Lightroom Seems to be Corrupting My Images...

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  • Updated 4 years ago

I don't know why lightroom is doing this... I imported 202 photos, and it only happened to 4 of them... I put the card back into my camera and view the problem images only to find that they are perfectly normal. I also looked at the files that Lightroom transferred locally on my computer, they are fine as well... The issue occurs only inside Lightroom...

I even tried removing the problem images from my catalogue and then re-importing them, they still show up messed up...

I synced the entire collection that contains the troubled images to if that might help...

This is Lightroom CC 2015.0.1 | 6.3
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Daniel Flanagan

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  • frustrated

Posted 4 years ago

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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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It's almost always (99.9999%) a hardware error. I'd be checking memory card, card reader or cable, RAM and hard drive as first port of call.
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Steve Sprengel, Champion

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The raw data in the image files is corrupted, and the other viewers that don't show the corruption are merely showing you the camera-embedded thumbnail or preview JPG, not actually interpreting the raw data like LR is. If you open the images in other raw converter software, like the free RawTherapee you'll likely also see corruption although it may manifest differently depending on what the raw converter does when it doesn't have data:

Sometimes the data becomes corrupted mid-transfer due to a poorly connected cable or poorly inserted card and retransferring it will correct the problem, but you've done that, already, and the images are still corrupted the same way. That suggests the data is bad on the camera memory card.

It is likely the card that is deteriorating so probably time to throw it away, or at least try another for a while to see if there are any problems with it, as well. If there are, maybe the camera is actually having a problem writing the photo data to the card, rather than the card not retaining the information as is normally the case.

If the images are very important and you feel like hacking a bit, you can probably extract the camera-embedded JPG preview out of the NEF using special software and use that JPG instead of the NEF, although it may be smaller dimensions and have less headroom for editing highlights and shadows.

The software I use to extract previews from Nikon NEFs would be EXIFTOOLGUI that works in conjunction with EXIFTOOL, both available from: