When I open images in Lightroom for the first time, during the loading process I see images that look "great", but after a while Lightroom applies some automatic processing to these images that produces results that I then need to get rid of again.

I have no clue why LR does these things, and in preferences I have unchecked all automatic processing options – however this still remains.

How can I get rid of it? What is it, anyways?


3 Answers 3


When LR brings in your RAW images, it MUST do a conversion to display them on the screen. The initial image you see is the JPEG preview your camera created by default as part of the RAW creation process. In order to show you the image on your screen, LR must create a preview, or RAW conversion to show the image on screen.

You can change how LR does its default imports fairly easily.

Change the Preview you use:

If you do not like the LR created preview, you can use the camera created one:

If you go to your Import screen, you can change how it renders previews. So "Import" then on right hand side, look at "File Handling". Choose an option under "Render Previews". Here you tell it to use the ones from the camera, by selecting 'Minimal' or 'Embedded and Sidecar". However, if you need (ie zoom in) a higher resolution preview, LR will later render it using LR conversion. (and slow things down). This will choose the preview to use for each import.

Change the Default Rendering

I believe this is the one you were looking for: If you really want to change ALL previews, for ALL images from your camera and have them look like your camera previews, then simply take any image, perhaps one you shot in RAW+JPEG so you can compare to your camera settings. Then do a basic edit using the Develop Module. Adjust White Balance, Tone, Presence, Curves, Sharpening, etc. Keep this basic,not specific to the image. When you are happy, then choose Develop>Set Default Settings and select "Update to Current Settings". Now LR will import using these settings by default for all images from this camera. So, why shouldn't you do this: you may find this doesn't work for all your images, and then you must edit each image to remove it. There is no Undo available, but of course you can remove the results of the edits.

Use Import Develop Settings

The alternative, is to use Auto Import Develop Settings to apply your preferred default settings to every photo you import. So:

  1. Go to Develop Module. Edit an image using your personal, basic settings as mentioned above.
  2. On left hand side, find 'Presets' area. Click the '+'. Select the items you wish to save, then name the preset. Save.
  3. Choose, File> Import. On right hand screen you will see "Apply During Import" and a drop down for 'Develop Settings'. Choose your named preset. Import.

Now, you have the ability to create many presets, for different conditions or venues, and apply them at import. This works in a similar way to the 'Set Default' above, but you can have many different ones or choose none.

For what its worth, here are my own default import settings:

WhiteBalance As Shot
Auto Tone
Clarity +45
Vibrance +15
Saturation +5
Sharpening +65
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ So changing it to minimal or embedded doesn't really do anything if you lose it when you zoom in. It just becomes really confusing later? \$\endgroup\$
    – rfusca
    Aug 18, 2011 at 20:56
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ From Adobe: "Embedded & Sidecar Display the largest possible preview available from the camera. This option may take longer than a Minimal preview but is still faster than rendering a standard-size preview." Zooming in will cause LR to then create its own preview, and this may change the appearance of the image, yes. \$\endgroup\$
    – cmason
    Aug 18, 2011 at 21:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ Oh, I wasn't saying you were wrong - just that its silly behavior for LR and doesn't really solve anything. Silly Adobe folks. \$\endgroup\$
    – rfusca
    Aug 18, 2011 at 21:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ np @rfusca, didn't read it that way anyway. I suppose if you had LR on a very slow computer, this might make a bit of sense, or perhaps if your camera's RAW embedded a higher res image, but otherwise, rendering previews doesn't take really any more time on my older iMac that importing does. <shrug> \$\endgroup\$
    – cmason
    Aug 18, 2011 at 22:12

When you take a picture on your camera, it produces a small jpg with the camera settings to act as a preview for the image. When Lightroom loads up, it first shows you that preview until it creates its own preview. After that it will show you its picture.

There's pretty much nothing you can really do about it. It stems from that fact that LR applies its own interpretation of the settings. About your only option is to tweak it back to the way you liked it (and save that as a preset), use a jpg straight out of camera, or use the software that came with your camera. Selecting a camera profile from the 'Camera Calibration' section of the 'Develop' module may help.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Is there no way to create an automatic setting from the camera's JPG settings? \$\endgroup\$ Aug 18, 2011 at 19:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ @d'ombre - See my last edit, selecting a specific camera from the 'camera calibration' may help. You could perhaps manually make a preset after tweaking, but I don't believe there's any way to just tell it so use the settings from a JPG. \$\endgroup\$
    – rfusca
    Aug 18, 2011 at 19:25

Lightroom renders its own preview because even if you like your camera's raw preview version, whenever you go to export, Lightroom will need to use its own settings to redevelop the image into whatever format you are exporting.

Using camera generated previews goes against the whole idea of importing raw photos into Lightroom.

You can automate things in Lightroom by using basic presets with settings such as your default level of colour and luma noise reduction (have both on 25), sharpening (25), enabling lens profile correction and possibly even custom default contrast and such. As well, you can manipulate one photo then synchronise the settings across the rest (selectively).

Either way, the JPEG embedded in the raw file should really just be ignored for all intents and purposes of shooting raw.


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.