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Lightroom Classic CC import very slow

Community Beginner ,
Jun 04, 2018

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This didn't used to be the case but for a while now imports into Lightroom Classic CC has been very slow when importing from a card reader.  I'm using a MacBook Pro with 16gig and up to date OS and latest Lightroom Classic CC.  I've tried all the optimize tips that I can find.   I'm using an external Thunderbolt drive for storage and has plenty of storage space.   The internal drive on the MacBook also has plenty of space.   The lightroom catalog resides on the external drive.    The card reader is a USB 3.0 and reading from a CF card downloading RAW files created on a Canon camera.   I have hundreds of photos at a time that I am importing and it takes an incredible amount of time to import them.

Alternately if I copy all the RAW files from the CF card onto the local hard drive and then import them into light room from there it is very fast.   If I use the internal SD card reader slot on the Mac to import from a SD card it is fast. 

I have tried two different USB 3.0 card readers.  As I said copying manually from the CF card on the card reader onto the local hard drive is very fast and importing from the local hard drive into light room is very fast.

Using the card reader to import into light room from the card reader is very slow.   It's not the card reader as a manual copy of the files from the CF card is fast, it is just slow importing into lightroom from the CF card using the card reader. 

This has only been a problem in recent updates.   I would like to take the CF card, inserted in the USB 3.0 card reader and import directly into light room but it is unbelievably slow.  

Any ideas?  

Thanks... Gary

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Lightroom Classic CC import very slow

Community Beginner ,
Jun 04, 2018

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This didn't used to be the case but for a while now imports into Lightroom Classic CC has been very slow when importing from a card reader.  I'm using a MacBook Pro with 16gig and up to date OS and latest Lightroom Classic CC.  I've tried all the optimize tips that I can find.   I'm using an external Thunderbolt drive for storage and has plenty of storage space.   The internal drive on the MacBook also has plenty of space.   The lightroom catalog resides on the external drive.    The card reader is a USB 3.0 and reading from a CF card downloading RAW files created on a Canon camera.   I have hundreds of photos at a time that I am importing and it takes an incredible amount of time to import them.

Alternately if I copy all the RAW files from the CF card onto the local hard drive and then import them into light room from there it is very fast.   If I use the internal SD card reader slot on the Mac to import from a SD card it is fast. 

I have tried two different USB 3.0 card readers.  As I said copying manually from the CF card on the card reader onto the local hard drive is very fast and importing from the local hard drive into light room is very fast.

Using the card reader to import into light room from the card reader is very slow.   It's not the card reader as a manual copy of the files from the CF card is fast, it is just slow importing into lightroom from the CF card using the card reader. 

This has only been a problem in recent updates.   I would like to take the CF card, inserted in the USB 3.0 card reader and import directly into light room but it is unbelievably slow.  

Any ideas?  

Thanks... Gary

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jun 04, 2018

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My only suggestion would be to try having your catalog on the internal hard drive rather than the external hard drive.

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Community Beginner ,
Jun 04, 2018

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I found plenty of others also complaining about it.  Appears to be a bug in light room.    Having the catalog local doesn't seem to make a difference.   Bottom line if I manually copy the files somewhere and then import them from anything but a card reader it is normal speed.   It's making it difficult in event photography with a 1,000+ photos in a day and needing to quick edit and publish quickly. 

So it appears the work around is to manually copy the files to a location and then import to light room.   Not a good workflow and more time consuming than when it once worked (importing from the CF card) without this huge slow down but at least workable at the moment.  Wish it would be fixed, especially given the $$$ I pay each month for the software. 

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New Here ,
Sep 09, 2020

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Thanks even in 2020 it resolve my problem. I had the catalog in external flash drive and it was painfull to add photo to the catalog. 

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Explorer ,
Jul 24, 2018

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Hate to be negative, but I'm going too.  Light Room is slow on importing, Adobe knows this but doesn't list it in it's top known issues.  That only tell me that Adobe doesn't think it's a really big problem and therefore won't allocate the capital to fix this problem.  They still charge me full price of the monthly subscription even though this bug has cost me.  I don't spend as much time using Light Room any more because of the horrendous time it takes to import photos from my camera to the hard drive.  Tonight I started downloading photos from my camera. Since the start, I've showered, fixed and eat my dinner, watched two news programs, and now heading to bed... and still Light Room has not imported all the photos.  You now know why I don't use the program as often.  The download take up most the computing time I have and suck up the whole evening. Kind of like the program...it sucks!

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New Here ,
Aug 09, 2018

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Massive Problem here! The workaround with dragging everything from the card to HD prior to importing does not change anything. After choosing about 10-20 files beachball of death appears.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 09, 2018

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I am curious about this problem.

I have read about a suggestion and would be interested to know if this suggestion makes a difference for people suffering the "Slow Import"-

In the Import dialog-

1) Do NOT select the Camera or the Camera Card as the Source

ScreenShot078.jpg

Instead try the Import with this difference-

2) Expand the Source down to the sub-folder on the Camera Card and select.

ScreenShot079.jpg

Regards. My System: Lr-Classic 9.4, Lightroom 3.4, Photoshop 2020 (21.2.1), Nikon DSLR, Windows-10.

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New Here ,
Nov 17, 2018

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Hello All,

I know we should not have to use the workaround below but it is faster than anything I had tried before.

I have the monthly photography plan. To test the performance of each system, I ran simultaneous imports on my 2 computers of exactly the same photos copied onto 2 individual external drives, one on each computer. The first is a mid 2011 iMac on High Sierra with 16GB RAM and Lightroom 2015 and the second a MacBook Pro 2017 with 16GB RAM and Lightroom Classic CC latest version (8.0 Release). In the time it took the MacBook Pro to import 18 RAW images, the iMac had finished importing 19854 RAW images.

So, I downloaded LR 2015 to the MacBook Pro, supplemental to the Classic and now use that for importing only. Then swap the Catalogue for Classic to the latest from LR 2015, update it and bingo. Total time is now just a bit longer than it should be.

I stress this is a workaround and we should not have to do it. It is merely a suggestion.

Regards to all,

Paul

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 30, 2018

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I've become so frustrated with what's happening with Lightroom CC as it's critical to my workflow for events and even though I use Photo Mechanic for most of the high speed workflow stuff, once I am ready to 'sync' the picks into the Lightroom Catalog for final edits and work, even though it only as to add them from their current location, it takes way too long, like 30 minutes for 300 image files and it doesn't even have to build previews. I may try and see if I can work with your work around.

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Explorer ,
Dec 30, 2018

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It's not only speed that is an issue. During import of a card containing mixed images and video, LR bloats up to about 5GB of memory. This should be a strictly disk-to-disk operation requiring little memory. If LR is reading everything into memory before writing out to the disk, that might explain the poor performance.

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