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CF Express Card treated like Hard Disk

Contributor ,
Sep 29, 2020 Sep 29, 2020

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Recently started using CF Express cards (with USB card reader) and LR Classic seems to treat them differently from the CF and SD cards I've used previously:

 

  1. LRC no longer remembers my last-used Import Preset (please note: bottom of Import dialog, NOT "metadata preset"). Unlike CF or SD cards, I have to re-select this every time.
  2. It also doesn't pre-highlight the newly-inserted card on the left side (Source) panel of the Import dialog. I have to manually click on the drive letter for the CF Express card. 
  3. Once highlighted, it doesn't see any subfolder of the CF Express card (unlike CF or SD). I have to manually click the "Select Subfolders" button every time.
  4. Finally, the option to Eject when finished is not available for CF Express cards.

 

Besides just being annoying - these differences are making my import workflow slower and more error-prone. 

 

Basically, I think this is all due to Windows 10 seeing the CF Express card as a removable Hard Drive - NOT as a memory card. I will continue to research this issue on the Windows side. In the meantime - any workarounds on the LR Classic side?  Thanks!

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New Here ,
Oct 25, 2020 Oct 25, 2020

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I am also having trouble with CF Express Card and Reader (both Sandisk) on my MAC (OS 10.15.7)

I cannot use the Import from Camera tab, as the CF Express Card is not found.

The CF Express Card is used in a Nikon Z7 Camera, and it is found using the Nikon Software which does open and allow me to copy the files manually. Thus making for additional tasks in my workflow.

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Contributor ,
Oct 25, 2020 Oct 25, 2020

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I'm sorry you're having trouble seeing your CF Express card - but your issue has nothing to do with mine. My issue is that Windows 10 considers a CF Express card to be an "external hard drive", not a "memory card" - which in turn alters the LRC import workflow drastically.

 

I respectfully request that you start your own thread for your issue, rather than piggybacking on mine. Thanks.

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Contributor ,
Oct 25, 2020 Oct 25, 2020

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Please note - I understand my thread subject is somewhat generic. Believe me, I would have changed it weeks ago to be more specific. Except that Adobe has DISABLED our ability to edit our own posts here.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 08, 2021 Jan 08, 2021

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Same with Sandisk Extreme 128GB CF Express Card and Sandisk Card reader on Mac 10.15.6 iMac (Retina 5K, 27-inch, 2020). Card formatted in camera. It mounts as a hard drive and I even get asked if I wanted to use it for Time Machine Back Ups. LR experience same as Jimre3. Anyone discovered a solution to this? I've contacted Sandisk but no joy yet and so far they don't seem to be aware of the issue. Given how many people must have bought the Canon R5 and Nikon Z7 this year I'm surprised it is not being more widely reported. 

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Contributor ,
Jan 08, 2021 Jan 08, 2021

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This would seem to confirm this is the same issue on both Windows and Mac. It's an operating-system level problem on both platforms - that CF Express cards are being recognized as regular hard disks, not memory cards. Which in turn results in undesired behavior in apps like Lightroom, where the Import process is tuned for memory cards, not hard disks.

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New Here ,
Jan 10, 2021 Jan 10, 2021

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same issues. using prograde cfexpress card and prograde cfexpress card reader on macOS Big Sur 11.1. has anyone been able to find a fix for this yet?

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Contributor ,
Jan 10, 2021 Jan 10, 2021

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Given this seems to be the same issue on both Mac and Windows - I'm guessing this will have to be addressed somewhere deep in the Intel chipset/controller driver. I'm starting to doubt if there's any app-level workaround for Adobe or others -  I'm afraid it may take a system hardware driver/firmware update to recognize CF Express as a removable device.  

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New Here ,
Jan 31, 2021 Jan 31, 2021

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Would there be a solution yet?

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New Here ,
May 31, 2021 May 31, 2021

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The only way I have been able to get round this on a Mac is to download/import into iPhoto in the first instance and then take the images I want from there into Lightroom or Photoshop.

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Explorer ,
May 31, 2021 May 31, 2021

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my workflow is as follows:

1. I import  my Nikon NEF RAW files from a Nikon Z7 and D5 on CF Express Sandisk cards with PHOTOMECHANIC on to 2 different harddrives simoultanously. (1 backup)

2. then I edit the metadata in Photmechanic as in LrC the metadata form fields are somewhat restricted. example only 1 line for  viewable space for the caption not a larger field as in photomechanic. I do some deleting of images right there.

3. after that, I import remaining files into LrC

4. then change the filename in LrC as LrC keep oringinal filename NEF RAW

5. stars and colors and flags follow during editing

>> it would never cross my mind to import to iPhoto first ...

