Lightroom Classic: Sync from iPhone sets inconsistent capture date, incorrect sorting

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  • Problem
  • Updated 5 hours ago
  • Solved
  • (Edited)
When a photo is synced from LR iPhone, the capture date in LR Classic is set inconsistently, causing the photos in Library grid view to sort incorrectly.  

A workaround is to select all of the synced photos, do the menu command Metadata > Edit Capture Time, and click Change All. This appears to set the catalog's internal capture date fields consistently.

This is yet another instance of LR's internal architecture maintaining multiple fields for capture date in the catalog database and a programmer incorrectly setting some of them.  There are other bugs (outstanding for years) caused by this architectural defect: 
https://feedback.photoshop.com/photoshop_family/topics/lightroom-still-inconsistent-capture-date-tim...
I'm not merging this bug report with that one, though, because all the symptoms in that one are caused by importing photos missing EXIF capture dates. Whereas this bug occurs cloud-syncing photos with valid EXIF capture dates.

In this instance, one of the catalog database fields is getting set with a UTC value where it should be in the local time zone, or vice versa. 

To reproduce:

1. Create a new catalog.

2. Import a photo with a valid capture date and rename it A.jpg.

3. Empty your LR CC of all photos.

4. Sync this catalog with your LR CC account.

5. In LR iPhone, take a photo within the app.

6. Wait until that photo syncs to LR Classic and rename it to B.dng.

7. Use ExifTool to observe that B.dng has valid metadata date fields:
$ exiftool -a -G B.dng | grep -i date
[File]          File Modification Date/Time     : 2017:10:21 17:38:58-07:00
[File]          File Access Date/Time           : 2017:10:21 17:42:08-07:00
[File]          File Inode Change Date/Time     : 2017:10:21 17:38:58-07:00
[EXIF]          Modify Date                     : 2017:10:21 17:38:24
[EXIF]          Date/Time Original              : 2017:10:21 17:38:23
[EXIF]          Create Date                     : 2017:10:21 17:38:23
[EXIF]          GPS Date Stamp                  : 2017:10:22
8. Use Metadata > Edit Capture Time to set the date of A.jpg to be the date of B.dng + n hours - 1 second, where n is the negative of your computer's current time zone offset.

For example, my computer is set to PST (UTC - 7), so n is 7.  The date of B.dng is 10/21/17 5:38:23 PM, so the date of A.dng is set to that date + 7 hours - 1 second = 10/22/17 12:38:22 AM.

9. Do View > Sort > Capture Date and > Ascending.

10. Observe that A.jpg incorrectly sorts before B.dng, even though the date shown for A.jpg comes after the date shown for B.dng:



11. Select B.dng, do Metadata > Edit Capture Time, then click Change.  

12. Observe that B.dng now sorts before A.jpg, even though it displays the same capture date/time under its thumbnail and in the metadata panel.



Tested on LR Classic 7.0 / MacOS 10.12.6, LR CC iPhone (updated two days ago) / iOS 11.0.2 / iPhone 7.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Posted 11 months ago

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Tom Mickow

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Thanks for doing the leg work on this one John.  I'm seeing the exact same thing.

It had been driving me nuts, but I hadn't made the connection between images that were coming to Lr Classic via Lr Mobile on my iPhone vs ones I was getting from the normal camera roll.

Btw, this does not appear to be a new problem, as I have images that were imported 5+ months ago that are exhibiting the same behavior.
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William Kennedy

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I have also been running into this bug. You can see my screenshots and a complete set of symptoms on this thread: 
https://forums.adobe.com/message/9907590#9907590

In short, photos that I take on my iPhone that sync to my desktop machine using Lightroom Mobile don't sort properly when interspersed with photos taken on other cameras. 

A big thanks to johnrellis for helping to classify what I was seeing and point me towards the workaround. 

