LR Classic V5 with DL PL and new camera body

I have been using LR Classic for the last decade since I bought the perpetual license. I have moved to new Canon camera bodies that LR5 won’t import the RAW files for. I’m trialing PL6 and now PL7 and quite like its capabilities. It just occurred to me that I don’t need to abandon LR5 as my DAM and looking for any tips on the workflow I’m playing with. My goal would be to have LR5 be only the DAM for these files and now do anything to what happens if I just took the RAW files straight into PL7 alone.

I first need to import the RAW files into LR5. It will not import the Canon RAW files. There are several ways to convert them to DNG that be used, but I believe the DNG must be kept no newer than version 11. I tested this using Adobe DNG Converter and I can import them into LR5. I can then using the PL7 plugin for LR to open the image in PL7, do my edits, and then save it back as a DNG. I haven’t testing the PL7 part of this because I’ve not yet started the PL7 trial having the PL6 just ending. I will do this here in the next few days but wanted to find out if anyone had done this.

Is this DNG conversion going to allow PL7 to correctly process the camera/lens and initial edits that it would do if it were opening the Canon RAW file directly?

Am I better off to use a different conversion approach such as Adobe Camera RAW (this would I believe have Adobe do the RAW conversion that I don’t want) or PL7 directly (can this be batch done without opening PL7 as a utility when I’m loading the files to my disk. Is there some other way to do this that is better.

When I round trip the file back from PL7 to LR5, will it update the original DNG file with its changes or will it create a new one? Is LR5 smart enough to stack those two DNG files and DOP file for that image to keep them together?

Any other tips on doing this?

Adobe DNG Converter simply repackages the RAW data into a DNG box- with selectable conversion version and without creating a linear DNG.

These files could then well be handled by PhotoLab and possibly by Lightroom, if DPL sticks to the conversion version you selected in the first step.

Can’t test that though, I’ve not installed Lr 5 any more.

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Well a setback in the attempt to salvage my LR5 DAM functionality with PL. I bought a new M1 Mac to run PL on. I just installed LR5 and attempted to import a few files to test. I first tried the folder of converted DNG files I imported to LR5 on my Windows machine. LR5 on the Mac isn’t seeing the thumbnails for these files in the file dialog. So I tried a folder of old JPG files from an old iPhone import. It doesn’t see the thumbnails for them either. I tried to import them anyways but it seemed to hang. Something seems to be messed up with this LR5 install on the M1 Mac. That could end this experiment if I don’t figure that out.

I should have googled a little more before I tried this. Apparently LR5 won’t install on an M1 Mac. That’s odd. It installed on mine after auto installing Rosetta. But even though it did install, its not working and seems like a futile exercise to extend it.

So folks, this is the side of a “perpetual license” when you eventually run out of roadway for it. Its still working fine on my Windows machine, but its a SurfacePro which is too slow for trying to use PR7. But, I ran it for 10 years without an update or additional cost, and the 10 year old license with the result of a discount priced upgrade twice prior. At least for Macs, Adobe seems to have found a way to seal its fate. I may bought a faster Windows machine instead of the Mac Mini if I had looked into this further.

Forgive my rambling but I’m documenting my steps here in case anyone else wants to try this. It seems that if you trial Lightroom Classic, and then cancel it, you can continue to use the Lightroom catalog function including importing new images to the catalog. You just can’t use the Develop, Map, etc… modules. This would actually accomplish exactly what I wanted to be able to do going forward with LR and PL7 together. I am going to start the trial on the M1 Mac Mini, then import my LR5 catalog from the past, then install PL7 and see how they work together. I will make sure that is working as I want during the LR 7 day trial. I’ll keep the old LR5 on my Surface Pro if for whatever reason I ever want to re-export any old LR library stuff, but likely I’d just redo them in PL7 if the need arose.

Because LR is subscription only, they kind of have to keep the catalog function free or no one would be able to access their prior work if they canceled the subscription. So I would kind of expect this to not go away. That said, this may be a good DAM alternative for others. I’ll report back what I find out. If anyone else is doing this, please share your experience.

If you search the forum, you’ll find people who use Lightroom without subscription, using it as a free (but you need an Adobe ID) catalog/asset manager. Alternatively, you could use Adobe Bridge (free), or Photo Mechanic ($$ and you need the xmp sidecars or xmp saved in files)

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I used PhotoMechanic when I did this as a business years ago, but my needs now are greatly simplified compared to that. My understanding of Adobe Bridge was that it was used as a RAW processor and I want to do that in PL, and I also would mine to bring along my old LR catalog. I’ll give the free LR Catalog a whirl.

Frankly the biggest thing I’m not happy with about PL is not the lack of a DAM, it’s this mishandling of things for anyone trying to access their stuff from not than one machine. I’m wishfully dreaming that going through LR may someone help with this. It probably won’t, but I can dream.

