Lightroom: Capability to display embedded preview or sidecar Jpeg

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  • Updated 1 year ago
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As it stands, there is no way to view the preview embedded in a raw file except by loading the raw file into an external app.

Many a folk has wanted to view, in Lightroom, the camera-generated preview, or preview as edited by camera manufacturer software, or even DNG preview as previously saved in Lightroom or Photoshop/ACR.

So, the 'Idea' is for some way to temporarily view the jpeg preview embedded in a proprietary raw or DNG file.

Embedded preview should be usable in before/after comparison, as well as side-by-side, as well as temporary loupe display.

Note: development resources to satisfy this request would be relatively small.

If you like this Idea, please remember to click the '+1' button below.
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Rob Cole

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  • full of love for Lightroom, but would still like to see what the camera or other software did, in Lightroom.

Posted 7 years ago

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Michael Johannessen

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In Lightroom it would be handy if there were a setting for Library view and image import that would take the "Embedded & Sidecar" option a step further and disable LR's rendering of the 1:1 previews (in Library view). That way, you have quick and dirty 1:1 previews (from the camera) which are good enough for a lot of purposes (i.e., sorting, making comparisons). It's easier to make direct comparisons when the images are all rendered the same way (all from the camera or all from Lightroom).

See http://forums.adobe.com/message/4479429 for a little more background.

Obviously this should be an option only, and LR should still render its own version in the Develop module (otherwise what's the point of using LR?). How the Library previews should be handled after you make some edits is an open question. Once you start making edits, you're probably done making comparisons, and you would want to see your changes, so maybe the edited ones should be updated in Library view and the rest keep their embedded 1:1 previews.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: use embedded previews and disable 1:1 rendering.
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shura.shum

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There is a point in using LR as a library DAM only, and relying on external other raw processor (e.g. Capture NX in case of Nikon) for developing raws. The point is that LR is unequalled at organizing your photo archives, however, Nikon proprietary soft can provide more convincing results in terms of raw processing.
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Victoria Bampton - Lightroom Queen, Champion

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I'd agree, it's a request I hear regularly, particularly from volume shooters who are currently using Breezebrowser or Photomechnic for initial culling, before switching to LR, because it's faster to use the embedded JPEGs. They shouldn't have to use other software for such an integral part of the workflow.
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Gavin Farrington

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I'm one of those using PM, Victoria. Thanks for voicing your support on this. PM is a great program, but it's really just a "patch" for something LR could easily do as well.
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Rory Hill

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This is pretty fundamental to workflow. As I understand it, LR does use the embedded preview in the import module, but the performance is so-so. I can't understand why this is not a high priority for adobe.
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Photographe

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I would also like to be able to see the embedded JPG whenever I feel like it. The embedded JPG often looks pretty good in terms of exposure, color balance and contrast and I want to be able to see it side by side with the RAW file in order to match the RAW file to it.
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Terrence Jones

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I shoot RAW+Jpeg because my camerea does very well with colors in the Jpeg which I use as reference.

I would like to be able to view the Jpeg within Lightroom and ideally compare it side-by-side with the RAW I am developing. I know I can keep the files separate when importing but I do like having them linked in general.

I would love to see more work done to allow better management of sidecar Jpegs including viewing, comparing with RAW and deleting/detaching.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom to better handle sidecar Jpegs - View, Compare, Delete.
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zigzag

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Add ability to switch to sidecar jpeg file. Sometimes camera-corrected jpeg is good enough (when shooting in RAW+JPEG mode) and ability to just switch to jpeg will save time.

PS: treating jpegs as separate files clutters photo library.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: Add ability to switch to sidecar jpeg file..
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Gavin Farrington

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Hi zigzag. Using the embeded preview effectively gives you the exact same result without the need to record a separate JPEG in-camera. That's why it's such a popular request. Cheers! ;)
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zigzag

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Aren't embedded previews usually lower quality than separate JPEGs?
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Rob Cole

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It depends on the camera. In case of Nikon D300 for example, the jpeg embedded by the camera is always full-rez, but basic quality, whereas for the jpeg sidecar you can choose both quality and rez. Granted if you were planning to reserve the option to use jpeg as master, you'd probably choose both full-rez and fine quality. But regardless of quality, the embedded preview is useful for culling, or comparing color/tone, etc. - it's not going to be edited, nor exported... Note: The jpeg preview may also represent the raw image after editing with manufacturer software, at which point it receives a quality bump.
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Gavin Farrington

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They're full-res on my Canon 5d2&3, also. The compression rate doesn't concern me so much because I only use it for culling. Not appropriate for all workflows, sure, but for event photographers it's a huge time saver.
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Rob Cole

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For me, Lightroom's library module is *very* fast, as long as previews are pre-built, so if culling is the goal, be sure to build previews before embarking.

