Canon 400-Megapixel Mode


Today’s Question: I’m sure you are aware of Canon’s new firmware for the EOS R5 camera that enables its sensor to capture with 400MP. What implications does that have for photographers both negative and positive?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Canon’s 400-megapixel high resolution mode produces large images with pixel dimensions that represent a print size of almost five by seven FEET without enlargement. However, the files are indeed quite large and you generally need to avoid any movement in the frame or of the camera to get a useful photo.

More Detail: Canon certainly grabbed a lot of headlines when it announced the new high-resolution mode for the EOS R5 ( that enables 400-megapixel captures. The images captured in this mode feature a resolution of 24,576 pixels by 16,384 pixels. Printed at 300 pixels per inch, that would yield a print size of about 82-inches by 55-inches (about 7-feet by 4.5 feet) without any enlargement.

Of course, such high resolution also means large file sizes, with files ranging from about 100 to 300 megabytes depending on the level of detail in the scene being photographed.

This feature operates by capturing a series of images (nine captures in the case of the EOS R5) with tiny movement of the image sensor between each capture. The images are then combined in-camera to produce a single image with extreme resolution.

Because the sensor must be moved to capture multiple photos over a brief period of time, any movement within the frame or of the camera will result in a motion blur effect in the resulting image. That means that to make full use of this feature you need to photograph a scene that is extremely static, and you need to ensure the camera is held very still as well. For example, if you’re photographing a landscape and the leaves of trees are moving with the breeze, those leaves will be blurred in the final photo.

Because of the inherent limitations of the capture requirements in terms of motion, and the very large file sizes, I consider this to be a specialized feature that won’t likely be used very extensively by most photographers. Rather, I expect this feature to be used in very limited circumstances, when a particularly large print will be produced and the subject is such that it can remain perfectly still through the exposure process.

Backing Up Presets


Today’s Question: My computer died, and I have configured a new computer with Lightroom Classic. When I open my previous catalog, that seems to work. However, I just went to edit a photo and export it, and all my export presets are missing. Where would those have been saved?

Tim’s Quick Answer: By default, all your various Lightroom Classic presets are stored in a folder within the user folder in your operating system. Fortunately, however, it is very easy to determine where your presets are saved through the Preferences dialog.

More Detail: When you migrate to a new computer you can transfer all your presets from Lightroom Classic so they’ll be available on the new computer. You just need to know where those presets are, and then copy the applicable folders to the new computer.

By default, the various presets for Lightroom Classic are stored in folders within your user folder through the operating system. There is also an option to store presets with the catalog instead. Regardless, it is very easy to determine where the presets are stored.

Start by going to the Preferences dialog, which can be brought up by choosing Edit > Preferences from the menu on Windows or Lightroom Classic > Preferences on Macintosh. Go to the Presets tab, and in the Location section toward the bottom you’ll find two buttons, labeled “Show Lightroom Develop Presets” and “Show All Other Lightroom Presets”.

Clicking the first of these buttons will open a window in your operating system with a folder highlighted, and that folder contains your Develop presets. Clicking the second button will similarly bring up a window with a highlighted folder, representing the folder that contains additional folders full of various presets. For example, the presets from the Export dialog are found in a folder called “Export Presets”.

I recommend making sure you’re aware of where the folders are so that you can recover them from a backup if that ever becomes necessary. In this case, for example, if you have a backup of the computer that failed, you can use that backup to restore the files and place them in the applicable location based on how Lightroom Classic is configured on the new computer.

What is Enhanced DNG?


Today’s Question: You answered a question about the enhanced DNG. Could you tell us what it’s used for?

Tim’s Quick Answer: A DNG is created in Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic, or Lightroom when you use one of the Enhance features, which are features primarily focused on noise reduction and image enlargement.

More Detail: In a previous edition of the Ask Tim Grey eNewsletter I addressed a question about the file size of DNG files created by the Enhance features found in Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic, and Lightroom. These features enable you to process raw captures and create a DNG file that reflects the enhancements.

The two key features of Enhance are noise reduction and image enlargement. There is also a “Raw Details” feature that can be used by itself, and that is always enabled when you use the Denoise or Super Resolution features.

To give Enhance a try, you can select a raw capture in Lightroom or Lightroom Classic choose Photo > Enhance from the menu. If you have opened a raw capture in Camera Raw you can click the “more” button (with the three dots) on the toolbar at the top-right of the interface. This will bring up the Enhance dialog, where you can choose which features you want to apply to the selected photo.

