Disk space can be a real burden for photographers who shoot a lot of images per year. Tony Northrup goes through how you can save up to 67 percent of your used space by applying DNG compression to your Lightroom library.
Photographers are digital hoarders. A photo has to be utter horrendous for me to fully delete it from existence. Even if I've taken a portrait where the subject is slightly out of focus and I'm never going to use the image, if the background and bokeh is looking nice, I won't delete it in case I ever want to borrow it for another image (over a decade of this practice and I'm still yet to do that!) Anyway, that's besides the point. We collect volumes and volumes of images and it is demanding on storage. One way around this is to use DNG compression, but due to the word "compression" we never do.
Compression is a dirty word to any digital artist, and one that given the choice, we'd never opt to do. However, as Northrup shows in this video, the impact on your image is — for all intents and purposes — invisible. In fact, to find any noticeable difference in the image, Northrup had to go through different images side-by-side and at an 8:1 ratio before he found an artifact lurking in the form of a small halo. I say halo, it's more of a discoloration and even watching the video full-screen and source quality, you can barely see what he's talking about.
The best part about this is it's all done within Lightroom and there are options to safely delete the original raw files upon successful compression. I am going to be rigorously testing this before I compress my entire library, but this is certainly worthwhile for those less important shoots.
Have you used the DNG compression? Did you find any obvious downsides? Share your experiences and thoughts in the comments.