I am more interested in the embedded jpegs is for comparison purposes.
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slarti3

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+1 for an additional module that serves one single purpose: Cut your shoot down from 1000 to 200 photographs, as quickly as possible.
Implementation: add a switch to the library preview that will use the embedded preview instead. Done.
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Chris Saunders

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Don't see the need for an additional module - just the ability to toggle the normal library view between RAW and the embedded jpeg....
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Gavin Farrington

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Agreed, Chris. A simple toggle switch is all we need.
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shura.shum

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As a Nikon shooter I would also like to see an option to turn on "embedded or sidecar jpg" previews ONLY for .nef files. And an option to launch external editor on .nef files, not the rendered tiffs as Lightroom currently offers.
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Rob Cole

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shura.shum

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Thanks a lot Rob, I am checking that plugin out now!
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Ming-Hua Kao

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Is there a quick way in the Lightroom library to see the RAW and jpeg version next to each other? Normally they get stacked together unless you use the option that a JPEG should be seen as a separate file (which I prefer not to as this option gives the RAW and JPEG a different filename).

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: Is there a quick way see the RAW and jpeg version next to each other in the Library module?.
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Gustavo Castro

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This is a feature request to get this modified:

1. If this box is checked then I have twice the photos in my catalog
2. If the box is unchecked then I do not have access to the JPEG

What makes sense is if you check the box to been able to use the X-Y tool to compare the raw vs the JPG and the ability to keep the JPG as the primary, maybe even the option to erase either the raw or the JPG.

If I shoot raw+JPG in my camera I want the ability to keep the JPG if the camera did a decent or good job and only develop the raw image for the more promising or worse images.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: treat JPEG files next to raw files as separate photos.
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Magnus Wilson

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Suggestion to re-design the functionality around the feature "Treat JPEG files next to raw as separate photos".

Since many cameras allow RAW+JPEG and a common goal for us photographer is to try and get the picture right already in the camera, so more often the JPEGs (with the personalized manual camera settings) are so good that I want to use them as "the originals" without having to go through all RAW files and adjust them afterwards. If I later want to improve/adjust a photo I then use the RAW file as a base for a much better result.

So I suggest that LR implements a (consistent) setting where all files for a photo are treated as ONE photo (unless you specifically tell LR not to). I can see that for at least the following features it would really improve the workflow ;

- manage metadata,
- some basic photo mgmt like cropping, re-sizing etc,
- physical file management

The great thing with LR compared to PS is that it's targeting photographers and focused on working with photos instead of individual graphic files. So please treated all files as ONE PHOTO as far as possible, i.e. metadata is save to both files and when moving, deleting, flagging, cropping etc. a photo, all files should be affected (unless you manually, specifically 'un-set' the link). That would really improve the workflow when you shot RAW+JPEG.

Best regards Magnus Wilson

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: Consistent RAW+JPEG handling - focus on the ONE photo approach.
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Sean Borman

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Back in the day, I shot lots of images using raw+jpeg and imported them into Lightroom. Now I realize those jpegs add no value and I'd like to recover the disk space that they're occupying.

My immediate need is to have a way to:
1. Identify all images in a catalog which are raw+jpeg (nef+jpeg, etc)
2. Remove just the jpeg for these images

I've looked at various plugins designed for handling raw+jpeg, but don't feel confident that simply removing the jpegs and not updating the LR catalog (as these tools seem to do) will not leave LR confused.

More generally, it would be great if LR provided improved handling of these "coupled" images. I can imaging that some folks might want to keep only the jpeg and delete that heavyweight raw file for images that they don't intend to process.

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
Lightroom: Improve handling for raw+jpeg "coupled" images to allow search, filtering, erase, etc..
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Rob Cole

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There are a couple of plugins that may help some in this regard:

1. NxToo - Includes the ability to create separate jpeg "sidecar" by extracting jpeg previews from raw (Nikon only).
2. RawPlusJpeg - Various utilities for dealing with raw/jpeg pairs, including the ability to display "hidden" jpeg sidecar.

Rob
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GEGJr

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Hi Rob,

I took you advice and added my vote, now watch something happen :-)
And I wholeheartedly agree with Victoria Bampton, who said about 4 months ago,
"I'd agree, it's a request I hear regularly, particularly from volume shooters who are currently using Breezebrowser or Photomechnic for initial culling, before switching to LR, because it's faster to use the embedded JPEGs. They shouldn't have to use other software for such an integral part of the workflow. "

Except that I use Downloader Pro, which is also made by BreezeSys.com, because in DP you can use the E switch to make a subfolder that evaluates JPEG, JPG and JPE to a folder named JPG and a subfolder RAW for all other files. Then I can do see the difference in LR between the LR created preview and cameras JPG.