You can turn on either the Denoise or Super Resolution checkbox, to apply AI-based noise reduction or image enlargement, respectively. You can only use one of these features at a time, and when one of them is enabled the Raw Details feature (for detail enhancement) will always be turned on. It is also possible to turn off both the Denoise and Super Resolution checkboxes, and then have only the Raw Details feature enabled.

When you click the Enhance button to apply the effect, a new Adobe DNG (Digital Negative) file will be created with the adjustments applied. You can then continue applying other adjustments to the new file you’ve created. The idea is that you’re able to use the Enhance feature to process a raw capture early in your workflow to either reduce noise or enlarge the image, and then continue with your normal optimization workflow.

In actual practice I’ve not found that these Enhance features offer a particular advantage over other techniques. However, I’m also sure they will improve with time and potentially surpass the effects that you can achieve with other techniques.

Photos Not in Any Collection


Today’s Question: After merging several catalogs within Lightroom Classic, I have a number of collections that were contributed from each individual catalog. Is there a way to create a collection of images that are NOT in any collection?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you can create a smart collection containing photos that are not included in any other collection in Lightroom Classic using a workaround with the “doesn’t contain” option for the collection name filter.

More Detail: While Lightroom Classic includes a wide variety of options for filtering photos based on metadata and other details, there isn’t a simple option for specifying that you want to filter images based on those not included in any collection. However, you can create a smart collection that will provide this utility.

To get started, go to the left panel in the Library module and to the right of the Collections heading click the plus (+) icon. From the popup menu that appears choose “Create Smart Collection” to bring up the Create Smart Collection dialog.

Enter a meaningful name into the Name field, such as “NOT in Any Collection”. You can also add this new smart collection to a collection set if you’d like, using the controls in the Location section.

In the criteria area you only need a single rule, so if there are additional rules shown in the large box click the minus (-) button to remove all but one. Then set the first popup for the single rule to “Collection”. Set the second popup to “doesn’t contain”, which means you are creating a smart collection based on photos that are only in collections that don’t contain specific characters.

In this case, however, you want to exclude photos that are included in any collection. That means you simply need to specify characters in the text box to the right of the popups that represent all letters and numbers that might possibly be included in any collection name.

For example, let’s assume you always include the four-digit year in the name of every collection, and that your photography only goes back as far as the year 2000. That would mean including “2” in the text box would exclude photos from all collections, because all collections would have a “2” in the name.

Of course, more than likely you don’t have a naming system for collections that will make it so easy to exclude collections based on a single number. So, to be safe you can exclude collections based on all letters and numbers, with each letter and number separated by a space. Entering the following (or copying and pasting) in the text box will ensure that photos from all collections are excluded:

“a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9”

This is obviously a bit of a workaround, and it would be much easier if Adobe added a filter option for “not in any collection” for a smart collection or on the Library Filter bar. But until such a feature is added, the above approach will work.

Output Sharpening Workflow


Today’s Question: I seem to recall your preference or advice to do sharpening in Photoshop, rather than in Camera Raw or Lightroom Classic – or is my memory incorrect? Or was this before this more recent option of Masking while Sharpening was available?

Tim’s Quick Answer: I do still prefer to use Photoshop for output sharpening, but I’m perfectly happy with the initial sharpening available when processing images in Camera Raw, the Develop module in Lightroom Classic, or in Lightroom.

More Detail: In the context of Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic, and Lightroom, you can think of there being two steps to sharpening. The first is the sharpening you apply with the initial raw capture, and the second is the final sharpening when preparing an image to be shared, especially for print. You could also say there is a third stage of creative sharpening in between, which could take the form of adjustments like Clarity and Texture, for example.

When it comes to output sharpening, there isn’t much flexibility and there isn’t a preview with the Adobe applications mentioned above. Rather, you choose the output type (such as glossy or matte paper) and the strength (low, standard, or high). While this sharpening does a good job overall, I prefer to be able to exercise more control by using Photoshop, at least for photos I’ll print. This is in part due to the fact that you don’t get a preview when applying output sharpening in Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic, or Lightroom.

For images shared online, I think the option to choose “Screen” (meaning a monitor display, for example) as the output type and then choosing a strength (I typically use “Standard”) is perfectly adequate. However, when it comes to preparing an image for print, I prefer the flexibility and control provided by Photoshop’s sharpening filters, such as Smart Sharpen.

