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Advice needed iMac 2012 with Lightroom 5, 3 huge catalogues 3K pics

Explorer ,
Mar 25, 2024 Mar 25, 2024

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I will be finally upgrading my computer to the iMac Mini.  As I understand it, Lightroom 5 is not feasible to run on the M silicon apple chipset without problems.  

 

My pictures are stored on external drives connected to the old computer.  I assume that I could copy the picture files over to a new SDD keeping the name of the hard drive and the folders it contains and copy them over to the new SSD.

 

Then export the catalogue files to the SDD and import them in to the current Lightroom CC once it is installed on the new computer.

 

I am starting to foresee a lot of headaches doing this and I will be forced to move to a subscription service, which I don't mind doing if it is a rather seamless process.

 

Currently I have made due with the Affinity programs for editing but I am getting tired of having to manage my photos in Apple Photos.  

 

So two options, keep the old computer and drives drives connected to access and edit, print my old photos, and forget Lightroom and start fresh with a new management system/software.  Or install Lightroom CC on the new iMac Mini and move to CC and convert the catalogues over...

 

Any thoughts and advice is appreciated.

 

Thanks in advance.

 

GLenn

 

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Community Expert ,
Mar 26, 2024 Mar 26, 2024

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The way that would typically be done is relatively simple. There’s no need to introduce extra steps like exporting or manually converting. Lightroom Classic will offer to convert the Lightroom 5 catalog to a new copy in the Lightroom Classic format for the current version (version 13), preserving all of the information about the images that you had in the old catalog. In short, the steps are just “convert catalog to Lightroom 13 format, and re-link top-level folders to their new locations.” If the underlying folder hierarchy was preserved when you moved them, Lightroom Classic should be able to re-link the new catalog to the entire folder tree from top to bottom.

 

The details for the procedure are at this link:

How do I move Lightroom to a new computer? (by the Lightroom Queen, one of the best resources for Lightroom Classic)

Note that page links to a free eBook that provides even more detail than the article, if you need it.

 

The title mentions “huge catalogues 3K pics.” That actually isn’t that huge. Many users here have over 10x that many. My own catalog is now over 150,000 files, and it is not the largest one.

 

It may be a hassle to switch to a subscription, but Lightroom Classic 13 will make much better and more efficient use of Apple Silicon and the additional CPU and GPU cores in a current M series Mac than Lightroom 5 ever could.

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LEGEND ,
Mar 26, 2024 Mar 26, 2024

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Install Lightroom Classic on the new computer, and open the catalog. Lightroom will convert it and you may spend some time reconnecting the folders if you have moved anything.

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LEGEND ,
Mar 26, 2024 Mar 26, 2024

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I'm on an M1 mini and my working catalog has 350,000+ images across several hard drives. I have a couple of USB hubs and a Thunderbolt display with built-in USB-C to connect everything.

I recommend getting a USB-C or Thunderbolt dock, I have a Satechi model that cost about US$70.

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Explorer ,
Mar 26, 2024 Mar 26, 2024

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Thanks for all the responses, it is very much appreciated.

I  tried to edit my post but couldn't see the edit post icon, the post should have stated that I have 2  

30k catalogues, so about 60, 000 pics, nonetheless it sounds like it is an easier process than I originally thought.

I assume that the Tb plan will not be enough.

 

cheers and thanks again.  I started with LR2 way back, and have the Lightroom Queens book, I bailed when it went to subscription, guess I may have to change with the times lol...

 

I am going to wait for the M3 Mac mini and will go with 16 gb ram, and 512 internal storage and use mainly ssd hard drives, apple internal storage is crazy expensive.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 26, 2024 Mar 26, 2024

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quote

I assume that the Tb plan will not be enough.

By @Rictor133

 

If you are really talking about Lightroom Classic and you say “Tb plan” referring to the Adobe cloud storage plans, then it needs to be said that you don’t have to increase the size of Creative Cloud storage for Lightroom Classic alone, for a few reasons. One is that because Classic only stores originals locally, nothing gets synced to the cloud except for specific images and collections that you enable sync for. Another is that if you do sync some images and collections, only Smart Previews (raw capable proxies) are synced to the cloud. And finally, Smart Previews don’t count against your Creative Cloud plan storage limit.

 

The reason to upgrade Creative Cloud storage to 1TB is that you intend to make full use of cloud storage, like you are going all-in on cloud Lightroom (not Lightroom Classic), or you are going to upload lots of Photoshop Cloud Documents (PSDC files) instead of the traditional local PSD files, or you are going to open Photoshop and stuff Creative Cloud Libraries full of images. Or maybe you plan to use the Lightroom cloud apps (for desktop, phone, or tablet) to upload up to 1TB of originals that will later be downloaded by Lightroom Classic.

 

But just for Lightroom Classic alone, the lowest cloud storage level is usually fine.

