by Julieanne Kost

 Comments (19)


November 18, 2011

When importing images from a card, you can choose to “Copy as DNG” or simply “Copy” the files (and then convert to DNG later in your workflow). The reason that I choose to convert my RAW files to DNG after I finish editing my shoot is because I often delete several photographs from a shoot (perhaps as many as 25%). So for my workflow, it doesn’t make sense to waste the time converting the files that I will later trash: I prefer to select Library > Convert to DNG when I am finished editing the shoot.

Of course, if you never delete any photos, then it might make more sense for you to choose “Copy as DNG” on import.


  • By Thomas Husband - 4:53 AM on November 18, 2011  

    Do you check “Delete Originals After Successful Conversion”?

  • By Joe Hudspeth - 7:10 AM on November 18, 2011  

    My question would be, “does Adobe Raw” work in LR 3? I convert my images to DNG upon import and I guess I didn’t realize that you can work on the raw image there. I guess another question would be “Then LR 3 makes a copy of the original RAW photo in LR 3 catalogue-right?”. I love your series on LR and appreciate all the input from you I can get. Perhaps the answer to both is a work-flow issue.

    Thanks much-you are a wonderful instructor.

  • By Rbrong - 7:21 AM on November 18, 2011  

    What exactly is the purpose of a dng file? I’m not familiar with its use, or why I would want to use it.

  • By Joe Hudspeth - 2:56 PM on March 5, 2012  

    I am shotting with a Nikon D7000 and lately I have noticed a lot of digital noise after processing the photo, particularly on photos that have a longer shutter speed and are a bit darker image. Nikon says that Adobe converts the files differently possibly. I am copying as DNG when I import. Do you think it would change the noise if I waited and converted to DNG after process? I am a little perplexed with this as the D80 did not ever have this problem.

  • By Julieanne Kost - 7:28 PM on March 6, 2012  

    It will not matter if you apply the noise reduction before or after you convert the image to DNG. You will get the same results. If you have additional questions it would be best if you posted them to the Lightroom Forums to see if anyone else is experiencing the same problem:

  • By John Maclean - 2:04 PM on May 8, 2012  

    I’ve converted a bunch of RAW file to DNG and chose to embed the original RAW file in the DNG. But I’ve changed my mind. Is it possible for me to remove the embedded RAW file now?

    • By Julieanne Kost - 4:29 PM on May 8, 2012  

      Only if you had the option to “Embed Original Raw File” when you originally converted the raw file.

  • By Svein Seldal - 6:42 AM on August 17, 2012  

    Is conversion from RAW (or anything other for that matter) to DNG dependent on the process version? In Lightroom 4, the process was updated, and I’m curious to know if that also alters the way RAW are converted to DNG?

    • By Julieanne Kost - 7:07 AM on August 29, 2012  

      No, the actual contents of the resulting DNG file is independent of the process version.

  • By Doug Toner - 3:06 PM on November 27, 2012  

    After I edit my raw files, convert them to dng and then delete the original raws, does Lightroom3 automatically link my edits/catalog to the new dngs?

  • By Brian Roach - 8:18 PM on May 3, 2013  

    Trying to import raw images into Lightroom 3.6 and getting a message from Adobe following update, that raw images from this camera Nikon D600 are not supported.

    Thanks Julienne

  • By Janet - 7:09 PM on May 19, 2013  

    I noticed that the file size processed to jpg files is much smaller (average less than 5mb) than the file size in DNG (average 15mb) through the lightroom 3. I bought a Canon 5D Mark III. Since lightroom 3 cannot processes 5D mark iii raw files, I use the DNG converter 7.1. Is it normal that the jpg file size is much smaller than DNG file size?

    • By Julieanne Kost - 1:43 PM on May 22, 2013  

      Yes, JPEG files are typically smaller as they are compressed files (data is lost and colors are compressed).

  • By Peter Woloszyn - 6:11 PM on September 4, 2013  

    I am running Lightroom 5 and space has become a major concern for me. I think that for the past 5 years I have accidentally been embedding the original raw files whenever I converted to DNG and now I’m wondering if there is anyway to delete those embedded files and be left with JUST the DNG files.

    Thanks so much for your time, and for being so amazing at what you do!