. Shoot a white ceiling out focus with no shadows and your original 20 MB raw file will create a JPEG that is less than 1.0 MB.

                      Here are some examples:

                       

                      Jeffrey Friedl's Blog » An Analysis of Lightroom JPEG Export Quality Settings

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                        awrymag Level 1

                        I am having a similar problem, except, my RAW files have a larger pixel count than my exported JPGs, at 100% quality and no pixel parameters set in the export function.

                         

                        My RAW files are 4608px × 3456px.

                         

                        The maximum size I can get when exporting a JPG is 3916px x 2937.

                         

                        I want to export JPGs for printing large prints, so would like to figure out how to do this.

                         

                        Can you help?

                         

                        J

                        • 9. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                          dj_paige Level 9

                          If your RAW photos are 4608x3456, and you haven't cropped them, then you will get the same number of pixels when you export if you UNcheck "Resize to Fit".

                          1 person found this helpful
                          • 10. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                            Poste Level 1

                            I am still struggling with the same issue as awrymag. I cannot get a large file to print from. The exported Jpegs are very small. I have gone back and "re-exported" an old file without changing anything in the RAW file and Lightroom exports the new export at a much smaller Jpeg file size. Exact same RAW file, exact same settings, nothing changed and the file is exported as a much smaller JPEG. I do NOT have any pixel parameters set, I do have the settings at a 100% JPEG quality and do NOT have "resize to fit" checked> Why are the files completely different sizes. One is 7.2 MB and the other is 3Mb. Why are they exporting smaller now?

                            • 11. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                              dj_paige Level 9

                              Hi, Poste and awrymag

                               

                              You have to stop saying you have the same problem. You don't. You have different problems.

                               

                              Poste says

                               

                              The exported Jpegs are very small. I have gone back and "re-exported" an old file without changing anything in the RAW file and Lightroom exports the new export at a much smaller Jpeg file size. Exact same RAW file, exact same settings, nothing changed and the file is exported as a much smaller JPEG.

                              You have to give us details. How big is the file in megapixels (or pixels width and height), and how big is the exported photo in megapixels (or pixels width and height). I don't care about the megabytes, that is meaningless, as discussed in many places.

                               

                              Poste says:

                               

                              I cannot get a large file to print from.

                              You have to give us details. How big do you want to print?

                               

                              Your example using megabytes says NOTHING about whether or not you can print from the file. You MUST specify megapixels (or pixels width and height). I also note, Poste, that you haven't answered my question "Can you look at this exported 3MB at state clearly in detail what about the photo is now low quality?"

                              1 person found this helpful
                              • 12. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                                awrymag Level 1

                                This is where I admit to a totally "duh" moment.

                                 

                                "...and you haven't cropped them..."

                                 

                                Yep, I had cropped them. Faceslap.

                                 

                                Thanks dj_paige!

                                 

                                J

                                1 person found this helpful
                                • 13. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                                  Seascape Portraits Level 1

                                  I am glad to have seen this. I have been using Lightroom since its initial inception and only recently experiencing this same problem. My megapixels (width and height) are now significantly smaller than prior exports on the same images (megapixels width and height). This is quite disconcerting. Of course I have checked to make sure the image quality is 100%....etc. etc.....and all the usual things. Although it disrupts my workflow and creates many more additional steps, the only solution I have found is... instead of simply exporting files as jpegs......I am now exporting as DNG's and then opening with Photoshop, then saving as a Jpeg. The file size remains consistent for what it should be this way. I certainly hope that Lightroom fixes this problem.

                                  • 14. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                                    JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                    Let's clarify something. Width and height are not reported in Lightroom in megapixels, but rather pixels. Are you saying that the pixel dimensions of the exported JPEG image  are less than the pixel dimensions in the original image? The only way that can happen is if you are resizing the image. If I export a raw image with no image sizing options selected, the pixel dimensions of the exported JPEG are precisely the same as the original raw file. However, the megapixel size of the JPEG file is significantly smaller than the megapixel size of the raw file. Converting to DNG and then exporting as JPEG should have no impact. And from what you indicated, you are comparing file size, not pixel dimensions of the image. The JPEG image will always be smaller than the raw file. The DNG file will be smaller, so it will make it appear that the conversion is more "normal". But it seems to me that you are comparing two different things, pixel dimensions and file size. And those comparisons are invalid.