The masking features for targeted adjustments in Camera Raw, Lightroom Classic, and Lightroom, along with the option to hold back sharpening in smooth areas with the Masking slider for the normal sharpening adjustment certainly helps. I just feel it is important to exercise maximum control when sharpening for print, and that it is helpful to have a preview available when applying output sharpening. I therefore prefer the use of Photoshop for the final sharpening of photos I’ll be printing, even though you can certainly get good results with the normal output sharpening options with the other Adobe applications.

Lightroom Virtual Summit 2024


I am happy to announce that I will be presenting three classes as part of the Lightroom Virtual Summit 2024, which is a free online event that will be held May 20th through the 24th.

I’ll be presenting on “Lightroom Classic and the Cloud”, “Managing Folders and Collections”, and “Advanced Color Adjustments”, all focused on Lightroom Classic. My classes are just three out of a total of 45 classes from a variety of instructors.

Best of all, you can attend all of the online classes for free from virtually anywhere with an internet connection.

In addition to the free registration there is also a VIP Pass option, which provides you with lifetime access to recordings of all presentations, and a variety of special VIP bonus content and benefits.

You can register for free and learn about the special VIP Pass, by following this link:

I hope you’ll join me for my three classes as part of the upcoming Lightroom Virtual Summit!

Large DNG from Enhance Command


Today’s Question: I love the Enhance function to remove noise in Lightroom Classic. But the resulting DNG file is huge. Is there a way within Lightroom Classic to convert the DNG to a TIFF or high-resolution JPEG without a round trip to Photoshop?

Tim’s Quick Answer: You can indeed very easily create a derivative image based on the enhanced DNG image. Just keep in mind that if you save it as a TIFF the file will likely be even larger, and if you save it as a JPEG there could be issues with compression artifacts.

More Detail: The reason the Adobe DNG file created with the Enhance feature in Lightroom Classic, Lightroom, or Camera Raw, is considerably larger than a source raw capture is that the DNG will contain demosaiced capture data. In other words, rather than one color value for each pixel, it will have all three, causing the DNG file to be about three times larger than the source raw capture.

You could certainly create a TIFF copy of the DNG file, but it will likely be at least a little larger than the DNG, even with ZIP compression applied. You could also create a JPEG image file, but that would result in an image with only 8-bit per channel (which could lead to a loss of smooth gradations if strong adjustments are applied) and that could have some visible artifacts from the JPEG compression.

That said, you can certainly create a derivative copy of an image and add it back to the Lightroom Classic catalog without using Photoshop, using the Export feature.

To get started, select the DNG file and click the Export button at the bottom of the left panel in the Library module. In the Export dialog, set the Export To popup to “Same folder as original photo” and turn off the “Put in Subfolder” checkbox. Then turn on the “Add to This Catalog” checkbox.

You can then configure any of the other settings in the Export dialog based on the file type you want to create and the attributes for the image. Then click the Export button and a new image file will be created based on your specifications. The image will be stored in the same folder as the original and will be added to your Lightroom Classic catalog.

Options for Online Sharing


Today’s Question: I am not necessarily looking to sell my work – if that comes about, fine. But I think it would be good for me to have a good way to show my work if only to family and friends. I am wondering what you might suggest as to the best way to go about doing that.

Tim’s Quick Answer: In this type of scenario, I suggest considering either a basic photo sharing service, a social media platform, or possibly shared collections in Lightroom Classic.

More Detail: You can obviously build a sophisticated website to share your photos, and doing so can be relatively easy. For example, I’ve built website using SquareSpace ( and Wix (, and these provide great tools for building a good website to showcase your photos. But you’ll also have to pay for the service, which isn’t necessarily the preferred approach for basic online photo sharing.

Fortunately, there are a variety of ways you can share your photos online for free.

If you’re somewhat serious about sharing your photos and would like for them to be discovered by others beyond just friends and family, one good option is to use an online photo sharing service. For example, I’ve used 500px ( and Flickr ( in the past to share photos. Both offer a free plan, with 500px limiting free accounts to 21 image uploads per week, and Flickr limiting free accounts to no more than 1,000 photos in total. You could always upgrade later to a paid plan if you attracted a following, for example.

