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Reducing file size with the lossy compressed DNG

From: Lightroom 4 Essentials: 01 Organizing and Sharing with the Library Module

Video: Reducing file size with the lossy compressed DNG

In one of the previous movies I had a slide where I talked about DNG Compression, and I mentioned that by default DNG Compression, well, it's lossless. In other words, smaller file size, without losing information. Well, now there's also a way to work with the DNG file format and compress those files so that it's lossy, in other words, so that you lose information. Now, why in the world would you want to lose information? Well, it's a great question, right? Well, there are certain situations where you're going to have files and you don't want to save all of the data of those files.

Reducing file size with the lossy compressed DNG

In one of the previous movies I had a slide where I talked about DNG Compression, and I mentioned that by default DNG Compression, well, it's lossless. In other words, smaller file size, without losing information. Well, now there's also a way to work with the DNG file format and compress those files so that it's lossy, in other words, so that you lose information. Now, why in the world would you want to lose information? Well, it's a great question, right? Well, there are certain situations where you're going to have files and you don't want to save all of the data of those files.

So let's say, for example, with this folder here. If you navigate to Exercise Files > Photos > People and then Becky, you can see that I have three images. And let's say that out of these three images I really like the first one and the third one, but I want to keep the second one just in case. I want to have it in my archives, just because I might need that, although I don't really think so. Well, in situations like that what you might want to do is use this Lossy Compression, which actually makes a much smaller file size.

So in order to do that we would navigate to our Library pull-down menu and then we would choose Convert to DNG, and go ahead and stick with me, even if this is seeming a little bit confusing. I think it will become more clear by the end of this movie. So here what I am going to do is I am going to Convert this Raw file. I don't want to delete the original, I am going to keep that. I am going to choose this DNG Extension, file Compatibility, we can see that there. JPEG Preview: Medium. Sure we'll go with Fast Load. But then, I'm checking on Lossy Compression.

So this is the thing that's going to make this file different. I am going to go ahead and click OK and it's going to convert this file to that format. Well, now that it's done that, what I want to do is I want to take a look at this file in the Finder or Explorer window. So let's do that. Here I am going to right-click or Ctrl+Click and choose Show in Finder. This is going to show me all of these files. Now, if we take a look at this for a second, we can see this is the new file. This is the one with compression that we just created.

Now, this file, well, that was our original file, that was the normal DNG. If you look at the file Size, this one is approximately 5 megs, while this one, it's approximately 18 megabytes. There is a really huge difference in file size here. What's great about this is, there won't be a significant difference in quality. Now, of course it's going to have less quality, because there is less information there. This compression is very similar to JPEG compression. Yet, what it's doing for us is still giving us access to a lot of the raw capabilities of this file format.

So we have the smaller file size, yet it's a really nice and high quality version of the file. Just to illustrate that, over here in this folder in Lightroom, I am going to choose to Synchronize this folder. What that means is if there's an image in this folder that it's not showing, I want it to display that. Here I am going to right-click or Ctrl+Click and then choose Synchronize. This is going to tell me, hey, there's one photo which is missing, that one which I had converted, I want to bring that one back, and let's go to that folder now.

So here you can see we have becky -2, and then we have becky-2-2. So this is the one with Lossy Compression, this is the one without any compression. I am going to double-click on this one, and go to this 1:1 view. In this 1:1 view what I am interested in doing is kind of seeing the detail that I have in this photograph. So we'll zoom in to say an area of the eye. So in this case, the quality of this file, it looks really good. Well, let's compare that. We can do a nice comparison by using either the Compare or Survey, or we could just go back and forth between two images.

I'll click on both of these images, hold down the Command key, and then click Compare. Now, what Compare is going to do for me is allow me to have these side-by-side and evaluate these pictures. I am just going to wait for the full DNG photo on the right to load in. Right now it's just loading the data for that preview. And as you look at these side-by- side, again, keep in mind these are unprocessed, they look pretty similar, even at this 1:1 view, which is absolutely phenomenal.

Now, where we'll see these images fall apart, and where we'll see stronger differences is when we start processing them. In other words, you can kind of think of it this way. Let's go back to the Grid View for a second. With these two files, the one that's been compressed and the one that hasn't, well, the one that's been compressed, it's a little bit more brittle. You can't quite stretch it or push it as far or as hard. Well, the DNG file that just has all of the raw data in there, well, you can get away with a lot. You can pull a lot of data out of the Highlights, you can boost those Shadows without getting too much noise, you can do quite a bit.

So keep in mind that while this does save file size, there is a downside, right? Of course you're losing some information. So again, what's another scenario for this? Well, let's say that you shoot a wedding. At a wedding, you shoot 1,000 pictures. Out of the 1,000, you're going to give the client 300. Let's say you're really generous and that's your image count, those are great photographs. Well, you also may want to keep those other 700 photographs just in case something happens or you need to pull from them for some reason.

But you don't want all of that file size. I mean, that is a lot of file size. So in those situations perhaps you'll select all of those images and convert them to that DNG format, with Lossy Compression turned on, therefore you can save them, but you'll be saving them at a smaller file size. Well, whatever the scenario, this whole capability, it opens up new options for us as we explore how we can work with this DNG format and integrate this into our overall workflow.

