How do i increase the speed of downloading images from my cf card into Lightroom?

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michael8765

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I have always found the downloading of images into LR to be very slow going.(and uploading images to Photoshelter even slower)

I've blamed it on the CF cards that I use.

However, I just bought a Lexar Pro 32G - 1000x - UDMA 7 - card. A 'fast' card.

It makes no difference to my download times.

What other factors should I address to increase my download speeds and save time?
 
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Your constriction is probably the USB2 connection from your card reader/camera. USB3 would be faster as would FireWire800 or Thunderbolt. So, unless you have a newer model Mac or PC with a faster port, you will be limited to the bandwidth available.
Part of the import process is creating previews. For me and my 36mp images, creating 1:1 previews takes the most time. I find that import goes a lot faster if I do not create 1:1 previews on import. But this only slows down LR later in the workflow as I eventually need 1:1 previews. There are process flow indicator bars in the upper left of the top panel. It will tell you whether you are importing and copying files or creating 1:1 previews during the import process.

You can also eliminated the extra I/O of the "Make a second copy to..." Function, but I would advise against doing this, because until your system wide backup occurs, you are vulnerable with only one copy of your master images.

Another thing you can do is not wait until the import completes before moving on to the next workflow step. I begin reviewing and culling as soon as I have images appear in the Library grid. I never notice now when the import completes now but LR does show a message when it ejects the camera card and it is safe to remove the card. This is when the image import part of the import process is complete and all that remains are creating the remaining previews.
 

ukbrown

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get an Lexar UDMA card reader or try one if you know somone who has one, speeded up transfers fivefold for me
 

Bryan Conner

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My Lexar USB 3.0 Dual Slot Reader significantly reduced my transfer times. It is a huge time saver. But, you have to have USB 3.0 on your machine. Lots of people buy it and plug it into USB 2.0 ports and dont understand why it is no faster than their old reader.
 

bobrobert

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It also means buying an appropriate card and opening up your computer and installing it. Not difficult but it stops some from contemplating the process. Worth doing to overcome the frustration of slow downloads.
 
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It also means buying an appropriate card and opening up your computer and installing it. ...
Something that is usually not possible with a laptop where everything is on the mother board or on a Mac (which the OP has) which are usually not upgradable beyond adding memory or swapping out HDs.
 

Den

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Fast card>in a USB 3.0 Reader>USB 3 Port>SSD= F-A-S-T I also do this with Video files. At least 5X faster than USB 2 and HDD
 
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philmar

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Your constriction is probably the USB2 connection from your card reader/camera. USB3 would be faster as would FireWire800 or Thunderbolt.
Are there Thunderbolt CF card readers?
 

Allan Olesen

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For laptops, there are Expresscard CF readers. This one claims speeds up to 133 MB/s (depending on the card, of course). I don't know the specific model:
http://www.lexar.com/products/lexar-professional-expresscard-compactflash-cf-reader

I have a Transcend Expresscard SD/UHS-I reader, and it reads with approx. 70 MB/s from a Sandisk 95 MB/s card. It is very handy, because it can be permanently installed in a laptop and is flush with the laptop casing, so it just acts as a built-in card reader. But the CF reader I linked to will probably protrude outside the laptop.
 
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