                                    1 person found this helpful
                                    • 15. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                                      dj_paige Level 9

                                      Seascape Portraits wrote:

                                       

                                      I am glad to have seen this. I have been using Lightroom since its initial inception and only recently experiencing this same problem. My megapixels (width and height) are now significantly smaller than prior exports on the same images (megapixels width and height). This is quite disconcerting. Of course I have checked to make sure the image quality is 100%....etc. etc.....and all the usual things. Although it disrupts my workflow and creates many more additional steps, the only solution I have found is... instead of simply exporting files as jpegs......I am now exporting as DNG's and then opening with Photoshop, then saving as a Jpeg. The file size remains consistent for what it should be this way. I certainly hope that Lightroom fixes this problem.

                                      Well honestly, exporting as DNG and then using Photoshop is unnecessary.

                                       

                                      If your width and height in pixels are now different than the original size of the photo, there are two possible causes:

                                       

                                      1. Cropping the photo
                                      2. Checking "Resize to Fit" in the export dialog box.

                                       

                                      To get the exact same width and height in pixels as the original photo, you do not crop and you do not check "Resize to Fit". It's that simple.

                                       

                                      By the way, the quality slider has nothing to do with the height and width in pixels of your exported photo.

                                      1 person found this helpful
                                      • 16. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                                        Seascape Portraits Level 1

                                        Actually I just came up with an even better solution.....Create an export Preset in which you increase the file size to the megapixels that you desire. If you are putting them in an online store, have some standard size presets.

                                        • 17. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                                          dj_paige Level 9

                                          Create an export Preset in which you increase the file size to the megapixels that you desire

                                           

                                          Increasing image size? Is that really what you want to do?

                                           

                                          I think increasing image size is a poor choice. This causes Lightroom to interpolate (in other words, make up) pixels. The best solution, to get the maximum quality, is to work with the pixels you already have and UNcheck "Resize to Fit", then every pixel in your edited photo is exported, with no need to make up pixels to increase the image size.

                                          1 person found this helpful
                                          • 18. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                                            josephwiecha Level 1

                                            One thing you want to check is be sure the link is not broken. Right click the mouse and choose "reveal in finder". If the link is not correct - you will be exporting the preview - hence small size. Repair the link and the export size (pixel dimensions) should match what you see in the metadata window in Lightroom.

                                            • 19. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                                              gomagoti Level 1

                                              Hi all

                                              I too have been experiencing this problem. For the past 2 weeks, having not changed any settings, my jpgs are exporting as tiny files with a significant loss in image quality. my settings were:

                                              resize to fit 500px short edge

                                              no limit on file size

                                              quality slider at 100%

                                              resolution 1200pixels/cm

                                              This would give me a good balance between image quality and a decent sized JPG. File sizes ranged from 3-8MB. As of 2 weeks ago, the file size has dropped to below 27kb,using the same settings, and the resolution & image quality are terrible. Unticking the resize to fit box solves the resolution and image quality issue, makes the file bigger again so I can happily zoom in and out, but doesn't solve the initial mystery of why everything suddenly went haywire in the first place?

                                              • 20. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                                                Per Berntsen Adobe Community Professional

                                                resize to fit 500px short edge

                                                 

                                                This is a small image, and if you're viewing it at more than 100% magnification, it will look bad. At 200%, half of the pixels you see will have to be invented by the computer by interpolation. To evaluate image quality, always view at 100%.

                                                When you export an image, consider what you want to use it for, and size it accordingly.

                                                 

                                                resolution 1200pixels/cm

                                                 

                                                Whatever number you enter in the resolution field has no impact on quality, until you print the image.

                                                Ppi (or ppcm) is metadata used to calculate print size, and also affects print quality. Pixel dimensions divided by ppi equals print dimensions in inches.

                                                If you want to export for print, enter print dimensions in inches or cm, and the correct ppi for your printer in the export dialog.

                                                 

                                                File sizes ranged from 3-8MB

                                                 

                                                File size won't tell you the quality of a jpg  - pixel dimensions and the quality setting in the export dialog will. Compression will vary, depending on subject matter. Flat areas, like an even blue sky, will compress well, whereas detailed areas, like a forest floor, will not compress well.