Another option is to use a social media platform. For example, Instagram ( is very popular for sharing photos, videos, and more. One drawback is that Instagram revolves around sharing photos through their mobile app, which isn’t always the most convenient approach. There are some workarounds that enable you to share through a web browser, however, such as services like Later ( When sharing through a social media platform you can encourage friends, family, and others to follow you, so they’ll be more likely to see photos you add to your feed.

If you’re using Lightroom Classic to manage your photos, you can also enable synchronization for a collection that contains photos you want to share. While browsing a synchronized collection in the grid view, you can then click the “Make Public” button at the top-right of the grid view, which will cause a link to appear to the left of the button (which will then be the “Make Private” button). You can right-click on the link and choose “Copy to Clipboard” so you can then paste the address to an email, for example, for sharing.

These are just a handful of the options I recommend using for online sharing of photos, and there are of course many other options you might consider as well.

Why Use Drop Shadows?


Today’s Question: Why would someone put a drop shadow on a print? I’ve never heard of this.

Tim’s Quick Answer: A drop shadow can add a sense of dimension to a photo, so that it seems to be suspended over the paper. However, it should be noted that many consider the drop shadow to be a somewhat dated effect, and many designers insist it should never be used.

More Detail: A drop shadow is an effect whereby a shadow seems to be cast behind an image element, such as having a shadow around a photo on the printed page. The shadow creates something of a three-dimensional effect, where the image seems to float over the page. A drop shadow can also help make an image stand out better, such as to help frame up a relatively bright image printed on white paper.

While a drop shadow effect can add a nice visual effect to an image, the effect can also be quite controversial. Many graphic designers say a drop shadow should never be used. I think the better way to think of the use of a drop shadow is that it should be relatively subtle in most cases and shouldn’t be used indiscriminately with every image.

So, if you’ve never thought about using a drop shadow, it might be best to avoid them. And if you like drop shadows, you should probably keep in mind that it is generally better to keep them relatively subtle, similar to how a vignette effect is often best when it is subtle.

But I also think that a photographer should make their own decisions about how they want to express their creativity, and so if you love drop shadows and want to put them to use with your photos, that is probably the right answer for you. Just don’t be surprised if some folks react negatively to that drop shadow, even when it is subtle.

Eclipse Trail Composite


Today’s Question: I am planning to shoot the solar eclipse. One plan is to shoot with a wide angle and create a “trail”. How does one, quickly and easily, blend these images to create the trail?

Tim’s Quick Answer: You can blend a series of eclipse photos together in Photoshop by assembling them into a single layered document, moving them into the correct position for alignment, and changing the blend mode for all layers to Screen. Add a black background layer to fill in the blank areas, and that’s about it.

More Detail: Creating a composite image that includes a sequence of images forming a trail representing the progression of a solar eclipse can help emphasize the drama of such an event. With Photoshop it is actually quite easy to create this type of composite.

The first step is to get the individual images into Photoshop as layers. If you’re using Lightroom Classic you can select the full range of images you want to include and then go to the menu and choose Photo > Edit In > Open as Layers in Photoshop. You can also select the images in Adobe Bridge and then from the menu choose Tools > Photoshop > Load Files into Photoshop Layers.

With the images assembled into a single document in Photoshop as individual layers, you can then change the blend mode for all those layers to Screen. To do so, click the thumbnail for the top-most layer and then hold the Shift key on the keyboard and click the thumbnail for the bottom-most layer. Then change the popup at the top-left of the Layers panel that has a default value of Normal to Screen.

Next, choose the Move tool from the toolbar (or by pressing the “V” key on the keyboard, and select each layer in turn and move it into the appropriate position. As you drag a layer outside the current image area, choose Image > Reveal All from the menu to expand the canvas so you can see all areas of all image layers. You can repeat this command as needed as you continue spreading out the individual layers.

Once you’ve finished getting all the layers into the right position, click on the thumbnail for the bottom-most layer on the Layers panel. Then hold the Ctrl key on Windows or Command key on Macintosh while clicking on the “Create New Layer” button (the plus symbol in a square) at the bottom of the Layers panel. This will add a new layer below the selected layer. Then choose Edit > Fill from the menu, set the Contents popup to Black, make sure the Mode popup is set to Normal, and click the OK button to fill the new layer with black.

With the layers arranged into the right positions and the blend mode for each set to Screen, the images will blend together to form a trail of the stages of the eclipse. You can then apply any additional adjustments, crop the image, or otherwise finalize to your liking.