For me, this is a new problem that showed up when I installed Lightroom Classic CC. 
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Ignacio Barrientos, Employee

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Does https://lightroom.adobe.com or Lightroom CC on the device sorts have the same sorting problem with these images or is it only Lightroom Classic CC?
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Following the steps in the recipe, I then synced A.jpg from LR Classic to LR CC.  LR CC also shows A and B sorting incorrectly by capture date.  But note that could have been caused by the original sync into LR Classic of B, which corrupted B's capture date, or it could have been caused by something in the Adobe cloud as the photo traversed through it.

(Edited)
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Edited: Corrected incorrect second screenshot.
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Tom Mickow

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Images are sorting properly for me on https://lightroom.adobe.com

Lr Classic, sorted by "Capture Time"

Lr Web, sorted by "Capture Date"
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Geoffrey Hammond

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My issue comes from a slightly different angle, but the symptom is the same. Sort By Capture Time does not work.
In my screen shot I have two versions of the same image. One was captured on location and imported into LR mobile on an iPad with an assigned image number different from the camera-assigned file name. Then later, I import the full size RAW images into LR Classic.
The capture date and time are exactly the same in the Metadata on both images according to the LR display. However, they do not sit side-by-side when sorting by Capture Time.
Your work around did the job perfectly, John. Thank you.
(Edited)
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Julie Edwards

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Ditto this problem.

I can edit a program in LR mobile. Export it to Camera Roll then transfer it to the desktop MAC and import it. You would expect the original file and the exported file to sit alongside each other inside a sorted gallery - it does not it sits miles away.

What my investigation showed was that the exported file did not have a “Digitised Time” field whereas the master file does have. I was starting to thing that Lightroom CC was sorting on this field instead of the actual “Capture Time” field which is in fact indentical between my exported and original files.
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Michael Hoffman

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I'm still seeing the same issue as reported in the original post here. I've updated to LR Classic CC 7.0.1

Lightroom Classic CC 7.0.1 / Windows 10, v1709 / iPhone 7+ / iOS 11.1.1 / LR CC Mobile v 3.0.1
(Edited)
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Charlie D, Official Rep

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Thanks All, for the notes on the issue.  We have a bug logged on this and our developers are looking into this.
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Roman Sandoz

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Photos synced with Lightroom CC don't sort by capture time.

Same here with Lightroom Classic CC. When I import images from my Nikon D750 and mix them with images synced through the Lightroom App on my iPhone, even though I tell Lightroom to order by capture time, it doesn't work correctly.
Stephen Leggett's tip to Edit Capture Time without adjustments does the trick, but it's a nuisance non the less...

Note: This conversation was created from a reply on: Lightroom: With sort order set to "capture time" the images are not ordered by ca....
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Lee Hawkins

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I see the same problem with datetimes, except it doesn't necessarily have to be an image shot with the iOS Lightroom app, it can be an image that is imported from the iOS Camera Roll as well. The workaround of doing 0-hour timezone adjustment in LR Classic CC (LRCCC?) solves the problem. Would sure like it if Adobe actually bothered to maintain software I use rather than breaking everything I've ever done with a brand new app. Glad my $10/month goes to improving an app I don't use and don't care for.
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Roman Sandoz

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Not fixed in release 7.1...
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Felix F

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Photo Merge HDR not sorting properly by capture time.

At the moment it is not possible to sort photos by creation date OR last edit-creation date. For example when you create an HDR out of three photos at 9:00 and you have additional photos taken at 9:05 the HDR will be sorted behind the 9:05 photos. What is actually wrong.This is caused by lightrooms sorting after the „wrong creation date“ There are three fields for this, so it must be possible to select after wich of them the sorting should be done.
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Felix F

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Photo Merge not sorting properly.

I now was able to reproduce it:
The sorting issues are only when I imported the pictures with the camera-connection-kit on my ipad and then synced them to Lightroom. When I import the pictures directly on my notebook I have no issues. Somehow the import in Lightroom mobile (iOS) or even the import to the ipad seems to cause the issues.

Note: This conversation was created from a reply on: Photo Merge HDR not sorting properly by capture time.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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See the workaround in the top post.
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Felix F

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Hi,
I found out that it may be related to sorting the files on the import-dialoge.
The last time I had this issue I have imported photos from two different cameras. On the import-screen I sorted them by date and directly after the import the order was wrong.

