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Author Topic: What are your lightroom export settings and how big are your jpegs  (Read 6911 times)

Pinchers of Peril

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For those of you using lightroom to edit your RAW files, what are your export settings when you export to jpeg?  Lightroom lets you control dpi, size of the long axis of the image, and also has a jpeg "quality" slider.  Somebody once told me to export with dpi set to 300 so I have done that because I didn't really know what to set it at.  I have just found that when I export my images as jpegs they are still very large (sometimes over 12mbs for a jpeg).  I shoot with a 5DIII and I know there are a lot of megapixels so I expect the files sizes to be large but I was wondering if this was normal.  I used to shoot on RAW and then edit and export to jpeg, but I have started shooting with mRAW mainly so the file sizes when I export are more reasonable.  I have blown up some 20x30 pics and they seem pretty good.  I didn't know if it was better to shoot on RAW and adjust the quailty jpeg slider to say 90% or to shoot on mRAW and export with the quality slider set to 100% as both methods would give me roughly the same file size.  Thanks in advane.
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Pinchers of Peril

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Re: What are your lightroom export settings and how big are your jpegs
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2013, 04:37:12 PM »
Also I know that the file size will depend on details etc in the picture, but I wanted to see what the "average' file size was that you are all getting.
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Drizzt321

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Re: What are your lightroom export settings and how big are your jpegs
« Reply #2 on: June 19, 2013, 06:50:54 PM »
If I'm outputting for the web, I often do long edge of 1000-1200px, 90-100 quality, and sRGB color space (this is important). Sometimes I'll go down to 80 quality. If I'm printing, I either hook the printer up directly and print from LR, or if I'm sending it out check and see what they want. Usually they'll want sRGB and JPG and I'd export at 100 quality. If you go to a higher end print shop they might also take AdobeRGB and TIFF files. Size depends on how big you are printing, taking 300ppi as the standard, multiple by the size of the print in both dimensions, and you've figured out your export size.

Now mRAW vs full RAW is a different issue. If you're after saving file space for your main files/archiving, my suggestion is to make sure to delete what isn't up to the level you decide you want. It takes some dedication and intention, but you can easily just discard the ones that you feel aren't great and save a lot of space that way. If you still have space issues, mRAW might be a reasonable way to go. For output to JPG, I don't really keep any of them around long term (ok, they just sit in the export directory until I get the urge to clean them up) since you have the RAW file and your LR library, right? And you're backing those up appropriately, right? You can just re-export them and get the JPGs again. That's what I've done as needed.
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celltech

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Re: What are your lightroom export settings and how big are your jpegs
« Reply #3 on: June 19, 2013, 07:00:18 PM »
I am not a pro and don't use LR to produce web images.  But personally I just set the JPG quality to 80% and that is it.  I did that based on a past study...not sure if it still holds true:

http://regex.info/blog/lightroom-goodies/jpeg-quality

I have to admit to never looking at the resulting filesize and it was eye opening.  They seem to range from 4-7Mb depending on the detail of the picture.  I was not aware of the wide spread.  But on average I would say they run in the 5+Mb range....
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Omar H

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Re: What are your lightroom export settings and how big are your jpegs
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2013, 09:06:45 PM »
always shoot at max in raw and then resize the jpeg to no more than 3k. This works for me.

shooting at the top of raw allows you to have as much details as possible should you come up with a picture that you really like, want to print or want to crop.

PhotographAdventure

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Re: What are your lightroom export settings and how big are your jpegs
« Reply #5 on: June 19, 2013, 09:09:24 PM »
Depends on the destination.  For web, I optimize for size vs quality.  For print, I submit whatever is most convenient for me at the time, which is generally full quality/resolution.  For clients who want digital, it's usually 2400 pixels on the long side, scaled resolution 80-90% quality.

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dilbert

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Re: What are your lightroom export settings and how big are your jpegs
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2013, 09:40:07 PM »
I typically have 640x480 (or sometimes 800x600) set for the export size of JPEGs that are destined for the WWW. This is to discourage others from making meaningful use of them.

For printing, I export full size TIFFs.

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Re: What are your lightroom export settings and how big are your jpegs
« Reply #6 on: June 19, 2013, 09:40:07 PM »

Mt Spokane Photography

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Re: What are your lightroom export settings and how big are your jpegs
« Reply #7 on: June 19, 2013, 09:46:04 PM »
It does indeed depend on where the image is going.  I generally use either 800 X 800, or full size at 75%.  I use the lightroom default setting of 240 ppi.
 

Pi

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Re: What are your lightroom export settings and how big are your jpegs
« Reply #8 on: June 19, 2013, 10:03:17 PM »
I save in JPEG at 80-85%, no downsizing. The default LR JPEG quality was very low back when I started using it; not sure now.

My advice is to shoot RAW, not mRAW. You never know when you are going to take that one shot that you would want to print large. mRAW is not a bad idea but it is not implemented well, in my experience.

