Skip to main content
Adobe Photoshop Family

11 Messages

 • 

510 Points

Mon, Apr 25, 2011 11:15 PM

Closed

Lightroom: Concurrent Import of multiple cards in Lightroom

Concurrent Import of multiple cards in Lightroom would be spectacular. Even if the import is slower, it would allow me to start an import going from two or more cards while I do something else. As it is, I have to keep checking back to see when it is complete, or import in Photo Mechanic and then import into Lightroom.

This conversation has been merged. Please refer the main conversation:

Responses

Champion

 • 

1.4K Messages

 • 

24.5K Points

9 years ago

Victor,

Could you describe your setup?

How many card readers do you typically use? What type of data bus?(USB 2? 3?, Other?)
Where are your images stored (internal/external)? Your Catalog?

11 Messages

 • 

510 Points

9 years ago

Rikk,

I do work as a Photojournalist, and there are a couple of scenarios:

1.In the field: I may be at a scene and have two or more camera bodies, so I need to get the images into the workflow quickly and import all, or selected, images to file. This is done on a laptop, with USB 2 (and 3 in the future) readers, CF to PCMCIA, and/or cameras connected with USB. The images would be stored locally;

2. In less time sensitive: It may be the same laptop connected to a network and monitor. I will usually use the same methods, but could import to a network share, but normally it would be to the local drive and then migrated to the network share;

The catalogue is stored locally, but I have often thought it would be a great idea if the catalogue was stored in the same directory as the RAW images. This would do two things: Keep the catalogue that I was accessing while I work smaller and more relevant to what I am working on, and free up local drive space as I migrate the images to archive. I would think that would improve performance.

I am doing Spot News and occasional sports. I have needs that would be a bit different from a PJ doing a pro sports game, where they may have large number of large cards and have to "tune and tag" quickly (sports happen in the evening and close or past deadlines)

I have recently started using an Eye-fi card in my D300s with MoPhotos (http://www.mophotosapp.com/) on my Android device, and it would be great to have the import service integrated into Lightroom. Just a thought.

Hope this helps.

Victor

11 Messages

 • 

510 Points

Rikk,

I just realised that I wasn't very clear on my comment about the catalogue: What I mean is break the catalogue file in to separate files that are for the images that are in the current, working, directory of RAW files. You might keep a master reference catalogue that links to the individual directory-based catalogues.

Victor

1 Message

 • 

80 Points

9 years ago

Wedding photographers often arrive home or back at the studio late in the evening, dog tired but with a dozen or more cards needing to be put somewhere quickly!

I own a half-dozen card readers -- but if I plug them all in they are assigned different drive letters. OK, so far so good. Thought I could simply control-click each of those drivess in the Lightroom input module and then go grab a nap. But nooo, only one at a time please.

I'm sure if Photo Mechanic can do this -- Adobe can work the same ability into Lightroom 4!

Thanks for considering this.

1.5K Messages

 • 

19.1K Points

9 years ago

Its a reasonable request. Let me say I prefer to simply drag all the files off various cards into a single folder, then do the import and move onto something else while all this takes place. One advantage is the “Previous Import” has all the images from the shoot where now, each new card import over-rights this. If you could import all the images from multiple cards, how would one handle this? Do you lump them all into this one import and show them in this temp ‘collection’? Which order would a card be imported from which card reader? How does Photo Mechanic handle this?

Author “Color Management for Photographers"

1.3K Messages

 • 

22.5K Points

Andrew, often with this type of heavy shooting all the images relate to one job, or if not you would just apply any metadata once they're in Library.

I'm very much in favour of this FR. The advantage of importing simultaneously is you can leave the big import to proceed while you have a pint/sleep and recover from a heavy day - instead of having to babysit x separate imports.

1.5K Messages

 • 

19.1K Points

If all the shots are related, then adding the metadata on mass import is easy. But even when I have mixed photo’s (which for me is the norm), I’ll usually add most of the metadata for the majority of images that apply, then update after import. I’ll drag all images into a single representative folder for the group (or just make a folder called “To Import”) and then redistribute to the appropriate folders while in LR in the Previous Import area. My file name template is based on the folder name (I use the Folder Name token) so once I move everything into place, from within LR, F2 names everything correctly.

There’s certainly a lot one could do to make this happen upon import. It would greatly complicate the UI but it could be very useful. Right now, the KISS method I use is just drag multiple cards into one folder on the drive all my images are stored than import, then distribute inside of LR. It could certainly be done in a slicker system but so far, it works OK. If I only have one card or a few images on the card, then I import from the card directly but if I know the import process is going to be dealing with lots of files, I just dump in mass, then import.

And I only have one card reader on my main machine. I suppose having a group of them, inserting a pile of cards and having LR access them in order would be useful, I’m not at all opposed to the suggestion here, I too favor it. But it needs to be worked out. And I suspect, if I had 4 cards to import, I’d only have 3 readers or something along those lines, then I’m back to the original system.

>The advantage of importing simultaneously is you can leave the big import to proceed while you have a pint/sleep and recover from a heavy day

That’s what I do today. The difference is I have to copy multiple cards first. So the FR could remove this assuming I have enough readers and there’s some mechanism for ordering which card is accessed first, all imported data is shown in the Previous Import ‘collection’ .

