Today’s Question: In my Lightroom Classic preferences the “Treat JPEG files next to raw files as separate photos” checkbox isn’t checked. My old Sony R1 camera had two modes: JPEG and RAW+JPEG (no RAW only). Each photo has an SR2, XMP, and a JPEG file. Is there a simple way to find and remove the JPG files?
Tim’s Quick Answer: You can most certainly delete the JPEG captures so you’ll be left with only the raw captures (and their associated XMP files). The specific approach you can use depends on the workflow you’ve used, and whether you’ve used that workflow consistently.
More Detail: With the “Treat JPEG files next to raw files as separate photos” checkbox turned off, Lightroom Classic will not import the JPEG images that are part of a Raw+JPEG pair into your catalog. It will, however, copy the JPEG images to the same folder as the raw captures. This creates a situation that isn’t ideal, where you have a potentially large number of JPEG images on your hard drive that aren’t visible in your catalog.
The potential challenge with deleting the JPEG images is that you might have captured other JPEG images that are not part of a Raw+JPEG pair. In other words, you probably don’t want to simply delete all JPEG files on your hard drive, so you’ll need to use an approach that enables you to confirm you’re only deleting the files you don’t need.
If you’re completely sure that you never captured standalone JPEG images with the camera in question, so that all JPEG images from that camera are definitely from a Raw+JPEG pair, then the process can be quite simple. You can synchronize the folder(s) that contain the Raw+JPEG pairs so the JPEG images will be added to your Lightroom Classic catalog. You could then set a filter on the Metadata tab of the Library Filter bar so that you are only seeing JPEG files that were captured with the camera in question (using the File Type and Camera options for two of the columns for filtering). With that filter set you could select all the images and delete them.
If you don’t have the confidence that all the JPEG images from that particular camera were part of a Raw+JPEG pair, then you’ll have a bit more work to do. In that case I would still suggest synchronizing the folder (even if you synchronize the top-level folder that represents the hard drive, for example) to bring the JPEG images into Lightroom Classic. You could then sort by capture time and review the images to ensure there is an associated raw capture right next to them, and mark for deletion (such as with a Reject flag) only the JPEG images that do have a corresponding raw capture. You could then delete all the photos you marked for deletion once you’re finished with that review.