But I use BreezeBrowser to for just viewing files because frankly it's just quicker.

Thanks,
George
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Marcus A Hubert

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I really appreciate that it is possible to import jpegs and raw or dng files as one picture. But sometimes I would like to delete one of the two versions (e. g. if I know that a picture is not good enough for publication and therefore does not need further development, it would be helpful to delete only the raw/dng version in order to save some disk space). Currently I'm doing this by deleting the raw picture with the windows explorer, but then I have to tell Lightroom where it can find the jpeg image. My life would be a little bit easier, if Lightroom could directly delete the raw or the jpg version of a picture.

Marcus A. Hubert, Bonn, Germany (hubert@uni-bonn.de)

This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled
LIGHTROOM: Deleting RAWs and JPEGs separately.
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Rob Cole

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It seems this post should not have been merged here, but consider:

RawPlusJpeg

R
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Dorin Nicolaescu-Musteață, Champion

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Well, yes the thread has grown to be too generic. I'm thinking of separating the FRs into two distinct categories (and separate topics):
1) Ability to display embedded or sidecar preview. Either for performance reasons or to be able to see and use the in-camera rendering as a reference.
2) Managing previews and raw+sidecar pairs (searching, deleting, separating etc).

Another option is to rename the topic into something more generic (like Management of embedded previews and/or sidecars) and continue to go on like this. After all, the two issues are related.

Opinions?
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Rob Cole

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I was certainly thinking about them independently until you planted this little seedling. Now that I think about it, I can imagine an even more integrated and comprehensive handling. Still, my guess is that Adobe will not go so all out in this area, and so far, feedback seems not to have much crossover - your call AFAIC: I'm cool either way...
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GEGJr

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How about "Import Management"?
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Gavin Farrington

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+1 Dorin's suggestion to split.

I'm here specifically for the purpose of getting LR to mimic PhotoMechanic in having the ability to use embedded previews for a performance boost. I'd really like to see the thread remain dedicated to this topic, so my vote would be to keep them distinct.
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GEGJr

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I would like to be to direct LR when importing to send the Raw file to an archive and JPEG to a folder in my main library. It would be nice if LR could register the location of the Raw file but not entirely necessary as long the JPEG filename is not changed. This is what BreezeSystems Downloader Pro (DP) allows with a use of a plugin that can be turned on or off. DP also allows creating of workflow folders under the parent folder while performing the import. Again this is done with a plugin. If BreezeBrowser (BB) had catalog (search) functionality I wouldn't need LR because I would just import using DP and use BB for DAM and just use PS for editing.
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Dion Hinchcliffe

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I would like to point out that this request was filed 3 years ago and plenty of people have since confirmed they want it. There are writeups all over the Web on how to try to workaround this frustrating limitation. Yet there is no Adobe response here about what they're going to do. That's clearly poor product management. The least they can do is say what their plan is.

Lacking easy management of sidecar files -- and yes, importing them as separate pictures is simply unacceptable for a professional level application -- is the biggest pain in using this product in daily workflow. I'm always switching out of Lightroom to look at the sidecar file using another application. Why I would have to do this many years after this basic workflow feature was widely requested by users is inexplicable to me.
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Rob Cole

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Some of you may be interested in the script (not a plugin):

'Import Raws For Jpegs'

It finds the raw files corresponding to selected jpegs (in your raw storage area, or card if still there) and imports them:

MiscScripts
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Rob Cole

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The reasons for wanting Lr to support access to embedded preview and/or jpeg sidecar are many and varied, but to attempt a summary:

* Performance: embedded previews do not need to be rendered - they already are.
* Comparison: it's very common to *want* to compare one's work in Lr with what was done using a different software (including in-camera rendering). One could argue that it isn't necessary, but that won't keep people from wanting to do it. I don't do it very often anymore, but it took years of transitioning... Yeah, you can open the file in the other software, but comparing in that fashion is not as convenient as using Lr's compare view (or before/after comparison feature).
* Immediate use, in case jpeg (usually sidecar in this case), is good enough, at least for now (raw to be imported later, maybe).

Currently the options are:
* Have both on disk and in catalog as separate photos.
* Have no in-Lr access to embedded or sidecar jpeg.

People don't want to have to clutter catalog with both copies, or populate disk with raws which aren't needed yet..

Note: this is not a big deal to me, anymore, but I get that it is still a big deal for a lot of people..
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Chris Saunders

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I'm late to this party, but just want to add my vote. My preference is to do as much as possible in one piece of software, and at the moment, for me that is Lightroom.

My key requirement is to easily toggle between RAW and jpeg for a single image, with shared meta-data and the ability to select which one is the primary. That would allow me to use the jpeg for happy-snaps or where the quality is good enough, or switch to RAW for any serious post-processing.