Author “Color Management for Photographers"

1.3K Messages

 • 

22.5K Points

You can currently do a multiple select of folders - so why not drives in exactly the same way? It really doesn't require too much working out on Adobe's part.

In practice what I do is provide my clients with scripts that do the copying. But it still means hanging around at the end of a long day and then initiating the import into LR.

11 Messages

 • 

510 Points

Andrew: Keep in mind, I'm not only suggesting that you do one import job with all your readers at the same time, although that is one scenario.

Even the ability to have multiple import sessions running at the same time is where there is the potential to add value. Imagine the following scenario:

- You have dragged and dropped all your card contents into a single directory;
- You select all the pictures that you want to tag with keyword A
- You start import
- You open a second import session and repeat the above with a second set of keywords on another bunch of images
- Repeat as required, or practical

While one scenario is being able to import from multiple card readers, another might be to have multiple imports happening at the same time with different tagging or presets.

Victor

4.5K Messages

 • 

76.3K Points

9 years ago

I realize this 'Idea' is for native Lightroom support. However in the mean time, for those willing to use a plugin-based import, there is an import plugin that supports concurrent import of multiple cards.

Feel free to send me a private message for details.

11 Messages

 • 

510 Points

9 years ago

Hi,

I think there is consensus on this feature: Regardless of there being work-arounds, having it within LR would be preferable.

I suppose if Lightroom's major benefit is smoothing the workflow of photographers then this would be a no-brainer. Using outside applications or other tools seems to be counter-intuitive.

It seems, a few years ago (2008) Delkin tuned into this need and created the Delkin Image Router which has 4 CF slots in one reader. It's unclear if this reader appears to the computer as a single CF slot, which would result in a great alternative to what is proposed here.

Regardless, there are two problems with the Delkin solution: 1. it is USB 2, and seems to have a rather sloth-like transfer rate of 25MB/s; 2. It has been discontinued, so what's on the shelf is all that's available.

While my request for this feature does not seem to be resonating with as many people as I had thought, I have a feeling that it will become so integrated into photographer's workflow that they won't understand how they ever did without it.

Right now, I'm wondering how it was overlooked. ;-)

Cheers
Victor

1.3K Messages

 • 

22.5K Points

9 years ago

Just had this Wade Heninger article brought to my attention:

Some years ago I bought Photo Mechanic solely because its Import tool was pretty darn good. Much better than Bridge. Of prime importance was the fact that it would import images from all mounted cards in order. If you had the card reader for the card, it would do the right thing. The rest of Photo Mechanic is inconsequential (and a bit ugly) with Lightroom, but this one feature makes worth the purchase price. I have 5 or 6 card readers, so I can really chew off a bunch of cards in one fell swoop using this little tool.

So for the past few years, I would use Photo Mechanic to import the files onto my Drobo and *then* run an Import in Lightroom to get them in and previews built. This was a two step process that had to be done serially as well: 1) import with Photo Mechanic 2) turn Lightroom loose on the big folder with everything.

Somewhere in the Lightroom 2 cycle I’d worked on a redesign of the Import dialog and as part of that I’d suggested the whole multiple cards thing as a way to speed our customer’s workflow. Sadly, we didn’t get it any of this for the release of version 2. So when Lightroom 3 was released, the first thing I looked at was the new Import dialog and if it could do what I needed. Unfortunately, no.

161 Messages

 • 

3.2K Points

9 years ago

I end up starting multiple file copies in the OS to offload the cards and then import from there. I've thought about using the auto import folder to then import as the copies proceed but really native support for multiple card readers would be better.

Champion

 • 

1.4K Messages

 • 

24.5K Points

9 years ago

Here is a workaround: http://feedback.photoshop.com/photosh...

I will probably merge these topics.

10 Messages

 • 

286 Points

9 years ago

Awesome!

1 Message

 • 

60 Points

8 years ago

Same for me. I use several of the Lexar Pro stackable readers (Firewire 800) and I also had to buy PhotoMechanic for this reason alone. I don't use PM for anything else other than importing and image selection. In my case, my NEF files go into a folder called Originals, then from there I select the keepers and then move those into a folder called Masters [DNG & PSD]. Then I go into Library module and select all files and convert them to DNGs. So this is a multi-step process, whereas if multiple card import would be available, this would be a 1 step process.

I saw the workaround, and although it works, I would prefer to be able to simply CMD/CTRL or SHFT click on the cards I want to import, select my import preset, enter keywords, and go. This would also save a ton of time for many photographers.

1 Message

 • 

62 Points

7 years ago

Now that Lexar have the USB3 Hub with multiple card readers, isn't it time that Adobe looked at concurrent imports?

Photo mechanic does it already, and the convoluted process of selecting files dropping down the list is cumbersome!

Cmd clicking on each card should be enough!!!

Time for Adobe to up their game and get with the times.

I cover motorsport events and often have 10 cards to import, 1 at a time is adobe's way and slows down my workflow. Concurrent import of 4 cards at a time would speed that up considerably and I don't believe that i am alone in this.