How to Save Both RAW & JPG Versions in Lightroom Classic

If you’re shooting with your camera’s RAW+JPG option, here’s how to tell Lightroom to import BOTH versions, not just the RAW file.

Screenshot of Lightroom Classic Preference panel for Treat JPEG files next raw files as separate photos
Text & Photos By David Coleman
Filed Under: Library Module

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There can be good reasons to shoot with a camera’s RAW+JPG (or RAW+JPEG) setting. The JPEGs might be useful as quick-reference versions you can quickly share online or with editors. They might provide reference files if you’re sending the photos to a press agency or service that requires unadulterated images straight from the camera. And it can provide a useful, if imperfect, safety net in case something goes wrong with one or other of the versions.

There might be times you might want to save both. For instance, I use it when I’m testing cameras and want to preserve the version directly out of the camera so that I can share that with my readers.

Whatever the reason, if you’re not just discarding those JPGs right away, there’s a good chance that you want Lightroom Classic to import them into your catalog.

There’s a simple preference setting that handles this, but if you don’t have it on, Lightroom Classic will import the RAW versions, and the JPGs will be treated as duplicates and ignored (if you also have the default ignore duplicates setting on).

How to Enable Saving BOTH RAW & JPG Versions on Import

Go to Preferences (Mac: Lightroom > Preferences / Windows: Edit > Preferences).

You’ll get the preferences popup, which has several tabs. Make sure you’re in the General tab.

Screenshot of Lightroom Classic Preference panel for Treat JPEG files next raw files as separate photos

In the Import Options section, check the box for Treat JPEG files next to raw files as separate photos

Screenshot of Lightroom Classic Preference panel for Treat JPEG files next raw files as separate photos

Things Worth Knowing

Several things are worth knowing about how Lightroom Classic handles this functionality. I do see a lot of room for improvement, but at the very least, it’s worth knowing these so you can factor them in or work around them.

  • The options you have are to save just the RAW version or both versions. There’s no way to save just the JPG version. There probably aren’t many situations where you’d want to do that anyway, but if you do, other apps like PhotoMechanic do offer that functionality.
  • Of course, saving both will create duplicates. It will create twice as many images to manage and use up more storage space.
  • And, in a quirk I find to be a minor annoyance, it doesn’t automatically recognize the pairs are pairs and stack them. You can try using the Auto-Stack by Capture Time (Photo > Stacking > Auto-Stack by Capture Time), but that doesn’t work well if you’ve taken multiple photos quickly.
  • The import function saves the RAW and JPG versions side-by-side in the same folder. There’s no way to assign different target folders for them in the import dialog.
  • They’ll have identical filenames aside from the file extension.
  • Once the images are imported, if you want to separate them out, one option is to use the Filter bar in the Library module to filter by filetype.

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David Coleman

I'm a freelance photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my travel photography here. I've been using Lightroom for years, from back before it was Lightroom (at that time, it was still RawShooter). More »

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