Sadly I think that Adobe has such a massive share of this market and their ability to dominate the new AI tech, it is going to be harder and harder for the others. I was looking at some of there new features like the fake bokeh and it is kind of sad in a way that more and more of the art of photography is getting replaced by Ai to fake it.

I use Lightroom Classic and pay my subscription, which costs about as much (for three years) as buying a new version of PhotoLab every third year. Get the yearly subscription code when Black Friday prices are low.

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I love this! Really I do.

convergent, you’ve got a new Canon body… unidentified, but which I’ll assume is mirrorless… you’ve got an M1 Mac… $ x 2… but you are determined to sidestep subscribing to Adobe, on principle. I get it. I did that for years. Eventually I caved. I had a new Olympus body that needed an Adobe Photography Plan subscription for convenience, and after a couple of months, I decided the Adobe Photography Plan was well worth the monthly fee, because it is That Much Better in features and editing power than “lifetime,” legacy LR, and in my case, this was LR6, which was a step up in power from LR5.

You’re right, “lifetime” licenses are lifetime in the eye of the software developer, not the user. So software companies block activation after a time to old licenses, or they’ll activate, but it doesn’t work well on a new machine. Shocking, but true.

And yes, Adobe Bridge and Adobe DNG Converter can give you some leeway here, and you can make this work, if kludgily. As I compare years-ago files from my Canon (DSLR, not mirrorless) Raw files to DNGs in Lightroom, I do not see any difference worth worrying about. Blow it up, force odd comparisons, and maybe you will spot some picayune differences. I’d rather have Canon Raw preserved. But honestly… DNG is generally fine, when you cannot use Canon Raw.

Nonetheless, my advice to you is that this fight is not worth what you’re saving! Try the Adobe Photography Plan for a month or two and see what new features it offers you that you do not get in LR5. Check out demonstration YouTube videos. LrC dovetails really well with DxO PL7. Use (in LrC) File > Plug-in Extras (after installing it) > DxO PhotoLab 7 to keep your files in DNG, a Raw format you do not preserve if instead you use in LR, Photos > Edit In > DxO PhotoLab 7. Edit In in LrC will convert the file to .TIF, a good editing format… but .TIF is NOT a Raw format.

you don’t have to use it … practice your art as much as you want :grinning:

I think many users will be temped to move into the AI world as well.

But I’m not chasing a synthetic sky or to magically remove a car in post.
I’m challenging myself every time I expose and capture a situation, a feeling or a memorable experience. It may be a field of clover, a blistering white church or a laughter.

If I need an AI or if I choose to use one afterwards - I would feel as if I had forgotten the essence of my photography and what that is to me.

When I’m looking back at some of my contact sheets or negative from my earlier years, I’m stunned with how many great exposures and shots I had on a single roll of film.

I’m for the art of photography by my hands and I PL help me with the last touch - which I once did in the dark room.

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This isn’t an option. Their monthly subscription is for a minimum 12 month term. So you get 7 days to play and then all in. But 7 days is probably all I would need anyways.

I’m not getting rid of the Canon Raw files. If I convert them, I’d keep both most likely. My question which I’m not sure the answer of is, if I use DNG, will PL have the information needed to apply their optics files on the camera and lens, or will that get lost somehow or need to be done manually. That would be a problem for me that would probably kill this idea.

My understanding was that if I use the “Plug-in Extras” option, that I’d send back to LR a DNG file with the edits.

I forgot to quote the bit about my fighting a losing battle. I’m not naive to that point and if I need to pay for a LR subscription I’ll do it. Its more a situation where I’ll be retiring in several years and I go up and down in photography activity. I hope to rekindle my passion which is why I’m doing all this now and when I’m not working full time be able to spend more time on it. But I also don’t want to be tied to a monthly fee if I am not doing a lot for a year or two. With LR, I rarely if ever did any local adjustments other than using the healing brush to get rid of a facial blemish or dust spot. I quite like the control point and control line approach for what I would likely do. The magic AI stuff while cool, not sure where I’m at on that. I’m also not looking to have a kludge that wastes my time. PL doesn’t have a DAM solution and the way they handle keeping everything organized across machines/drives/bakups is a little wonky for me. I would love to just use PL for editing and go in and out from the LR catalog. But as I play with that I may find that I am not fan. I’m definitely waiting for Black Friday to pull the trigger on whatever I finally go with for at least the next year. It may end up being both. I need a few days of time to play with these together.

I know, but I’m just thinking about it as I’m playing with this stuff. When photography went digital, the cameras got better and I think some people felt this way about being able to fix a lot of things in post processing. But what happened was photographers need to learn the art of using LR, PL, etc. with the same level of skill as the camera. It was still an art to be able to get the final result. The direction the AI stuff is going in seems to be removing some of the need for the art at all… taking it away from the camera and post. I kind of feel bad for professionals as software in phones and for processing are getting so much AI that its going from good enough to comparable. Scary. Playing with PL has kind of rekindled my interest in processing and learning more.

