With its longest edge measuring 2540 pixels a Smart Preview is basically just a shrunken down lightweight version of the original image. Its a fraction of the size of the original image file and is stored in an lrdata file alongside your Lightroom catalog.
Standard Previews in Lightroom are a bit limited as you cannot zoom in on them.
Lightroom smart previews vs standard previews
. You can free up disk space on devices with smaller storage capacities for example SSD drives by choosing to keep original files on a high-capacity external device for example NAS devices or external discs. When this happens I cancel the process connect my external drive and re-export. Click on No Smart Preview to display all those images without smart previews if you want to add Smart Previews or click on Has Smart Preview if you want to remove them all.
If you export from a smart preview the size of your export is limited to the size of the smart preview I. The size of the Smart Previews file is only 91Mb. A Lightroom Smart Preview is a compressed lossy DNG copy of a photo file.
You can set the size of these previews in Catalogue Settings. Smart Previews however are only used in the Develop module. Smart Previews are tiny.
You can set the size of standard Previews in the Catalog Settings. The compressions is very effective. They are not the same thing.
Standard previews in Lightroom are the default preview the software creates when you import photos. When I look at a Smart Preview at 100 enlargement in Lightroom it looks just as good to my eye as the original file. The only problem with Standard previews is that they are not designed for zooming into your photos.
It takes longer to build Standard Previews but they are more accurate than Minimal or Embedded Sidecar Previews. Smart Previews are a low resolution fully editable preview version of your original RAW file. Ordinary previews are used almost exclusively in the Library module where if a 11 preview doesnt exist and you zoom to 11 it will be built whereas smart previews are used almost exclusively in the Develop module.
The library previews ie. The Smart Previews file is only a little over 2 the size of the Raw files. Minimal standard or 11 are for working in the Library moduleso if you build either standard or 11 previews during import youll find that there should be little delay when moving through your images in the Library module.
The size of the Smart Previews file is only 91Mb. Standard Previews let you view photos in Loupe View but are not large enough for you to zoom in to examine fine details or focusing accuracy. Smart previews can be used offline for Lightroom editing and exports up to 2k Yes smart previews can be used for editing if the original image is not available.
Lightroom takes longer to build Standard previews than it does to create Minimal or Embedded Sidecar previews. Smart previews are substitutes for your original photos so you can edit your photos when the originals are offline. Ad A complete photo solution that makes it easy to edit manage share photos securely.
But the benefit is that the Library module runs much faster. The Filmstrip and Grid view of the Library module use minimal previews temporarily until Lightroom renders standard-size previews for those thumbnails. 11 previews are full resolution so they take up more space but if you wish to zoom in on your photos in Library module it will save Lightroom having to render 11 previews on the fly which would slow your browsing experience.
You can export reasonable size JPEGs and even print. Actually they are DNG files rendered in Lightroom with a size of 2540px on the long edge that are grouped into a lrdata file next to your Lightroom catalog. Standard-sized previews are highly recommended it will greatly speed up browsing performance if Lightroom isnt having to render previews on the fly.
Ad A complete photo solution that makes it easy to edit manage share photos securely. I exported the original Raw files contained this small Catalog 16 in total and the total file size was 430Mb. And choose Build Smart Previews as shown here and it will build smart previews for all your.
Exporting JPGs from Lightroom Smart Previews VS Originals From time to time I accidentally hit the export button in Lightroom when my original files are not connected. Just found out I have two files ripping lot of space the catalog previewslrdata which gets updated every time the software is in use and then smart previewslrdata which is over two years old. Now go under the Library menu.
There is liitle connection between ordinary previews 11 or not and smart previews. Choosing the Auto option Lightroom will build standard previews to match the resolution of your monitor. Standard Lightroom creates standard previews.
Smart Previews are much smaller than the original photos. Embedded Sidecar These previews are larger also camera-generated and they take a little longer to create than minimal previews. The Smart Previews file is only a little over 2 the size of the Raw files corresponding with.
Perhaps the biggest benefit of Smart Previews is that you can take a working copy of your images with you on the go without having to also bring a portable hard drive with the originals all on it because unlike unlinked thumbnails you can take these over to the Develop Module and edit them.