Compressed DNG Upload Method

One of the biggest reasons we hear of people not wanting to outsource their images, is the thought of wasting hours and internet bandwidth uploading Raw images to a server. Who wants to spend 2 days checking in every so often to make sure every file has uploaded? And, what happens if somewhere in the process it cancels? Do you have to start from the beginning again?

Well, we discovered a really simple method to convert your RAW files into compressed DNG files that are almost 1/20th of the size. It retains the high quality, and we send back XMPs the exact same way we always do.

What is a DNG file?

Created by Adobe, DNG (Digital Negative) files are technically still raw files, that have no loss of data, just on a smaller scale. They still have all the components of a full high-resolution raw file.

Alright, so that sounds great, but how does it all work?

Well, let’s start from the beginning!

1. Import your RAW files into Lightroom, and select all files in the Library Tab.

2. Under File, choose Export.

3. Make sure that the settings are exactly as shown below. We’ll be saving this as a preset, so that’s why we’ll choose the folder after Export. It’s important that you don’t rename the files, as the XMP files that we send you must match up with your original RAW files. Now, under file settings, the Image Format that we use is DNG, which allows us to compress the files for quick uploading.

Now, the two crucial parts of this are making sure that the “Use Lossy Compression” option is checked, and the “Embed Original Raw File” is unchecked. The first one compresses the file, and the second makes sure that our compression doesn’t go to waste by embedding the entire RAW file.

Under Image Sizing, Resize the Long Edge to 2000 pixels. This is equally important. It might be worrisome to make your image smaller, but keep in mind that you keep these files are only to send for editing purposes, and you hang onto the actual RAW files.

Then After Export, choose Show in Finder. This is especially handy for a preset so that you know when it’s finished, and can work on something else in the meantime. To make sure that your images downsized properly, the DNG files should be under 1MB each, and usually around 6-700KB.LR5compressed

Awesome! This process should have reduced the size of your entire session to about 5% of the original size. This also means that the time it takes to upload is going to be 5% of the total time. Talk about a time saver!

Now, take that folder that you’ve exported them to, and upload those files to us!

If you have questions, email us at, and we can walk you through the entire process.

Happy uploading!

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