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Import order based on initial filename

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Hey guys,

the following problem has been haunting me for years. It is about the correct file renaming when importing images. I often take more than one photo per second. Therefore, the creation date of some files is identical as the EXIF date only goes done to the second (not to miliseconds, subseconds etc.). I always rename my photos during the import to YYYYMMDD_HHMMSS.arw. If there are multiple photos with the same date, Lightroom adds a _0, _1, _2 at the end. Unfortunately Lightroom does not import the photos in the order I shot them. Which is why the original order is lost. Since Sony Alphas don't have subsecond information in the EXIF, I thought I was just out of luck. But now I had an idea: the camera logically names the files _XYZ0001.arw, _XYZ0002.arw... If lightroom would respect this order when importing then the images would be afterwards also with the correct numbering in lightroom. So my question: Can I somehow specify that Lightroom imports the images in a certain order as it seems Lightroom only looks at the date-stamp but nothing else.

Thank a lot for your help

Best regards,

Oliver
 
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No, you can't. What I do is also add the 'OriginalFileNumberSuffix' to the end of the dated name. That will ensure that the images are renamed in the order that they were shot.
 
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Can I somehow specify that Lightroom imports the images in a certain order as it seems Lightroom only looks at the date-stamp but nothing else.
Have you looked at your setting for sort order at the bottom of the grid in the Import dialog to assure it is set to "file name"?

Another option is to not rename during import. Just leave the Camera supplied file name. Then, once imported, in the "Previous Import" special collection (or a folder or other collection if you prefer), sort by file name, select all the image and press the F2 button (Library -> Rename Photo). Now you can do the rename anyway you like and if you use one of the incremental counter tokens the images will be in the order shot.
 
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I find no benefit in renaming files on import. The files should only be in use BY Lightroom and no other app. So why is is important to name a file by capture date when the Capture date is another metadata field that you are in some way duplicating. Lightroom does not care about file names. There is some benefit in renaming files on export as these images usually are no longer being managed.

As Lightroom does not import only one image at a time , several images are being imported simultaneously.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 
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One exception to Clee's point is to avoid collisions of identical file names representing different photos in the same folder. For example if you shoot with two bodies that produce file names using the same naming convention. In such a case it is entirely possible for both cameras to be at the same sequence number on the same shoot or the same day. Many, if not most, cameras provide a means to alter the default file naming pattern such that each camera produces different file names. For example a Canon 5d mark II could be set to produce file names like "5d2-1234.cr2" rather than "img-1234.cr2".

it is conveninet for file names to be in sequence based on order shot for cases where the EXIF date/time is not precise enough to keep them in order, but the camera does that for you automatically with the default file names.
 

Gnits

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it is conveninet for file names to be in sequence based on order shot for cases where the EXIF date/time is not precise enough to keep them in order, but the camera does that for you automatically with the default file names.
There is an important exception to this, which may occur infrequently for some, but regularly for others. Namely images on cards are stored in DCIM folders, which reset to 0001 after 9999 or 99999 shots and are put into a separate DCIM folder. I have seen cards with 3 or 4 such subfolders.

This gives rise to duplicate file names in some cases or these subfolders been forgotten and not copied from card to disk in other cases, depending on the photographers workflow.

For sports and wildlife shooters, with high frame rates ( ie lots of sub second shots), it is super critical to have images in precise order shot, so the photographer can review in time sequence to select the key frame from a sequence of 10-100’s of shots.

Date/Time plus original camera suffix number is one technique to cater for this. Many photographers preselect their images outside of Lr with PhotoMechanic or FastRawViewer or similar to 1) avoid this scenario or 2) speed up their workflow 3) avoid clogging up their storage with 1000’s of images which will never be used after the selection of key frames has been completed.

Personally, I use the Camera Suffix Number and also allocate each image a unique number within the catalog, but I am still searching for the perfect system.

Using multiple cameras or photographers for projects is another case which requires caution. I have seen original files overwritten due to poor workflow, lost forever and only discovered after the cards have been also overwritten.

Ps. The Exif standard does not cater for sub second date time fields. It gets over this by storing the sub second component in a separate field. Different camera makers use this sub second field in different ways and different software packages may or may not take the second field into account when sorting by capture time.
 
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For what it's worth, I have adopted a file rename strategy that solves two problems. first is that i shoot with two Canon bodies throughout each day and second, the point you brought up about the camera number circling back to 0001 after 9999. My file rename pattern consistes of 4 characters indicating the camera body (5dk3 or 7dk2). This is followed by "R" and a two digit number indicating how many times that camera has cycled back to 0001. This in turn is followed by "-#" and the 4 digit sequence number from the camera. So, for example on my Canon 5d mark 3, I'm on my 4th time through the number range, so image IMG_1234.cr2 would become 5Dk3R04-#1234.cr2. Of course I could have had it become "5Dk3-#041234.cr2" instead but I loked keeping the 4 digit camera supplied suffix intact and seperate.

