Fastest setup for importing into LR4?

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Dec 15, 2009
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Not sure if this is the right forum...

I recently upgraded from my D300s to a D800. The file sizes are, of course, much larger, and importing them into LR4 has started to take a really long time. I'm wondering if anyone has found the fastest way to import their photos? Here's my setup:
  • D800 files on various Lexar and SanDisk SD cards. These are the fastest ones I have; others are slower
  • Summer 2010 iMac, 4GB memory
  • LR4 library located on external OWC drive connected to iMac with Firewire 800.

I keep my library on an external drive because I travel a lot and like to take it with me to do work. I have backups onsite and remotely.

Right now I am putting the SD cards into the iMac's SD slot, importing via Lightroom using the Copy function. My options are to add my copyright metadata and create Standard previews. It seems to take a very long time, but maybe this is just the reality of the larger file sizes...

Has anyone else figured out ways to speed up their import workflow?
 
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Growltiger

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Lightroom and the D800 call for a powerful system.

Factors which you have not mentioned are:
1. Speed of reader and its interface. USB3 would be good.
2. Powerful CPU, preferably an i7.
3. Fast interface to fast internal disk.

I realise this doesn't help you much unless you want to replace your computer with a faster newer one, but that is the reality.
 
Joined
Dec 15, 2009
Messages
374
Location
USA
Lightroom and the D800 call for a powerful system.

Factors which you have not mentioned are:
1. Speed of reader and its interface. USB3 would be good.
2. Powerful CPU, preferably an i7.
3. Fast interface to fast internal disk.

I realise this doesn't help you much unless you want to replace your computer with a faster newer one, but that is the reality.

Thanks Richard! It is in i7, but on those iMacs there is just USB2.0. From my research there is no way to upgrade to USB3... The SD card reader is built into the computer; I'm not sure where to look to find how fast that is. Maybe it is slower than an external reader connected via USB?

Also, I just checked the specs. I made a mistake; I upgraded the memory on a different computer, not this one. I wonder if that would help?
 

Growltiger

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Can't you get a fast firewire reader for your computer? That would be almost as good. (I don't know, but I suspect the internal reader is connected to the motherboard by USB 2.)

How much memory does it have, and how much can you add? I expect this would be a big help, and memory is cheap.
 
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I'd love to get a fast firewire reader, but so far I have only found a couple for CF cards, and none for SD (my googling may be weak).

The iMac currently has 4GB of memory, and from what I've been able to research I can upgrade it up to 32GB for only about $280, so I'll look into that for sure.
 
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Perth, Australia
If you have Bridge, that's MUCH faster at grabbing files off your card. After that, you can then import them into LR.
 
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Just to give you a rough idea, my D800E files are downloaded at roughly one per second in Bridge, using a USB3 card reader. It takes around 15 seconds per image through LR4 using exactly the same hardware set-up.
 
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CHARLOTTE
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Randy
in win7 i copy/paste using explorer
start LR
drag the nefs into the Library mod

but i also create a new cat for every game/event/trip
 
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How Randy imports his images is pretty much similar with mine except that I don't drag the images into the Library Module in LR or create a new catalog for each event/game/trip etc.

After I copy the images to explorer, I use LR's import module to make a copy to my working library and a copy to my external backup.
I then delete the copied images in explorer and go to town on the ones already in the working library.

I don't do 1:1 previews so that speeds things up a bit on import for me.
Standard preview is where mine is set.
 
Joined
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florida
I just copy the card contents into a folder on my harddrive labeled to be imported. Then I can walk away to get a drink, and then import when the time is available. Leaves my card empty if I need again before I import to LR. It make take up some hard drive space but in these days and you are using large files, then gigabytes dont cut it anymore. Need terabyte harddrives.
 

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