 

quote

I am going to wait for the M3 Mac mini and will go with 16 gb ram, and 512 internal storage and use mainly ssd hard drives, apple internal storage is crazy expensive.

By @Rictor133

 

Sounds like a good plan. Many of us do the same thing to save money, there is zero downside to keeping images on external volumes for Lightroom Classic. I do want to mention that although 16GB of unified memory is OK, people are starting to think of it as the new minimum, and 32GB* will probably be a better choice in the long run. Part of it is because apps like Lightroom Classic are using the GPU more (for graphics acceleration and new AI features), and the Apple Silicon GPU gets its graphics memory from unified memory. Having more than 16GB of unified memory makes it more likely that there is enough to distribute among macOS, the apps it’s running, and the GPU. 16GB makes it more likely that there will be a bottleneck.

 

*Some new M3 Macs offer 8/16/24 or 18/36GB instead of the old 8/16/32GB, and we don’t yet know how Apple will set up the M3 Mac mini when it gets here. If the M3 Mac mini maximum turns out to be 24GB or 36GB, I would pick either of those over 16GB.

 

On a side note, your original post mentioned using Affinity. I noticed that a press release just went out this week that Affinity has been acquired by Canva.

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LEGEND ,
Mar 26, 2024 Mar 26, 2024

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This is excellent advice from @Conrad C.

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Explorer ,
Mar 27, 2024 Mar 27, 2024

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Great advice, thank you.

you changed my mind, going to get the M3 Mac Studio with 32 gb int memory.  I owe you all a coffee!  Will do a follow up, hopefully the M3 is on the wings and I can soon retire my 2012 iMac lol.  All the best and thanks again!!!

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Explorer ,
Apr 17, 2024 Apr 17, 2024

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Just to update everyone, I opted for a Mac Mini M2 pro, 16gb, a few hundred dollars off, and picked up a Proart monitor.

also added a raid 1 8tb drive, copied all the pics from my old hard drives locations, keeping the same file formats, hope to download lightroom cc, get the LR subscription, import the lightroom 5 catalogues, and link the newly converted catalogues to the new locations on my 8tb drive, sounds daunting, fingers crossed..... any advice is appreciated, and thanks again for all the great advice, hope I don't regret not going for 32 gb ram, my decision was made up when I found out that the Mini has its internal system ssd soldered on to the circuit board, and the ssd's are only rated for 2-5 yrs, with the money saved not going for the studio, worst case scenario I can pick up another cpu in a few yrs time.  Sadly it seems, long gone are the days when a computer can last 12 yrs lol.  
cheers and thanks everyone !!!!

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Community Expert ,
Apr 17, 2024 Apr 17, 2024

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The Mac mini M2 Pro with 16GB should be OK and last a while, although yes, 32GB would have been better. But, your M2 Pro is newer and faster than the M1 Pro that I am very happy with so you will definitely be good for a while.

quote

the ssd's are only rated for 2-5 yrs

By @Rictor133

 

I don’t think that’s accurate information. If a Mac’s non-removable SSD dies after 2 to 5 years, it will have been subjected to an extreme daily volume of reads and writes that far exceeds what most people normally do.

 

My 2018 MacBook Pro has a non-removable SSD and it still works, and it’s 6 years old. And that’s just me…Apple has been making those non-removable SSDs since I think 2015, yet there are not widespread reports of those SSDs dying due to overuse, even though thousands of those Macs are still in use.

 

Most people choose to upgrade to a newer Mac long before the SSD reaches end of life. Which is one reason there is a healthy market for used Macs, the SSDs still work.

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Explorer ,
Apr 17, 2024 Apr 17, 2024

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Hi Conrad.  Thanks for all the great advice.  Amazon had a good deal on the M2 Mini pro, used the savings to get AppleCare - looking forward to the overdue new machine.  A little worried about getting Lightroom updated, if I use Apple photos I will move the catalogue off to an external but I guess that should just let lightroom manage all my photos.  Glad you have had a good experience with your M1!

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LEGEND ,
Apr 18, 2024 Apr 18, 2024

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quote

Just to update everyone, I opted for a Mac Mini M2 pro, 16gb, a few hundred dollars off, and picked up a Proart monitor.

also added a raid 1 8tb drive, copied all the pics from my old hard drives locations, keeping the same file formats, hope to download lightroom cc, get the LR subscription, ...


By @Rictor133

 

Now it seems you are talking about Lightroom and not Lightroom Classic. These are not the same. Do not be fooled by Adobe's confusing naming. If you are referring to Lightroom Classic, please call it Lightroom Classic or LrC, and not Lightroom. Based upon earlier discussion, it seemed you want Lightroom Classic, do you? Lightroom Classic can upgrade your Lr 5 catalogs. If so, Lightroom Classic comes in the subscription to the Adobe Photography Plan. It does not come with the confusingly named Lightroom Plan.