I have an LrC file rename template for each camera where everything through the "#" is a constant and it picks up the last 4 digits from the camera supplied name. Whenever an import spans the camera reset back to "0001", I just import the images up through "9999", then bump the Rxx number in the template by 1, and import the ones starting with "0001". I'm not a particularly prolific shooter so I don'y have to do this very often, maybe every 18 months or so on one or the other of the two cameras.

At the beginning, I experimented with incorporating a date/time as part of the file name, but then the file names became too long for my taste (would not fit over images in the LrC Grid). So, I determined that as the Capture date/time was already in EXIF, the only thing I really needed in terms of file names was some scheme to keep them in order from each camera and not have name conflicts from the two cameras for the same shoot.
 

Gnits

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Its tricky .... I strive for a process which has the least amount of manual involvement and is repeatable every time.

At the moment I have to watch for the existence of multiple dcim sub folders ( and check if there are video files present in other folders). My volumes are low to modest, so not a burden. I have a script which analyses the card and summaries the total number and size of raws and jpgs, checks for the existence of video files and checks if there is enough space on the destination drive.

I run this script as part of my standard import process... so at least alerted to such scenarios.
 
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One exception to Clee's point is to avoid collisions of identical file names representing different photos in the same folder. For example if you shoot with two bodies that produce file names using the same naming convention. In such a case it is entirely possible for both cameras to be at the same sequence number on the same shoot or the same day. Many, if not most, cameras provide a means to alter the default file naming pattern such that each camera produces different file names. For example a Canon 5d mark II could be set to produce file names like "5d2-1234.cr2" rather than "img-1234.cr2".

it is conveninet for file names to be in sequence based on order shot for cases where the EXIF date/time is not precise enough to keep them in order, but the camera does that for you automatically with the default file names.
If you use the recommended Date named folder scheme there are no identical file names with a single camera. Most camera manufacturers allow your to set the first 4 characters in a file name in the camera. Every Camera that I own has a unique naming sequence built into the files name (e.g. my current Nikon files are named "Z70_nnnn". previous cameras: "D8X_nnnn", D81_nnnn", "D80_nnnn"). There is no reason to use the default manufacturer convention "IMG_nnnn".
 

Gnits

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If you use the recommended Date named folder scheme there are no identical file names with a single camera. Most camera manufacturers allow your to set the first 4 characters in a file name in the camera. Every Camera that I own has a unique naming sequence built into the files name (e.g. my current Nikon files are named "Z70_nnnn". previous cameras: "D8X_nnnn", D81_nnnn", "D80_nnnn"). There is no reason to use the default manufacturer convention "IMG_nnnn".
That is true if you are the only photographer involved in a session, and I agree... it is a good idea.

Multiple DCIM subfolders still need to be watched and catered for.
 
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That is true if you are the only photographer involved in a session, and I agree... it is a good idea.

Multiple DCIM subfolders still need to be watched and catered for.
Other photographers are unlikely to use the same in camera file naming scheme that I choose for the same camera. If 2 or more photographers use the default "IMG_nnnn", then they are not very considerate of everyone in the same session. If I were a commercial photographer using multiple shooters, I would at the onset require that each shooter use a different file naming scheme and sync the cameras to the same time.
 
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As Lightroom does not import only one image at a time , several images are being imported simultaneously.
When LR added parallelism to imports, these issues with file naming arose. But it would have taken very little additional programming for Adobe to have preserved the pre-parallelism behavior. Right before starting the import, LR could remember the order of the photos as displayed in the Import window and then base the file naming on that order.

But it's pointless to file a feature request about it, since it's highly unlikely Adobe would ever put in the effort at this point.
 

PhilBurton

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I find no benefit in renaming files on import. The files should only be in use BY Lightroom and no other app. So why is is important to name a file by capture date when the Capture date is another metadata field that you are in some way duplicating. Lightroom does not care about file names. There is some benefit in renaming files on export as these images usually are no longer being managed.

As Lightroom does not import only one image at a time , several images are being imported simultaneously.


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I used to rename photos on import until I realized that there was no real benefit to that.

For EXPORT only, I will rename the JPG output.
 

Gnits

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I regularly help others deal with fixing issues caused by :
1. Multiple DCIM folders on the SD card ... resulting in duplicate filenames...
2. Issues related to reviewing images in sequence for high speed (ie 10,20,30 shots per second) action capture.

Most photographers may never experience these scenarios....

Because I often end up trying to tidy up after the problem is discovered I hope others will not fall into the same problem.
 
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