Lightroom - export RAW --> JPEG what resolution?

Started Dec 5, 2008 | Discussions thread
richardplondon Forum Pro • Posts: 10,457
Re: Lightroom - export RAW --> JPEG what resolution?

Ed Grenzig wrote:

If your original RAW file resolution is lets say 3000 x 2000 pixels,
then you normally want to keep this resolution until you finish all
your editing. This is your original photo and pixels and contains the
best information. You can keep this resolution in jpeg, tiff, psd,
etc. I do not know exactly what options you have in LR.

Yes - in the Lightroom Export dialog, you have an opportunity to "resize" the image to a given dimension, or not. There are three possibilities, as follows:

If you do NOT check the "resize" option, then the full pixels will be transferred without any resampling. The current "resolution" setting will become the initial dpi of the new image - but does not affect the actual pixel content.

If you check the "resize" option, and the units are set to "pixels", you will produce an image resampled to either the stated width or height in pixels, whichever governs the size (this will depend on the shape of each image). The current "resolution" will again be assigned, although this is more or less incidental.

If you check "resize", and the units are set to either centimetres or inches, then Lightroom resamples to produce an image of the required resolution AND printing size. In this case, the chosen resolution does affect the outcome, because a (say) 8"x10" image will be created that contains 4x as many pixels if 300dpi is chosen, as will be created if 150dpi is chosen.

Many people do not use Lightroom's Export if they plan to then edit further:

Lightroom lets you instead pass an image directly to an external editor, in your choice of format - generally TIFF or PSD - avoiding JPG compression. [edit: this will use the original pixels, with the current Lightroom adjustments and crop if desired]

Or, if you have Photoshop CS3 or CS4, you can pass it through as a Smart Object. This defers RAW conversion altogether, allowing Adobe Camera Raw to take on adjustment duties inside Photoshop.

Once the image is edited, it re-imports into Lightroom again. It might then be further tweaked there, cropped, printed, exported in JPG as needed.


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