Also nice to have:
- ability to toggle the grid view between all-RAW, all-jpeg and mixed user-selections.
- default initial post-import view to jpeg to avoid the need to render (or maybe user-defined preference?)
- ability to do all this from the emedded jpeg (not sure what value there would be in shooting / importing/storing both seperately if you had easier access to the embedded jpeg?)

Given the amount / length of the debate here and on other forums I'm not optimistic about progress. However, having recently made the step-up to more serious cameras, and started to explore the possibilities of RAW I've been astonished by the way I'm forced to choose one workflow or the other up-front.

Improvements in jpeg quality and growth of Micro 4/3 and other compact-ish Interchangeable Lens Cameras are blurring the boundaries between the 'point & shoot' and 'serious full-frame' worlds. I've now read many heated threads about the RAW vs jpeg, and think it's high time there was better support for working in a seemless way to get the best of both worlds.
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Przemysław Chudziński

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I'm really considering switching to a different software if this feature won't be added in the next release ....
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Przemysław Chudziński

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Chris Page

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This is a massive problem for me - I've spent money on Lightroom so that I can make the most of my decent camera and then discover that anything my camera handles in JPG format (eg the art filters) is buried unless I handle jpg & raw separately which damages the organisational capability of lightroom. This seems a very basic oversight!
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Rob Cole

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It's not sooo bad (treating raw & jpeg separately) if you stack them. Whichever is above hides the inactive version. Also, consider RawPlusJpeg plugin to help manage (it's free, and I wrote it).
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Marc Labro

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hallo Chris,
i agree with you. I was coming from nx2 to lightroom and didn't understand why my nef were so noisy and ugly with respect to my jpg. i have spent weeks to try to use plugins to use nx2 from lightroom,... and corrupted several times my lr database. so i have decided to lean lightroom more and have purchased ononesoftware and topazlab suites and i am really happy now.
lightroom 5.7 is so fantastic that auto works nice with small manual retouching.
so based on my experience, i would shoot nef and add artistic with topazlab on pc.
i am sure you will spare lot of time and will be fully happy

br
marc
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Chris Page

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thanks Mark / Rob for the responses - seems I've more digging to do, I've also tried replacing effects I want in Lightroom, which isn't so easy - I guess the trick for me is remembering that I took photos in a mode that lightroom doesn't natively handle well and treating them differently to the rest - I think some practice and following your pointers is in order.
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Gavin Farrington

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Hey all. This thread has gotten wildly off course from the original intent, which was in reference to a performance enhancement that PhotoMechanic takes advantage of, where it reads the JPG that has been hidden inside the RAW file by the camera, rather than trying to process the RAW on the fly.

That said, there seems to be some confusion about what you might expect from a RAW file. For those of you who are surprised when the camera enhancements aren't applied to the RAWs - that's not a failure of LR. LR is showing you exactly the data you fed to it. RAW files are, by their very nature, not processed. They are a "container" if you will (as all files are containers) that hold the exact, unedited, unmodified, unadulterated data that the sensor captured. Those effect settings that your camera has are taking the image data, running a "photoshop filter," then storing the result as a JPG. Doing this same thing to a RAW file simply isn't possible. (If you're curious why, Google about Bayer arrays and mosaicked image data. Cambridge in Color has a great article about how your sensor works.)

So why does the image appear to be filtered when looking at the back screen, even though you're shooting RAW? Simple. As mentioned above, your camera is hiding a JPG inside the RAW file. (Don't confuse this with your RAW + JPG mode, I mean literally a JPG inside the RAW file.) When you review images on the camera, effects have been applied to those hidden JPGs, but NOT to the RAW data. This is why settings such as color space, noise reduction, special effects profiles, etc etc all appear in the preview image on the back screen of your camera, but have absolutely zero impact on the actual RAW data that you're working with in LR. That preview on your camera screen is not the RAW data. It is only the embedded JPG preview.

I would encourage you to shoot without those (questionable) in-camera special effects, and learn to get the results you like directly in LR from the RAW data you captured. Hope this helps a bit. Now let's please get back to this thread being about a potential "performance mode" for culling in LR.

Cheers!
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Rob Cole

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This thread is the merging of multiple (arguably related) threads which have raw+jpeg handling as their subject. I think getting back to it's original intent (exclusively) is no longer an option (if it were going to be split, it would have been done years ago, when the possibility was first broached - arguably too much water under the bridge since then). That said, you could always try to create a new (more dedicated) thread and beg for it not to get merged, but I'm not sure how much value there would be in it - I think Adobe is fully aware of both aspects of the issue now (culling performance and raw+jpeg workflow) - I could be wrong..
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Gavin Farrington

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You're probably right, Rob. Hope springs eternal.