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This video is part of

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  1. 2m 1s
    1. Welcome
      1m 1s
    2. Using the exercise files
      1m 0s
  2. 13m 33s
    1. The broad Photoshop Lightroom overview
      3m 52s
    2. The photographic workflow puzzle
      3m 45s
    3. Why use Photoshop Lightroom?
      5m 56s
  3. 30m 18s
    1. The Photoshop Lightroom interface
      5m 21s
    2. Using the interface shortcuts
      4m 57s
    3. Working with panels
      4m 24s
    4. Customizing the identity plate and module pickers
      5m 49s
    5. Customizing interface elements
      5m 5s
    6. Creating a custom panel end mark
      3m 45s
    7. Using module tips
      57s
  4. 36m 32s
    1. Importing images and looking at file formats
      5m 27s
    2. Importing preferences
      3m 13s
    3. Introducing the Import dialog
      5m 10s
    4. Setting catalog preferences and import and preview options
      5m 38s
    5. Importing from a folder
      4m 2s
    6. Importing photos from a CF card
      10m 22s
    7. Creating an import preset
      2m 40s
  5. 11m 37s
    1. Drag-and-drop importing
      2m 8s
    2. Auto-importing from a watched folder
      4m 48s
    3. Importing from iPhoto or Aperture
      4m 41s
  6. 9m 36s
    1. Introducing tethered capture
      3m 47s
    2. Working with tethered capture
      2m 55s
    3. Considering color management with tethered capture
      2m 54s
  7. 24m 21s
    1. Introducing catalogs
      3m 12s
    2. Demystifying catalogs by way of comparison
      3m 34s
    3. Optimizing and backing up catalogs
      6m 13s
    4. Importing and updating legacy catalogs
      6m 38s
    5. Exporting a catalog
      3m 53s
    6. Learning more about catalogs
      51s
  8. 41m 51s
    1. Working in the Grid and Loupe views
      2m 14s
    2. Navigating and zooming
      4m 47s
    3. Customizing the Grid and Loupe views
      5m 14s
    4. Customizing the Filmstrip
      3m 17s
    5. Comparing two images
      5m 23s
    6. Surveying two or more images
      3m 15s
    7. Working with folders and files
      4m 2s
    8. Deleting and removing images from folders
      3m 1s
    9. Working with multiple hard drives
      8m 2s
    10. Dual-monitor support
      2m 36s
  9. 30m 25s
    1. Working with flags, stars, and labels
      5m 20s
    2. Adding ratings with the Painter tool
      3m 32s
    3. Filtering by flag, stars, and labels
      3m 58s
    4. A filtering workflow
      5m 54s
    5. Filtering by file type
      1m 54s
    6. Filtering by type and metadata
      3m 22s
    7. Sorting photos
      1m 58s
    8. Stacking photos into groups
      4m 27s
  10. 21m 51s
    1. Using Smart Collections
      4m 7s
    2. Using Quick Collections
      2m 25s
    3. What is a collection?
      3m 39s
    4. Working with collections
      3m 22s
    5. Going further with collections
      3m 17s
    6. An evaluative-collection workflow
      5m 1s
  11. 12m 23s
    1. Overviewing the new Map module
      2m 32s
    2. Tagging images with locations
      3m 46s
    3. Creating saved locations
      6m 5s
  12. 10m 44s
    1. Using Quick Develop
      3m 39s
    2. Synchronizing settings
      3m 12s
    3. Making incremental adjustments
      3m 53s
  13. 31m 41s
    1. Playing video in Photoshop Lightroom
      3m 50s
    2. Trimming a video
      4m 11s
    3. Editing the color and tone of a video
      5m 2s
    4. Using presets to edit the color and tone of a video
      1m 49s
    5. Setting the poster frame
      1m 35s
    6. Capturing a still image from a video
      3m 9s
    7. Exporting to a hard drive
      2m 37s
    8. Publishing to a hard drive
      3m 35s
    9. Publishing video to Facebook
      3m 18s
    10. Publishing video to Flickr
      2m 35s
  14. 17m 11s
    1. Why use DNG?
      7m 32s
    2. Converting to DNG and the Embed Fast Load Data option
      3m 45s
    3. Reducing file size with the lossy compressed DNG
      5m 54s
  15. 22m 39s
    1. Adding keywords
      3m 33s
    2. Creating and using keyword sets
      3m 6s
    3. Synchronizing keywords
      1m 58s
    4. Keywording with the Painter tool
      1m 29s
    5. Working with the Metadata panel
      4m 44s
    6. Adding copyright metadata with a template
      4m 23s
    7. Filtering photographs based on metadata
      3m 26s
  16. 27m 34s
    1. External editing preferences
      5m 14s
    2. Editing raw photos in Photoshop
      4m 43s
    3. Editing an original TIFF, PSD, or JPG file in Photoshop
      3m 40s
    4. Editing a modified TIFF, PSD, or JPG file in Photoshop
      4m 44s
    5. Opening an image as a Smart Object in Photoshop
      4m 34s
    6. Including multiple images in Photoshop as layers
      4m 39s
  17. 29m 1s
    1. Exporting photographs to a hard drive, CD, or DVD
      4m 44s
    2. Publishing to a folder
      4m 5s
    3. Using exporting presets
      4m 51s
    4. Emailing photographs from Photoshop Lightroom
      5m 34s
    5. Exporting to Adobe Revel
      3m 39s
    6. Uploading photos to Facebook and Flickr
      6m 8s
  18. 32s
    1. Goodbye
      32s

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