PhotoLab supports files from DxO supported cameras when the files have been converted to DNG by Adobe products. Read about it in the user guide or the FAQ on

Of course, a new camera is not supported by an old DPL. Check your gear support on Appareils supportés - DxO

The DxO documentation has a lot of good very specific information on going back and forth between LR and PL here and different DNG conditions - Exporting images – PhotoLab The subject of linear DNGs is pushed by DxO also but in some cases they seem to not allow you to edit them. I think I can find in that documentation a scenario to test that will accomplish what I want to do. Then I need to consider if its worth all of this just to get the LR catalog to drag along my history of images I no longer intend to edit in LR with my new stuff I intend to edit in PL.

I believe that is actually the use case Adobe serves by allowing you to continue using the LR catalog to access prior LR edited images after you no longer subscribe to LR. It also makes it easy for a user to re-subscribe at any time because their image catalog is already imported… so there is value to them for that use.

Right, I think all the software companies handle this similarly and that has kept people updating perpetual licenses over the years if you want to stay current. I went nearly 10 years without updating my camera bodies and was content with existing functionality in LR during that time.

That’s the way to go. Getting new gear all the time also means getting software updates and all the perpetuity goes up in smoke.

If you drop Lightroom completely, but have used keywords, ratings and labels, it’s a good idea to save the files (command-S on Mac) in order to get xmp up to date. After that, the Lr catalog is not really necessary any more.

Just make sure that you keep your PhotoLab database backed up, unless you want to live off .xmp and .dop files. and use the Finder for searching.

note that the import of color labels from LrC to DPL is not necessarily reliable, depending on what language you use on your computer(s).

As I said, I’m only a simple person. I don’t use any of that stuff for the most part. My files are all organized in folders on my NAS, either under Sports/Sport/DatedShoot, or Home/Year/DatedShoot. I don’t use any keywords, ratings, or labels. If I am looking for something, I find it by the folder structure. That is slowly changing as my NAS has AI organization but I haven’t published my exported JPEGs for most of my RAW originals to the NAS photo gallery (Synology). I need to back through and re-export and organize. For the most part I’ve kept my RAW stuff organized by exporting has been for a purpose and considered throw away. They may be mixed in the RAW shoot folders but not for sure and it would take a lot of time to go back through them. Not sure I’ll ever do it but I’m thinking about after I’m not around anymore having things in a place my kids can find and access them one day in a few decades from now hopefully. :slight_smile:

Their monthly subscription is for a minimum 12 month term.

Sorry I forgot that detail. They bill my credit card monthly, so I forgot there was a minimum.

I read what you posted in another thread, that you probably wouldn’t use newer LR features such as Panorama Stitch, HDR Merge, or more advanced local adjustments; you really prefer to do a minimum of editing. In that case you may not see as much benefit as I suggested you would in becoming a current Adobe Photography Plan subscriber. It’s a lot better than it was in LR5, to me, but it wouldn’t be to you if you weren’t going to use newer features.

No need for a catalog then. Just make sure to save everything (command-S on Mac) to get xmp updated, be it in the .xmp sidecars or the RGB/DNG files themselves. I’d still leave Lr on the computer, just in case you missed something.

Updating the dialog on this subject, I’ve been researching LR over the last few days. I actually went back and looked on Youtube for “what’s new” in most releases over the time since I stopped updating. That was a little tricky since they seem to release big functions sometimes in point releases. What I found was that for all the complaints on this forum about DxO not putting much into their new versions, Adobe isn’t a lot different. What is different is that for the last couple of years they have put a lot of effort into AI related things like content aware filling in and healing, and smart masking. From a marketing perspective, these are very flashy and I’m sure drive sales to the masses. DxO enhancements aren’t as flashy. I did this exercise to help me assess if I cave in on LR’s subscription. This was partially pushed because I can’t run the old LR5 on an M1 or M2 Mac which is what I bought for PL.

As I’ve said, my needs have been fairly simple. I have rarely done local edits in the past with LR. My version didn’t have any fancy masks, so anything I did was with a brush manually and I just rarely found a need to do it. As I’ve been learning PL6, I’ve come to really love the U-point approach of Control Points and Control Lines. I can definitely see myself using these in the future. Looking at videos of all the fancy LR masking tools, a LOT of the time they seem to get it close but miss some of the details and then they don’t have what PL has with U-point, so the tweaks seem lacking. Basically I can see both the masking toolbags very powerful, and minimally overlapping in their powerful capabilities. So you need both to do it all! :frowning:

I’ve spoiled myself in testing and want both. I’m going to wait a little longer and to I have an event with more photos to go through to stand up the LR and PL7 trial, when I’ll have some time to really do some testing. I’m not buying until Black Friday time.