It seems that since version 6.8, at least on Windows, PhotoLab has started modifying not just sidecar .dop and .xmp files, but also some original image files (DNG, JPEG), making them about 1 kB larger in size. I presume it’s adding metadata there. Some other types of files (.CR2, .CR3) do not seem to be affected.
Is there any way to have it not do that at all? I suppose it’s probably not affecting the visual data, but it’s still unnerving, and very inconvenient when syncing the files across machines.
As I don’t like my ooc jpg-files to be altered, I’ve set the menu like this
I don’t think this is a bug.
Metadata for .JPG and .DNG files is supposed to be in the file itself, not in an XMP sidecar as it is for raw files.
I can understand it makes you nervous though, I feel the same about it.
To avoid DPL writing metadata in your images you may stop entering metatada in DPL.
My solution to avoid writing ANY metadata by ANY application in my files is to have my original-out-of-camera images write-protected.
I use a proper DAM to handle all this stuff, I prefer to have everything just in the DAM’s database, avoiding write-backs to files. The DAM I use can be configured to handle metadata the way I prefer.
Currently, using macOS, it is Photo Supreme.
When I was using Windows I used IMatch.
There is no macOS version of IMatch so I had to migrate the DAM too when I moved away from Windows to the Apple universe.
It never hurts to be nervous and my experience is but one data point, but I have been letting Lightroom write metadata inside my DNG files for many years now and not a single one has corrupted.
I think of it as a feature, and a key reason why I shoot native DNG in-camera.
The only corrupt file I have had was corrupted by letting some iPad software read directly from the SD card. Yes, read only. After reading the last image off the card, the next frame I shot was unrecoverable later. So yes, corruption can happen in all sorts of circumstances, but I would say professional software designed to write, such as Lightroom or PhotoLab, would be the most trustworthy.
My experience is the opposite.
I have seen Lightroom crashing on my PC while writing to DNG files. In the crash it damaged a number of out of camera original files beyond repair. I remember I had a hard time trying to find out which files were damaged.
Another reason not to modify original files:
I am a DxO user since 2006, it was probably DxO Optics Pro version 3.
Back then DxO would not open a file if it had been modified (i.e. metadata added / changed) by another program.
Those days may be over, perhaps DPL behaves better in this respect, but…
Two years ago we saw Silky Pix not opening Canon .CR3 raw files because they had been modified (i.e. metadata added / changed) by another program.
These things happened, they may (and likely will) happen again.
To be on the safe side I never allow a program to modify original files.
But then it may be necessary to allow it, e.g. when you have a client insisting on metadata in the files or if you want to have all te data traveling with the files just in case your database crashes.
In the end it depends on your situation, your requirements and the trade-offs you made…