                                                • 21. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                                                  trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                  This video may help–Jump to 3:20 here:

                                                  http://tv.adobe.com/watch/getting-started-with-adobe-photoshop-lightroom-5/lightroom-5-exp orting-images/

                                                   

                                                  gomagoti wrote:

                                                  resize to fit 500px short edge

                                                  no limit on file size

                                                  quality slider at 100%

                                                  resolution 1200pixels/cm

                                                   

                                                  The mistake made in the above settings is that 'Resolution' has no effect on resizing unless 'Resize to Fit' is set for 'in' or 'cm' and NOT pixels. For the above settings 500px 'Short Edge' over-rides the Resolution setting. The file's EXIF Resolution metadata field is simply written with the value '1200.' This may in fact cause issues if the target application is expecting a different Resolution value. A 100 Quality setting greatly inflates the file size and there's almost never a need to use a setting higher than 80. The only exception is if you're Exporting a JPEG file that's going to be edited further–Then 100 Quality will help.

                                                  1 person found this helpful
                                                  • 22. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                                                    rigid29er Level 1

                                                    I had a similar issue - my original file was 5760 × 3840 raw, and after I converted to jpeg with Lightroom 5, it became 2560 × 1707 all of a sudden, even though I selected 100% quality when I exported. Then I found out what I accidentally did to cause this. What I did, was that I accidentally moved the raw file to another folder, so Lightroom didn't recognized the raw file, and made the jpeg from the preview image. After I figured this out and moved the raw file back to where it was, I successfully made a 5760 × 3840 jpeg.

                                                     

                                                    Hope this helps.

                                                    1 person found this helpful
                                                    • 23. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                                                      DesertArgonaut Level 1

                                                      I too have experienced this. My raw files are 5184x3456 20.5mb at 24bit from a canon 60d.

                                                      In corel Aftershot Pro I saved as a jpeg at 100% 300dpi no cropping or enlarging. The jpeg file came out as 16.7mb at the same 5184x3456.

                                                      In Lightroom 6 or 5 for that matter the DNG came out as 17.6mb.  After exporting to jpeg all things being the same the jpegs came out as 6.12mb.

                                                      What gives?

                                                      Why the big discrepancy?

                                                      Are you saying both of these jpegs would both have the same print quality?

                                                       

                                                      Thanks in advance.

                                                      • 24. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                                                        ssprengel Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                        What quality, sharpening and pixel-dimensions settings did you use in LR Export?  All three will affect the MB and you haven’t said what pixel dimensions you might be resizing to in LR.

                                                        • 25. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                                                          Per Berntsen Adobe Community Professional

                                                          I suggest you compare the different jpgs at 100% magnification.

                                                          Do you see any difference in quality?

                                                          • 27. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                                                            DesertArgonaut Level 1

                                                            I compared my 16.7mb jpeg from raw in Corel Aftershot Pro and the 6mb JPEG from dng in Lightroom.

                                                            My wife who has twenty years in graphic design also assisted in the comparison.

                                                            Just as in the old Pepsi and coke commercials we didn't know which one was LR or Corel while viewing in Lightroom 6 comparison window.

                                                            I Shut off all presets that I had control over.

                                                            WE didn't see any difference in either file. Even at 400%. We did like the color quality on the LR photo better.

                                                            I no longer have any concerns over the size and image quality now.

                                                            TThe pic was of a mother owl with 3 owlets nesting in a Saguaro at 300mm at 250ISO.

                                                            • 28. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                                                              trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                              The JPEG Export 100% Quality setting only needs to be used if you plan on doing extensive editing to the exported file and then re-saving the file. This provides the best insurance against compression artifact buildup. For all other "read only" usage it is a waste of disk space and download speed for posted or emailed images.


                                                              This article provides some good examples of what you can expect when using less than 100% JPEG Quality:

                                                               

                                                              Jeffrey Friedl's Blog » An Analysis of Lightroom JPEG Export Quality Settings

                                                              1 person found this helpful
                                                              • 29. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                                                                Per Berntsen Adobe Community Professional

                                                                My view on this is somewhat different ...

                                                                Jpgs should never be edited, except as a last resort. And it defeats the purpose of working with raw files if you export a jpg, and then edit it. If someone gives me a jpg to edit, I always save it as a tiff and convert to 16-bit, to minimize furhter deterioration. I realize that this will not be true 16-bit - no information is added to the image - but my impression is that it will withstand heavy editing better, and not end up with a comb-like histogram.

                                                                 

                                                                For printing, a 100% quality jpg will usually be fine, although I prefer to use tiff myself - being more nitpicky than most ...

                                                                For screen use, 100% quality is overkill, 60 is usually fine, some images might need 80, and for others 40 will be enough.

