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Lightroom JPEG Export-Quality Settings, Full-Resolution Examples

This is the companion page to my writeup An Analysis of Lightroom JPEG Export Quality Settings, with the full-naive-resolution versions of the samples, as described in that post's About These Examples section.

In these examples, you'll notice that even the “lossless” versions are not particularly crisp. This has nothing to do with JPEG quality, and everything to do with my inability to hold the camera steady, or to focus properly. Sometimes I can do pretty well, but this level of pixel peeping requires more skill than I have all the time, and I had only a small selection of photos available on my laptop when I decided to write up this post, so I had make do with what I had.

You'll also notice in the graphs that the file sizes for these 4256×2832 images are dramatically larger than for the 1518×1010 images of the main post. The boat example is a whopping 13 megabytes at the maximum 93〜100 quality, larger than the original Nikon NEF raw file it came from, and almost 7 times larger than the version on the main post. And yet I would challenge anyone presented with both it and the 0〜7 quality version (at 5% the size!) to pick which was which.

Finally, the odd lack-of-filesize-increase when moving from the 47〜53 quality to the 54〜61 quality is in a few of these manifest as a noticeable decrease in file size. In the main post I speculated about why this might happen, but I wish I actually understood the reason.

 
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version at main post

Comments so far....

I’m more than just grateful for this; it’s a real eye-opener, saved me hours of trial-and-error and ended a period of blind guesswork that was really bugging me. Not having a PS-style ‘save for web’ preview, Lightroom exports have been totally ‘blind’ for me until now – I just never found the time to do these tests.

The last two (seed and wood panel) shots demonstrate two crucial factors that I only half understood before. First, we need to be extra careful (+HQ) with files containing large OOF areas (likewise grads and blends) cos they’ll be the first to block up; second, thoughtless, overdone image compression can be just as destructive as clumsy, overdone NR processing.

Oh and third: I don’t feel half as crazy for carrying a monopod everywhere ;)

Thanks and best wishes

Mick Stephenson, New Zealand

— comment by Mick Stephenson on July 12th, 2010 at 6:54pm JST (4 years ago) comment permalink

This just answered my second question… great follow-up to the main writeup, thanks again!

— comment by Jesse on July 23rd, 2010 at 11:47pm JST (4 years ago) comment permalink
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