When I import raw files into lightroom, it displays one thumbnail right away, but then after it's processed everything, the thumbnail changes, sometimes noticeably. From what I've read, the initial thumbnail is a jpg that the camera embedded into the raw file. Here's my problem: sometimes the camera's thumbnail is significantly better than the starting point that lightroom comes up with. Is there any way to get lighroom to display the camera's original thumbnail once its already done its processing? I realize it won't have the all the data of the raw file, but I'd like to be able to look at it as a reference.

  • 1
    Possible dublicate of "Can I save the JPEG preview image when I shoot in RAW only?" though this one asks specifically for solution in Lightroom. Nov 3, 2013 at 7:40
  • One alternative is to use the manufacturer's RAW convertor. Most will apply the same in-camera settings when it opens the RAW file that were applied in-camera when the preview jpeg was generated.
    – Michael C
    Nov 3, 2013 at 12:14

1 Answer 1


In absence of another answer, after a couple of days:

As was pointed out in Can I save the JPEG preview image that's generated in-camera when I shoot in RAW-only mode?, dcraw can extract the thumbnail. However, finding the raw file, running dcraw in a command window, and opening up the jpg it produces is a tedious process, so I made a little lightroom plugin to do all that automatically.


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