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Here I want to share with you a few ideas in regards to converting your photographs to the DNG format. Now the first way that you can convert a file to the DNG format is through the Import dialog. Yet before you get to the Import dialog, you want to turn on an important preference. If you go to your Lightroom pull- down menu, you can choose Preferences. You want to navigate to this fourth tab over here, File Handling, and then in the Import DNG Creation, you want to make sure this check box is turned on, Embed Fast Load Data.
Now by default this'll be turned on, but what this allows us to do is to work much more quickly with these files in the Develop module. So again, make sure you have that option turned on. The other thing I recommend is that you choose an option which is compatible with the highest level of Camera Raw. Well once you've done that, what you can do of course is simply click the Import button, this will open up the Import dialog, and here you can choose this option to Copy as DNG. Well we've already talked about that in the chapter on Importing. Yet I just wanted to remind you of that process.
What happens if we've already brought our images into Lightroom and they aren't in the DNG format? Say like this image here, it's a .CR2. How could I convert this to that DNG format? But what you can do is navigate to the Library pull-down menu and then you can select Convert to DNG. This will open up this Convert to DNG dialog. Now here you have a few options. Do you want to convert just the Raw files, or do you want to convert jpeg, tiffs, other files? Typically you want to do this just with the RAW files.
Next, do you want to Delete the originals after successful conversion. In other words, do you want to take a RAW file, turn it into a DNG so that you only have one file in this folder? Or do you want to keep two files in this folder, one new DNG file and then also the old CR2 or old RAW file, whatever file format it is? Now typically when you do this most people decide to Delete the originals, because the DNG file contains all of that information. Now there are those who argue against this.
They say, you know what, the camera manufacturer maybe has some special info about this RAW file that I might be able to tap into using their software. So in that case I want to keep that RAW file, the original file. Well if that was your preference you go ahead and turn this checkbox off. Now in my own workflow, I convert to DNG, I discard the original file. But again, you're off to decide what works the best for you, but that's what I do in my workflow. Next for the DNG Creation we have a few options. We can choose a File Extension, Compatibility.
We've already talked about that. It's always a good idea to choose the latest and greatest there. Then we have JPEG Preview, you can determine what Preview you want. And then finally we've this checkbox for Embed Fast Load Data. This is what you want to have turned on. And this is going to be the case for those DNG files that you want to have that are really big, full-sized DNG files. So you can work incredibly quickly with those. Now of course another way to deal with the original file is if you wanted to embed that inside of the DNG you could do that here.
Yet a word of caution, this will increase the file size significantly. So again in my own workflow, I leave that turned off. Alright, well what about Lossy Compression? Well that's actually something we'll discuss in another movie so I'm going to skip that one for now. So again if this were my own workflow, I would Delete the originals after successful conversion and then I would go ahead and click OK in order to process this image to convert it to that DNG format with that Embed Fast Load Data option turned on.
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