Years ago, I was saving my JPEGs with 1600 px width because I then owned an 1200x1600 monitor. It was a stupid idea, monitors change, resolution, too. 

tpatana

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Re: What are your lightroom export settings and how big are your jpegs
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2013, 10:41:15 PM »
Completely depends what the photo is for. Most photos between 1000-1800 px on the long side, most photos between 70-90 on quality.

atvinyard

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Re: What are your lightroom export settings and how big are your jpegs
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2013, 10:53:00 PM »
Always shoot raw.  I always print directly from lightroom.  For web I export at 96ppi because it's my understanding that that's a pretty standard ballpark pixel density for modern computer screens.  I usually export with the short edge at some multiple of that, usually 576  or 672.  That gives a good sized image for social media. I also export at 100% quality, because if you upload to a site that does it's own compression of your image, it comes out better when they're done with it (you're not multiplying compression artifacts).
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Rienzphotoz

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Re: What are your lightroom export settings and how big are your jpegs
« Reply #11 on: June 19, 2013, 11:43:40 PM »
Depends on what I want it for ... if its for uploading to a forum (like CR) or emailing to friends/colleagues etc then 30% - 40% on quality (for speedy uploads), if its for printing obviously 100% (same for uploading to my smugmug site, most of the time) ... but in all cases the dpi is always set to LR default.
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DFM

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Re: What are your lightroom export settings and how big are your jpegs
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2013, 11:48:10 PM »
For web I export at 96ppi because it's my understanding that that's a pretty standard ballpark pixel density for modern computer screens. I usually export with the short edge at some multiple of that, usually 576  or 672.

The PPI value is irrelevant for on-screen display, all that matters is the number of pixels - so there's no reason at all to make the image width a multiple of it. Images on Web pages are displayed either at 1:1 pixel scale, or resized by the page style to fit in a defined rectangle.

There are two potential reasons for setting PPI to a 'screen value' when exporting; it gives you a parameter to search against when filtering your images (is this 200x200px file a print-quality version of a small icon, or a screen-quality version of a large photo?), and when the image is placed into a print-intent document (InDesign, Quark, PPT, Word, etc) it will default to the physical scale.

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Re: What are your lightroom export settings and how big are your jpegs
« Reply #12 on: June 19, 2013, 11:48:10 PM »

nsurg

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Re: What are your lightroom export settings and how big are your jpegs
« Reply #13 on: June 20, 2013, 12:41:34 AM »
I export from dng (lightroom's raw mildly compressed version) with a copy of dng to my home server and a jpg copy as well to my home server, then also a jpg copy to flickr.  I use flickr from my phone to show the occasional social photo and also as a place for family/friends to download the "original" copies if necessary.
I shoot full size raw on a 5diii and when I export to my home server and to flickr I use full resolution jpg.  I chose a quality of 75 after an hour or two of reading articles about lightroom's compression quality settings, and my goal was to err on the side of very high quality, but not at the expense of stupid wasting of space.
I'm a bit of a scientific personality, and a similar question is "what quality should I rip my mp3?"... I'm also a jazz musician and vocalist and like to think I care about musical recording quality, yet settled at 192 compression with variable bitrate, feeling that lossless audio is overkill, noting that only metal and static is upset early on by poor bitrate mp3s, and seldom is classical.
There's no right answer, and I think part of it depends on your annual volume of photos and your storage space limitations.  At this pace, though, I think you should just buy more storage space if you run low.

DFM

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Re: What are your lightroom export settings and how big are your jpegs
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2013, 08:31:40 AM »
I'm curious as to why you're making a second JPEG copy of your DNGs - is this for archival purposes or so you can open them in something which can't read DNG files?

Lightroom's DNG files created at import of RAW files are 100% lossless. There's compression applied to the structure in a lossless DNG file but it does not degrade any of the pixel data - under the hood a DNG file is basically an extended version of a lossless TIFF with the raw data embedded as-is. The only exception is for Linear DNGs (created from Foveon sensors) where the raw matrix is transcoded before being stored; it's still lossless but not a 1:1 embed. At export the default is also a lossless DNG, but you can choose lossy DNGs if you really want.

Lossy DNGs are not raw files - the pixel data is demosaiced into an 8-bit JPEG stream; there's a per-channel stretch applied so the R/G/B values each fill the complete 0-255 range and some dithering to improve banding, but you should think of it as a semi-developed image (similar to when you shoot H.264 video with a flat profile). Lossy DNGs are still scene-referenced so you have more control over WB and tone recovery than in a regular JPEG, but they're no substitute for lossless DNGs or original CR2s from your camera.

One obvious application for lossy DNGs is when shooting timelapse or ML raw video; you'd want the processing advantages of raw files but archiving 20,000 lossless DNGs is silly if the end result is going to be an H.264 video.

I export from dng (lightroom's raw mildly compressed version) with a copy of dng to my home server and a jpg copy as well to my home server

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Re: What are your lightroom export settings and how big are your jpegs
« Reply #14 on: June 21, 2013, 08:31:40 AM »