Yesterday I realized that for the last import I did with Lightroom I don't have the original RAW files from the camera's SD. In the memory card I have only the RAW file and when I import them in Lightroom it converts in JPEG and save them to the library.

There are any particularly options for keeping the original RAW during the import?

update Sorry....I'm a fool! Someone changes my settings and I didn't realize that I was shooting in jpeg. I double checked and yes, it's only JPG!:( sorry for the wasting of time


2 Answers 2


Lightroom always keeps the RAW file. It does not convert on import, it converts on Export. Your files will be in your designated LR import folder. Note that there can be more than one of these if you like.

So to find out where your last photos went, you can simply open Lightroom and click "Import". One of the gotcha's of Lightroom is that it imports wherever you last told it to. So simply click on 'Import' and see where it is going to put the files. This will be the place it put them last time. In LR3, this is the top right hand of the UI, where is says "to".

  • \$\begingroup\$ the files are imported in the images library under folder per date. In fact if I right click a photo and select reveal in finder it opens up the JPG not the RAW, and the TO field is set to Personal catalogue \$\endgroup\$
    – Kreker
    Jul 25, 2011 at 19:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ Note that it doesn't "always" keep the original RAW file; you can set it to convert the RAWs coming from the camera to Adobe Digital Negative, its own RAW-like format. These are effectively the same as the RAW files though. \$\endgroup\$ Jul 25, 2011 at 19:41
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    \$\begingroup\$ As @Craig stated, it is possible to convert the original camera RAW format to DNG. While DNG is technically a "raw" format, it is not native RAW, and it is difficult to know if/what you may be losing by converting. \$\endgroup\$
    – jrista
    Jul 25, 2011 at 20:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ But I'm asking something different. There are any settings that I have to change in the import tasks? Because, as I told you before, I haven't the original RAW, or at least I don't know where they are. If I click reveal in finder it reveal a JPG file! Not the original RAW! so what's the point? \$\endgroup\$
    – Kreker
    Jul 25, 2011 at 21:34
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Kreker: is it possible you didnt shoot in RAW? Lightroom doesnt export on import, so it won't import a RAW, convert to JPG, delete the RAW and put a JPEG where the RAW imported file should be. Note that Lightroom will import JPEG just fine, it does not need to be RAW. \$\endgroup\$
    – cmason
    Jul 26, 2011 at 0:44

@cmason is absolutely right: Lightroom will not convert RAWs to JPGs on import. It either imports them directly or (if you tell it to) converts them to DNGs. It does sound like you shot JPG rather than RAW in camera.

If you're absolutely sure the photos on your camera are RAW files, the only other thing I can guess is that you shot in RAW+JPG mode and Lightroom only imported the JPG for some reason. You don't mention what model your camera is: is it in the list of cameras that Lightroom supports for RAW?


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