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Explorer ,
Apr 18, 2024 Apr 18, 2024

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Thanks for clarifying that DJ, I will be careful to read the description -.  LR classic is what I want, not the Lightroom plan, why do they make this so confusing, appreciate the clarification.  There is an offer for 2 mths free to get me started with LRc.  

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LEGEND ,
Apr 18, 2024 Apr 18, 2024

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I don't know why they made the names so confusing. While I have a guess, its really not worth speculating. I am glad you are aware of the issue.

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Explorer ,
Apr 22, 2024 Apr 22, 2024

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I missed Lightroom 5 already and I haven't even started converting my catalogues yet.  2 questions and concerns:

1. I can't even boot up the program that is registered to me without logging in with a wifi connection.  Yes I have an internet connection but is everyone bound to connect online in order to boot up the progran in order to view your pictures, and that means that adobe can restrict you access to your own LR catalogues and pictures that are stored locally.  That is scary to me.  I want control over my pics.

2. Is there any downside to not just storing pictures on external drives but also the catalogues, provided all are backed up etc. The internal ssd's are prime real estate.

 

thanks everyone in advance and sorry if the answers are obvious!

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LEGEND ,
Apr 22, 2024 Apr 22, 2024

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You need to be online to register your Lightroom Classic software. After that, you do NOT need to be online except once every (approx) 30-45 days to verify your license is active and paid up. Of the bazillion and 12 Lightroom Classic users out there around the world, not one (that I know of) has claimed Adobe has restricted their access.

 

Many people have catalogs and photos on the same external drive. The only downside is speed, the catalog Library Module may be slower.

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Explorer ,
Apr 22, 2024 Apr 22, 2024

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Glad I overreacted lol. Thanks for explaining it.

Much appreciated!!!

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Explorer ,
Apr 23, 2024 Apr 23, 2024

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The transition of my main catalogue, some 35k pics worked great, delinked the files etc.

it is nice to see how fast the previews load up now. 

I will check tonight, but the meta data at the side bar didn't show details such as camera lens exposure, I can't recall but maybe I had to set those options inLR5 and just need to do that on LRC - tge data is probably there but just not showing?

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Explorer ,
Apr 23, 2024 Apr 23, 2024

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Can't seem to correct messages with edit but my message above should read re-linked not delinked lol 😆 

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Community Expert ,
Apr 23, 2024 Apr 23, 2024

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data is probably there but just not showing?

Metadata panel has several changes made since v5.!

1) More options in the Viewing choices-

2024-04-24 08_39_45-Roberts Catalog-v13 - Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic - Library.jpg

2) Two buttons that decide if you change metadata to 'ALL selected' photos or just the "Most Selected" one photo.

2024-04-24 08_40_06-Roberts Catalog-v13 - Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic - Library.jpg

3) The ability to configure/customize the metadata shown in the panel just as you wish. (Button at base of Metadata panel)

2024-04-24 08_40_24-Roberts Catalog-v13 - Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic - Library.jpg

 

 

Regards. My System: Lightroom-Classic 13.3.1 Photoshop 25.9, ACR 16.3.1, Lightroom 7.3, Lr-iOS 9.0.1, Bridge 14.1.0, Windows-11.

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Explorer ,
Apr 23, 2024 Apr 23, 2024

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Thank you Rob.  You guys on this forum are amazing, really owe you all a big thank you making what I expected to be a horrible experience, a very pleasant and smooth transition.

 

cheers!

 

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Explorer ,
Apr 28, 2024 Apr 28, 2024

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Everything is going smoooth thanks to everyone! Back in the day I created a few distinct catalogues.  Not sure why, I should have just kept them as one.  I may merge them.  

Question 1: In my old computer some of my lightroom catalogues have a filename-2.lrc .... is this merely a duplicate? when I load in the lrc file for conversion which file should I grab?  is the -2 just showing that it is a duplicate catalogue with that name?  Was going to just use the most recent.  

Question 2:  My LRC subscription has a 1GB limit, do many ppl just use that as backups for catalogues?  all my pics will be stored locally so I assume that 1GB will largely go unused?  

Thanks in advance everyone!

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LEGEND ,
Apr 29, 2024 Apr 29, 2024

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LATEST

Assuming you have purchase the Adobe Photography Plan (not the Lightroom Plan) and you are using Lightroom Classic:

 

Answer to question 1: It probably means that this is an UPGRADED catalog, and to distinguish it from the previous non-upgraded catalog, the name was changed by appending -2 to the filename. I would use the most recent catalog, although that's not a guarantee either.

 

Answer to question 2: With Lightroom Classic, you are not able to backup anything to the cloud. If you are using Lightroom (not Classic) then your photos are automatically backed up to the cloud.

 

Side question: why purchase the 1TB (not 1GB) plan if you're not going to use that space; you should purchase/subscribe to the 20GB plan and save $10 US a month.

https://www.adobe.com/creativecloud/photography/compare-plans.html

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