Next time I sorted them by "none" and then the order was right and worked as intended.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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Felix, are you referring to LR Classic's Import screen?  If so, then your observation doesn't pertain to the problem reported here, which is about photos that are synced into LR Classic from LR Mobile, not imported by the Import screen.
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Felix F

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I was told by the support, with a link, to post my issue to this thread.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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I think Adobe support was mistaken in this instance (unfortunately, a not uncommon occurrence).
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Markus Metz

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Lightroom Classic CC is not sorting correctly by creation date.

Since Lightroom Classic CC came out I‘m no longer able to let LR sort my images by capture date and time. As I often first import the pics of my main camera and later the iPhone pics that were shot in the same period of time they are no longer in the correct order when sorted by creation date/time. Is this a known bug?
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Joe Fenton

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I have a sort by capture date/time bug that is fixed by the same workaround as this, but I use the android Lightroom, and Lightroom Classic on my Windows computer
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Jonathan Pow

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Same probem - Lightroom Classic CC 7.2 - I import selected photos from the card on my iPhone for editing on the go (using the camera connection kit). Then when I'm able to, import the whole card via PC lightroom. I use 'sort by date' to cull the odd duplicate from the iPhone import. The workaround I use is to use 'Edit Capture Time' to shift date by an hour and then change it back.
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Dave Kenedy

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This reply was created from a merged topic originally titled Lightroom Classic: Support for HEIC file format (merging).

I'm in the middle of a major catalog re-build and am just now finding out about all this. I've been working for weeks trying to fix my archive because of an EXIF dating error caused during imports from my iPhone going directly into Lightroom. It caused all the videos to be dated seven hours behind their actual capture date, and many of the photos to have an entirely wrong capture date altogether, putting them into the wrong dated folder on my local drive. Total chaos. I tried talking to Adobe, reading everything I could find online, until finally realizing that I am just going to have to go back to every photo and video one at a time and re-enter everything manually. All because Adobe wouldn't invest their time and resources into fixing this issue with iPhone imports.

What I'm saying is that for some people its nothing new to see that Apple and Adobe are not playing along as well as they should be, and I see here that I am not alone with feeling like I am at a crossroads with Adobe entirely. 

What I would like to know are people's thoughts on continued iPhone imports into LR classic using the compressed JPEG's (lame I know) with the intention of switching out those images with HEIC's in the future. How would you do this? Like really, if you think you have a clever way of doing it I think that would be helpful here. I do what a lot of users do, which is import my images into a dated file structure with dated folders, and rename all my images upon import using a reverse date YYYYMMDD etc etc file naming system. So assuming that you stashed away all your HEIC's together in one place, which all have the native iPhone IMG_#### file names, how in the heck would you make the switch? 

In other words, it would be great if Adobe would not only listen to their loyal base LR archivists and roll out the red carpet for HEIC ASAP, but also come up with a way to bridge the imported iPhone JPEGs to their HEIC counterparts stored off catalog. Is this possible? Is there a better way? Am going crazy lol?

Note: This conversation was created from a reply on: Lightroom Classic: Support for HEIC file format.
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Julius Mandelblat

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I do not understand why this bug is signed as solved. May be they fixed "Import" bug, but I still see photos sorted by some other time rather than EXIF capture time. I'd expect Adobe not only to fix the bug but also to provide the tools to resolve the mess caused by it in the catalog.
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John R. Ellis, Champion

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I just tested the recipe at the top of this topic, and LR 7.5 no longer produces the reported symptoms.   So I think this particular bug is fixed.

However, LR has long had bugs with reading capture times correctly, and some of them have never been fixed. So you may be tripping over one of them.

I recommend starting a new topic on your problem. Please include lots of detail, including the first ten lines of Help > System Info and screenshots of Library grid view showing the capture date under each thumbnail and the capture date showing in the Metadata panel (similar to the screenshot in the first post of this topic).