                                                                • 30. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                                                                  dj_paige Level 9

                                                                  DesertArgonaut wrote:

                                                                   

                                                                  I compared my 16.7mb jpeg from raw in Corel Aftershot Pro and the 6mb JPEG from dng in Lightroom.

                                                                  My wife who has twenty years in graphic design also assisted in the comparison.

                                                                  Just as in the old Pepsi and coke commercials we didn't know which one was LR or Corel while viewing in Lightroom 6 comparison window.

                                                                  I Shut off all presets that I had control over.

                                                                  WE didn't see any difference in either file. Even at 400%. We did like the color quality on the LR photo better.

                                                                  I no longer have any concerns over the size and image quality now.

                                                                  TThe pic was of a mother owl with 3 owlets nesting in a Saguaro at 300mm at 250ISO.

                                                                  Thank you for sharing this result.

                                                                   

                                                                  I'd like to re-iterate what I said earlier in this thread (and what others have said as well): File size is not an indicator of image quality!

                                                                  • 31. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                                                                    trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                    Per Berntsen wrote:

                                                                     

                                                                    My view on this is somewhat different ...

                                                                    Jpgs should never be edited, except as a last resort. And it defeats the purpose of working with raw files if you export a jpg, and then edit it.

                                                                    Agreed. Unfortunately there are many cameras that only output JPEG format files. The camera file (or any other original JPEG file) is your "raw" unedited file inside LR. If you need to send the file to someone else for further editing who doesn't have LR then Exporting with 100% Quality setting might make sense. I say "might" because it's still possible to get very good results using lower Quality setting JPEGs if you only re-save the file one (1) time after further editing. I agree that 16 bit, ProPhoto RGB, TIFF Export files are best for "critical" work and when using 'Edit in Photoshop' from LR.

                                                                     

                                                                    I suggest taking a look at the JPEG compression image tests on Jeffrey Friedl's Blog. It's a wealth of information! LR's Quality settings range from 0% to 100% or 100 Quality levels. In reality there are only 13 Quality levels, which are the same as in PS.

                                                                     

                                                                    JPEG QUALITY SETTINGS

                                                                    Photoshop

                                                                    Description

                                                                    Lightroom

                                                                    0

                                                                    Low

                                                                    0-7%

                                                                    1

                                                                    Low

                                                                    8-15%

                                                                    2

                                                                    Low

                                                                    16-23%

                                                                    3

                                                                    Low

                                                                    24-30%

                                                                    4

                                                                    Low

                                                                    31-38%

                                                                    5

                                                                    Med

                                                                    39-46%

                                                                    6

                                                                    Med

                                                                    47-53%

                                                                    7

                                                                    Med

                                                                    54-61%

                                                                    8

                                                                    High

                                                                    62-69%

                                                                    9

                                                                    High

                                                                    70-76%

                                                                    10

                                                                    Max

                                                                    77-84%

                                                                    11

                                                                    Max

                                                                    85-92%

                                                                    12

                                                                    Max

                                                                    93-100%

                                                                    I use LR JPEG Quality settings of 77-84% for outside printing and LR 62-69% for web posting. I've yet to see any compression artifacts using these settings and I am a pixel-peeper!

                                                                     

                                                                    Per Berntsen wrote:

                                                                    If someone gives me a jpg to edit, I always save it as a tiff and convert to 16-bit, to minimize furhter deterioration. I realize that this will not be true 16-bit - no information is added to the image - but my impression is that it will withstand heavy editing better, and not end up with a comb-like histogram.

                                                                    Why not simply Import the JPEG file into LR and do all your editing non-destructively? There's no need to convert the JPEG file to TIFF unless you need to use LR 'Edit in PS.' Lightroom uses a16 bit/color, ProPhoto RGB, Linear Gamma workspace for all images even when editing sRGB JPEG files.

                                                                    1 person found this helpful
                                                                    • 32. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                                                                      Per Berntsen Adobe Community Professional

                                                                      Per Berntsen wrote:

                                                                      If someone gives me a jpg to edit, I always save it as a tiff and convert to 16-bit, to minimize furhter deterioration.

                                                                       

                                                                      I must have written this on auto pilot, because I do of course use LR to do this now.

                                                                      But I used to do it a lot in PS before I started to use LR.

                                                                       

                                                                      I use LR JPEG Quality settings of 77-84% for outside printing and LR 62-69% for web posting. I've yet to see any compression artifacts using these settings and I am a pixel-peeper!

                                                                       

                                                                      I'm a pixel peeper too.

