Import Mismatch


Today’s Question: When I attempt to import photos into Lightroom Classic on a Windows computer it only imports my raw captures. But when I try from my Mac it imports both the raw files and the JPEGs. Is there a way to fix this? I do have the “Don’t Import Suspected Duplicates” checkbox turned on.

Tim’s Quick Answer: On the Macintosh you simply need to turn on the “Treat JPEG files next to raw files as separate photos” checkbox on the General tab of the Preferences dialog in Lightroom Classic. Note, however, that in the context of Lightroom Classic I don’t generally recommend using Raw+JPEG capture in the first place.

More Detail: When you choose the Raw+JPEG capture option on your camera, you end up with two copies of every photo you capture. The original raw capture is preserved, and the camera then also renders a JPEG image based on that raw capture.

By default, Lightroom Classic will copy both the raw and the JPEG files of raw+JPEG sets to the selected folder location on import. However, only the raw capture will actually be imported into the catalog.

If you want both the raw and JPEG captures imported into your catalog, you can simply turn on the ” Treat JPEG files next to raw files as separate photos” checkbox on the general tab of the Preferences dialog. For future imports, both the raw and JPEG captures will be imported alongside each other.

In general, however, I don’t recommend importing the JPEG along with the raw capture, as doing so can cause confusion about which is the “real” source photo. Lightroom Classic will generate JPEG previews based on the raw captures, which in many respects takes the place of what you might otherwise use the JPEG captures for. And you could always export a JPEG copy based on the raw capture that includes the adjustments you’ve applied in Lightroom Classic.

If you have other reasons you want to preserve a JPEG copy of your original raw captures at the time of capture, that’s perfectly fine. But you might give some thought to whether there is a real benefit to the additional clutter created by having two copies of every photo.