Big beefy raw image files (ARW) turned into beautiful creations in Adobe Lightroom, now you’re left wanting to send/upload a file that’s several megabytes big.
Could you drop the quality preset and save space? or will you lost too much quality?
Quality or smaller file size
You will be surprised to know that an export a fraction of the original raw file size holds its own in quality, that is if you aren’t pixel peeping. In most cases turning the quality level to 0 on an export will ensure you lose the quality of the image, still very fine if you aren’t looking to zoom or stretch.
However finding the right balance between smaller export size whilst keeping quality should be the aim. Hopefully this post will help.
You can view the exported jpgs at quality 100, 76, 50 and 0 at the bottom of this post.
The raw file was 24,512 KB in size (23.9 MB), at quality 100 the jpg was 12,759 KB big, 50 1,922 KB big and finally at 0 it was a tiny 628 KB.
At quality preset 0 the exported jpg is 2.5% the size of the raw file, at 50 the jpg export is 7.8% of the raw file size. 76 is 14% the size of the raw file whilst exporting at 100 quality makes the jpg close to half the size from the raw.
Here is the exported list named their quality, notice the quality to file size seemed grouped:
Side by side comparison, It’s not a massively glaring drop in quality but still noticeable.
From the exported file sizes the standouts were 46, 60 and 76. As in these cases a step up made the file size jump whilst a couple of step downs saw no reduction. It is going to be a use case in finding what is the best quality for you.
From archiving, websites, social media, email to blogs the size and quality is for your end case and obviously resources. Honestly though going above 80 seems pretty wasteful.
Pixel peep these: