August 16, 2013

Make your raw files small enough to email

It sounds a little crazy, but George Jardine has found a clever use of Lightroom 5’s Smart Previews feature: you can shrink your files by a factor of 10x, then email them around together with their intact Develop settings. Raw files from his Canon 5D Mark III fall from ~27MB to ~2MB, trading some resolution (from 5760 to 2560 pixels wide). Kind of a funky technique, but neat to know that it works. Meanwhile I’m staying tuned for the day when the underlying tech enables fast syncing among desktop & mobile devices & the cloud.

Posted by John Nack at 7:59 AM on August 16, 2013


  • George Jardine — 8:07 AM on August 16, 2013

    It’s helpful (depending upon your original file type, DNG, CR2….) to save your current settings into a snapshot before you generate the Smart Preview…. :-)

  • Leon — 10:18 AM on August 16, 2013

    Yuuuuuup! We discovered the Lossy DNG feature in LR4 and fully exploited it to send and receive tens of thousands of images a day. Now Smart Previews make it that much easier. :)

    Here’s my blog post about our process:

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