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Use only Smart Previews?

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I found a table somewhere in Classic missing FAQ that I can't find again, that seemed to indicate there was nothing standard previews did that smart previews could not also do. That obviously begs the question of why you would want both. It seems, however, turning off building any previews during import (aside from checking build smart previews) is not an option. Is choosing "minimal" the next best option? I assume I must be missing something...
 
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Smart Previews aren't previews. Adobe totally misnamed them, and it causes the kind of confusion that you're suffering from.

You always get Previews. Those are always what you see in the Library module. You cannot turn this off.

Smart Previews are smallish proxy image files that allow you to edit an image even if that image is off-line. There is even an option that lets you always edit from your Smart Previews whether the master image is online or not. That makes your editing be faster, if not quite as accurate.
 
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The name may well be part of the problem, but here is the table I referred to (or the first page of it). There is nothing with a check in standard previews that is not also in smart...
 

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That table is mainly about the Library module, and indeed you do not need your originals to be online, or smart previews, to do work in the Library module. Hal is right however, and this table only adds to the confusion I must say. Lightroom is a non-destructive editor, which means that your original images remain untouched and the edits are stored in the catalog. In order to show you what your edits do (you do want to see the effect of your work...) Lightroom generates (ordinary) previews. These are jpeg images with the edits applied to them. Whenever you see an image in Lightroom, it's actually a preview.

Smart previews aren't previews at all, and so they cannot be compared to ordinary previews. Smart previews are proxies for your originals, so you can work in de Develop module without having the originals online. If you do not have the originals online and you do not have smart previews, then the Develop module will not work at all.

In conclusion: you always need (ordinary) previews. If you would delete these, Lightroom will rebuild them. If Lightroom can't rebuild them because your originals are offline and you do not have smart previews either, then your library will not show any thumbnails or any larger images and so you would be completely in the blind.
 
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Johan's point is emphasized on page 503 of your book - Standard Previews are used, with Originals being used before Smart Previews if the Standard Preview isn't up-to-date (there's a slight difference to using SP before Originals if you have the option ticked in Preferences, but in any event using the Original / SP is only so a Standard Preview can be generated if the current one is missing or outdated.
 
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I thought about it a bit more, because the table seems to compare apples and oranges. Victoria can confirm this, but I think it is meant slightly differently. Rather than comparing column by column, the table is meant to be used from left to right, as follows:
- The first column tells you what you can still do if you only have the catalog and normal previews, but no originals nor smart previews;
- The second column tells you what you can still do if you have the catalog, normal previews and smart previews, but no originals;
- The third column tells you what you can do if you have it all. You would not need smart previews in this case, because you already have the originals.
 
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I read it slightly differently. Having the catalog is obviously a given, so my interpretation of the list is as follows:

- Agree your first column definition, it tells you what you can do if you ONLY have standards previews.
- The second column tells you what you can do if you ONLY have smart previews, i.e. no standard previews or originals. At first glance that looks a little odd, because you can't use smart previews in the library to add keywords for example. However, the reality is that if you start from the position of having the SPs only, LrC will automatically generate a standard preview from the SP (max of 2560 px) when opening an image in the library module, thus allowing you to use the Library-only metadata functions.
- Similarly, the third column tells you what you can do if you ONLY have the originals with none of the preview caches. Again, in that scenario, standard previews would be generated automatically to allow the Library metadata work.
 
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The chart is being taken out of context. It's in the question:

What are the limitations of offline files, with standard or smart previews?

So:
seemed to indicate there was nothing standard previews did that smart previews could not also do. That obviously begs the question of why you would want both.

Read the whole section for context. You can do a lot more with Smart Previews than Standard ones if your original files are offline (like Edit for example).
 
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You can do a lot more with Smart Previews than Standard ones if your original files are offline (like Edit for example).
OK, I understand the point, but that is still comparing apples and oranges and generating confusion. The right way to put it is: “You can do a lot more with standard previews and smart previews, than with only standard previews”. The way you put it still suggests that you would not need standard previews if you have smart ones.
 
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