File formats

Lightroom supports the following file formats:

Camera raw formats

Camera raw file formats contain unprocessed data from a digital camera’s sensor. Most camera manufacturers save image data in a proprietary camera format. Lightroom reads the data from most cameras and processes it into a full-color photo. You use the controls in the Develop module to process and interpret the raw image data for your photo.

For a list of supported cameras and camera raw formats, see

Digital Negative format (DNG)

The Digital Negative (DNG) is a publicly available archival format for raw files generated by digital cameras. DNG addresses the lack of an open standard for the raw files created by individual camera models, helping ensure that photographers will be able to access their files in the future. You can convert proprietary raw files to DNG from within Lightroom. For more information about the Digital Negative (DNG) file format, visit You’ll find comprehensive information and a link to a user forum.

TIFF format

Tagged-Image File Format (TIFF, TIF) is used to exchange files between applications and computer platforms. TIFF is a flexible bitmap image format supported by virtually all paint, image-editing, and page-layout applications. Also, virtually all desktop scanners can produce TIFF images. Lightroom supports large documents saved in TIFF format (up to 65,000 pixels per side). However, most other applications, including older versions of Photoshop (pre-Photoshop CS), do not support documents with file sizes greater than 2 GB.

The TIFF format provides greater compression and industry compatibility than Photoshop format (PSD), and is the recommended format for exchanging files between Lightroom and Photoshop. In Lightroom, you can export TIFF image files with a bit depth of 8 bits or 16 bits per channel.

JPEG format

Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) format is commonly used to display photographs and other continuous-tone images in web photo galleries, slide shows, presentations, and other online services. JPEG retains all color information in an RGB image but compresses file size by selectively discarding data. A JPEG image is automatically decompressed when opened. In most cases, the Best Quality setting produces a result indistinguishable from the original.

Photoshop format (PSD)

Photoshop format (PSD) is the standard Photoshop file format. To import and work with a multi-layered PSD file in Lightroom, the file must be saved in Photoshop with the Maximize PSD and PSB File Compatibility preference turned on. You’ll find the option in the Photoshop file handling preferences. Lightroom saves PSD files with a bit depth or 8 bits or 16 bits per channel.

File format exceptions

Lightroom does not support the following types of files: CMYK files; PNG files; Adobe Illustrator® files; Nikon scanner NEF files; files with dimensions greater than 65,000 pixels per side or larger than 512 megapixels; video files, including video files acquired by digital still cameras.

Note: To import photos from a scanner, use your scanner’s software to scan to TIFF or DNG format, and then import those files into Lightroom.