                                                                      I have a few images on my website that require the 77-84% setting. They're all from black & white scans, with clear skies that will show blockiness at lower settings.

                                                                      • 33. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                                                                        trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                        Per Berntsen wrote:

                                                                        I'm a pixel peeper too.

                                                                        I have a few images on my website that require the 77-84% setting. They're all from black & white scans, with clear skies that will show blockiness at lower settings.

                                                                        Fine gradient banding can also be caused by JPEGs 8 bit depth. That combined with a lower JPEG Quality setting may exacerbate it enough to make it visible. Here's an example using a 47-53 levels gradient Ramp file with two different Quality settings. You should be able to see the difference in banding:

                                                                         

                                                                        Ramp File with JPEG Quality 77-84% (PS 10) 49 KB

                                                                        (Click on image to see full-size)

                                                                        Ramp sRGB 8-bit Color_PS Quality 10.jpg

                                                                         

                                                                        Ramp File with JPEG Quality 31-38% (PS 4) 30 KB

                                                                        (Click on image to see full-size)

                                                                        Ramp sRGB 8-bit Color_PS Quality 4.jpg

                                                                        • 34. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                                                                          johnnymac Level 1

                                                                          Only recently have I noticed a change. So I imported a 14meg raw file and did no editing whatsoever I then exported it to a jpeg no resizing, 100% quality and 300dpi  the file size came out at 4 meg.  Definitely  something has changed

                                                                          • 35. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                                                                            trshaner Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                            Nothing has changed except perhaps the image file you are now exporting.

                                                                             

                                                                            Below is a LR5.7.1 Export and LR CC Export using the same JPEG 100 Quality, sRGB, No Resize settings with a Canon 600D CR2 raw file. Showing are the original Camera Raw, in-camera JPEG, and LR JPEG Export files:

                                                                             

                                                                            The 10 byte size discrepancy is due to metadata differences only.

                                                                            • 36. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                                                                              shareea84456749 Level 1

                                                                              This was my problem solved!! Thanks for sharing!!!

                                                                              • 37. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                                                                                Rainer 1948 Level 1

                                                                                Hi, new to this.

                                                                                I would like a simple answer if there is one.  Your image in CR2 file is 3 x bigger than the original JPG file.  I assume that that is the file size out of the camera if saving the photo in both SD slots.  The question I have is why the difference in file size when exporting from LR as a JPG, ( 1/2 of the original CR2 file size.  

                                                                                I have in the past saved my shots in the camera as RAW and JPG.  Same pixel size but vastly different file sizes.

                                                                                 

                                                                                I take it that as long as the pixel count is the same, there is no difference in image quality.   And that the benefit of shooting in RAW is that one can make more adjustments than if it had been shot in JPG.  Correct?

                                                                                 

                                                                                 

                                                                                "Below is a LR5.7.1 Export and LR CC Export using the same JPEG 100 Quality, sRGB, No Resize settings with a Canon 600D CR2 raw file. Showing are the original Camera Raw, in-camera JPEG, and LR JPEG Export files:

                                                                                 

                                                                                The 10 byte size discrepancy is due to metadata differences only."

                                                                                • 38. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                                                                                  dj_paige Level 9

                                                                                  The question I have is why the difference in file size when exporting from LR as a JPG, ( 1/2 of the original CR2 file size.  

                                                                                  I have in the past saved my shots in the camera as RAW and JPG.  Same pixel size but vastly different file sizes.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  JPGs are almost always smaller than RAW. That's how JPGs work ... they use compression to reduce the size of the file. Also JPGs are 8bit files while RAW are usually 12 bit or 14 bit files.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  I take it that as long as the pixel count is the same, there is no difference in image quality.   And that the benefit of shooting in RAW is that one can make more adjustments than if it had been shot in JPG.  Correct?

                                                                                  No, JPGs have lower image quality than RAW (although in many cases, you might have difficulty seeing the lower image quality). This is due to the compression, which is layman's terms, takes several nearby pixels that are close to the same color but not exactly the same color, and represents them with a single color for these several pixels. RAW has more advantages in editing than a JPG because it is 12 or 14 bits per pixel, while a JPG has 8 bits per pixel, so the RAWs give you more information to work with.

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                                                                                  • 39. Re: Lightroom export file size: why so small? How can I maximize image quality?
                                                                                    Rainer 1948 Level 1

                                                                                    Many thanks DJ.  I appreciate the response and the forum.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    Rainer

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