A few questions about Lightroom

Started Feb 25, 2011 | Discussions thread
jfriend00 Forum Pro • Posts: 11,355
Re: A few questions about Lightroom

GordonBGood wrote:

John, not so misleading but also not so easy either as I imply by mentioning that it would take a programmer to do it. Most (or perhaps all) of these applications use a form of XMP or XML file to record their raw image adjustments, whether that is embedded in the raw file or used as a side car file, and those are just text files. For a programmer, it wouldn't be that hard to write a translator to convert the majority of the settings from one format to another; however, since each program offers features that may be unique and not offered by another, that conversion would not be 100%.

I was also referring to the Catalogue's/Collections or whatever the applications term their database used for DAM, and again since most of these use SQLLite which database files can easily be read by third party software, these databases could be converted to another table structure, although again it may not be a 100% conversion.

But you are correct that it would be better to not have to do this and choose a program that one can live with as to the features they use. Alternatively, one can do as I do and not use the DAM features but just organize their raw files in a folder structure, also not being too concerned about the raw conversion settings which one changes as per the purpose of the image anyway.

I think it would not only be hard and require programming, but would definitely be a lossy translation from one program to another. The settings that LR saves are there in text form in a XMP (if you ask it to write an XMP), but they are not defined as to what they do or how to translate them to the settings of some other program that are also not defined as to what they do. What does a shadow setting of 15 do and how would one translate that Lightroom setting to Aperture? This is simply not known with any precision.

I also store my RAW files in a meaningful file system hierarchy so that if there was a Lightroom database disaster, I still have all my RAW files, but it would be a monumental loss for me to lose all my RAW settings. I probably have at least 1000 hours invested in the RAW settings on zillions of images. I would not want to ever lose those. If I ever switched RAW editors, I'd probably just keep my existing images in the old program and start putting new images in the new program. Too lossy and too much work for me to try converting RAW images from one to the other unless some other program came with a loss-free and somewhat automatic import from Lightroom.

It is definitely worth picking your program very carefully. The downside of these metadata-based programs is you're much more stuck with that program that you were when all you did was batch process the RAWs in to TIFFs or JPEGs and then you were done with the RAWs.

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