MacPro 2013, Catalina, 

MacBookPro 2015, Catalina

 

 

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Community Expert ,
Jan 31, 2021 Jan 31, 2021

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Solution would be for Classic to treat what the operating system tells it is an external hard disk as a removable disk. Good item for a feature request at feedback.photoshop.com

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 01, 2021 Feb 01, 2021

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I eventually heard back from a senior Sandisk engineer who said:

"the way the mounting works for this unit (as disks) ensures full compatibility and full read/write performance…. this was a conscious decision made by the product team for this product”

So yes, I guess any solution may need to come from Adobe, if that’s even possible.

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New Here ,
Feb 01, 2021 Feb 01, 2021

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well that's a shame, the point of CFexpress is faster upload times, i'm a full time photographer so I do +- 15 uploads a month, there is also more room for ' human errors ' if you have to do the import manually.

 

Hope this gets fixed in the future

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Contributor ,
Feb 01, 2021 Feb 01, 2021

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Yes, it appears this is done specifically to get maximum performance from CF Express and USB 3.1. These cards all seem to use UASP (USB-Attached SCSI Protocol) rather than the USB BOT (Bulk-Only Transport) protocol typically used in older USB mass-storage devices. UASP is faster, allows parallel operations, etc. Unfortunately, it makes the storage device act like a traditional fixed hard drive.  Windows does not register such a device as "Portable", which I believe is what Lightroom Classic looks for to give card-readers special treatment during Import.

 

 

 

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New Here ,
Jun 24, 2021 Jun 24, 2021

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Hi

FYI I've had the same problem.

I've got around it by directly connecting the camera to the computer via the USB and then selected the source on the import screen in lighroom.

I don't think it's as quick as a card reader but it becomes a normal import process in lightroom

Regards

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LEGEND ,
Jun 24, 2021 Jun 24, 2021

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Yes, directly connecting the camera will workaround this.

 

The workaround for the CFE card readers is to use Mac Finder or Windows Explorer to high-speed copy the images to a hard drive, then do the LRc import from the hard drive.

 

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Contributor ,
Jun 28, 2021 Jun 28, 2021

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quote

The workaround for the CFE card readers is to use Mac Finder or Windows Explorer to high-speed copy the images to a hard drive, then do the LRc import from the hard drive.


By @ManiacJoe


No, I think that's exactly backwards. The whole point of my thread here is that Windows/Mac are treating CF Express Cards EXACTLY LIKE A HARD DRIVE!  That's the problem, not the solution.

 

We want Lightroom to treat them like EVERY OTHER MEMORY CARD!  Which is difficult because Windows/Mac considers CF Express cards to be "removable hard disks" at the operating system level.

 

 

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New Here ,
Jun 17, 2023 Jun 17, 2023

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I don't think it is acceptable that Lightroom still has this problem in 2023!!

 

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LEGEND ,
Jun 22, 2023 Jun 22, 2023

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Unfortunately, the problem is with the OS not Lightroom.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 02, 2023 Oct 02, 2023

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Have there been any updates on this?  I find it enraging!

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 04, 2023 Oct 04, 2023

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Propblem still exists. Had it happen again just yesterday after I had imported photos into ON1 PhotoRAW 2023.

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Contributor ,
Jun 28, 2021 Jun 28, 2021

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Looks like Adobe finally allows us to edit our posts here! To avoid confusion, I've changed the original title of my original post to better reflect the specific issue here:  CF Express Card treated like Hard Disk

 

This is NOT a general "CF Express Card Issue" thread, sorry for any misunderstandings.

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LEGEND ,
Jun 29, 2021 Jun 29, 2021

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We want Lightroom to treat them like EVERY OTHER MEMORY CARD!  Which is difficult because Windows/Mac considers CF Express cards to be "removable hard disks" at the operating system level.

Remember that LrC, be it in the Import process, or the Folders Panel, uses the computers file management. LrC is not a file manager. So, if the OS forces these cards to be seen only as hard drives, then LrC is stuck to accept that, Nothing Adobe can do short of recreating a complete new product.

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Contributor ,
Jun 29, 2021 Jun 29, 2021

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I'm not asking for LR to be a file manager, nor for Adobe to create "a completely new product".

 

Lightroom has long had special behavior for regular SD and CF cards in the Import module. Such as 1) automatically selecting the card as the default import location, 2) automatically selecting "Include Subfolders" so we don't have to screw with silly DCIM directories, 3) automatically remembering the Import Preset settings you used last time for this card, and 4) optionally auto-ejecting the card when import is finished.

 

Now with CF Express cards, all of those things have to be done manually (like external hard disks). Sure, it's only 4-5 extra mouse clicks - but that's each & each & every time you import from your camera. And if you skip or screw up just one of those steps - then either you'll miss importing some files, or LR will import the files into some undesired location. 

 

Even though it appears the OS represents our current CF card readers as "external hard drives" by default - I'm betting there's still SOME way for Adobe to distinguish a CF Express card from a regular external hard drive. And if so - they can use the same code they already have for SD/CF cards to streamline our Import process.

 

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