Photographers are being asked to shoot video more and more these daysand Lightroom can help. All the same features you use to organize and develop your still photos can be applied to your motion footage. Plus, explore additional tools for playing, adjusting, and trimming video so you present just the best parts to collaborators and clients. This class is perfect for users of all experience levels.


Why Use Video in Lightroom

There are lots of reasons to use Lightroom as a catalog, or even a developing tool for your video files. More and more photographers are being asked to shoot video, and your camera is likely quite capable of this task.


Lightroom can be used in the following ways with video:

  • You can apply all the same organizational techniques that you use with your still photos to your motion collection.
  • You can freely mix the stills and video within your collections or within folders for an individual client or a project.
  • Once you’re in Lightroom, you’ve got controls for viewing a clip.
  • You can trim a clip by adjusting its in and out points.
  • You can export clips.
  • You can adjust clips
  • You can create slideshows with video in them.

Supported File Formats

When it comes to video, there are a ton of formats. The good news, though, is that Lightroom is fairly flexible in its support. Essentially, what Lightroom is designed to do is to work with video files that we created by interchangeable lens cameras or point shoots. So, typically, this is going to be things that a DSLR or a Micro 4/3rds camera could shoot. Anything that’s really QuickTime based, as long as the codec’s installed but these formats are going to be recognized and can be managed by Lightroom.


You’ll find four formats supported inside of Lightroom 5 and 4. The video support is identical for both applications:

  • AVI. The older AVI format is not very common, but sometimes can be created by cameras, particularly for things like in-camera time lapse mode or some older cameras. The extension for AVI files is typically always .avi.
  • MPEG-4. The mp4, which is the MPEG4 format, which is a very popular format used on the web as well as acquisition in most the DSLRs, Micro 4/3rds cameras and even GoPros. With MPEG-4 files it is not uncommon to see several different options, including MP4, M4V, and less common MPE, MPEG, MPG4 and MPEG itself.
  • MOV. The QuickTime movie format, which tends to be a more professional container format, often an authoring format, something you might generate using a tool like Adobe After Effects. Or something that could be acquired on, say, a Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera. The file extension is typically .mov.
  • AVCHD. This format is much more common inside of cameras like the GH3 from Panasonic. For AVCHD, you may see a .M2T file, or a .MT2S.

It’ll be very obvious if the file isn’t supported. But, the good news is, is that Lightroom is fairly broad and if it is a format that can be acquired by a semi-professional or a professional interchangeable lens camera, that’s typically a hybrid camera for shooting stills and video. Lightroom will support the file and let you bring it in for both organization and adjustment.