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Import NAS and Lightroom CC

boyfromrain

New Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2021
Messages
3
Lightroom Version
CC
Operating System
  1. macOS 11 Big Sur
Hello, everyone,

First of all I don't have a NAS yet, but I would like to get one.
I have already been on several forums and they always recommended a DS220J to me (unfortunately not available EVERYWHERE at the moment).
However, I still have some questions and hope that this will help me:

I will mainly use the NAS as storage for my pictures. (Of course, other important files / folders are also stored on it).
There is no video streaming or anything else done.

I am currently using an external SSD and a MacBook Air M1 (8-core CPU, 8-core GPU, 16 GB of RAM). So my workflow looks like this:
Images are pulled from the drone to the SSD via the tower PC. Once the images are on the SSD, they are connected to my MacBook Air and I work in parallel in Lightroom - the images are not stored locally on the laptop.

For the future, because I'm tired of lugging around an SSD when I want to edit images (RAW only), I would like to get a NAS.
How exactly does it work? My catalog is locally on the hard drive, but Lightroom CC then accesses my NAS when it is open. I mean, the NAS -> laptop transfer rate is limited and far slower than the SSD -> laptop transfer rate. Would it then take forever to "reload" the images?
Furthermore, I mostly merge pictures with different exposure levels to an HDR to get the different contrast range. When merging, the original files are accessed again. Duration now with SSD approx. 2-3 seconds image. With a NAS it would probably take "a lot" longer, right?
I also found this link "Why you should use a NAS with Lightroom - Quick Tutorial/".

I hope you can help me!
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
18,200
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
First, There is no product currently called "CC". You are either using Lightroom Classic (v10.x) where images are stored locally or Lightroom (v4.4) which store all of the images in the Adobe cloud. You need to clarify which version you are using. To continue, I will assume Lightroom Classic.
Here are some "rules" about Lightroom Classic and the NAS:
  1. The Lightroom Classic Catalog file can only reside on a Local volume not on a NAS.
  2. While you can store the cataloged images on the NAS, you can only access the NAS volume in your local network. If you travel and use the internet, normally you will not have access to this NAS volume.
Your workflow seems unnecessarily convoluted. You mention Tower PC. Is this a Windows Desktop Computer. Does it contain your master Lightroom Classic Catalog? Is the M1 MBA only used in the field? Are you running Lightroom or Lightroom Classic on this computer? By drone, are you using a drone camera with a camera card? How are you importing images from the "drone" camera card?

Instead of a NAS which you can not assess away from your home network, can I suggest using the Lightroom (cloudy) app in the field with an internet connection to import all of your camera image to the Adobe cloud where that can be accessed by any computer running Lightroom (cloudy) or sync'd with a master Lightroom Classic catalog and stored on your local network.

How about providing a little more information and detail and we can recommend a more suitable workflow.
 

boyfromrain

New Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2021
Messages
3
Hey @clee01l , you are completely right - I am using Lightroom Classic, the newest version.
I am aware the catalog itself can only be stored on my internal 1 TB volume on my MacBook Air M1. Furthermore I am not going to travel and edit my pictures in parallel. Pictures are always edited at home on my desk, couch, bedroom etc (currently always having the ssd attached...:( )

With tower PC I meant a Windows Desktop Computer yes. So to clarify it, currently my "flow" is to "drag and drop" pictures from my drone (it has an USB-C connection) to my SSD. Sometimes both are connected to my M1, most of the time I am doing it on my Windows Desktop Computer. The drone has also a memory card inside, which I am not taking out unless it's full.
So: Getting my pictures on the SSD is most of the time done with desktop computer and just sometimes with my M1. Both times, drone is attached via USB-C to the one or the other.
After having ALL files on my SSD, it will be connected to my M1 and I start importing all pictures into Lightroom Classic. I'm editing photos exclusively on my M1.
The reason I want to have a NAS is, that I don't want my SSD hanging around on my M1.

So, how does it exactly work? Let's go a step back...(new scenario: all pictures are on the NAS)
I dragged all my pictures onto the NAS. I start importing all pictures from the NAS into Lightroom Classic. (Will it take "way" longer than with the SSD?)
Now I start merging/editing my photos and do an export onto the NAS.
I quit Lightroom Classic.

Once I start it again, how long is the loading time? Will some steps take longer than with the SSD? If yes, which ones?

Thanks u helping me out!

PS: friend of mine has an NAS - able to access his data from all over the world :)

Best regards
Bastian
 
Joined
Jun 20, 2009
Messages
18,200
Location
Houston, TX USA
Lightroom Experience
Power User
Lightroom Version
Cloud Service
Here’s what I would recommend:

You only need one computer with Lightroom Classic. If your master catalog is on the MBS, then that should be the only computer that you use to import the images the images.

If you store the images on a NAS, you will be limited to the speed of the internet bandwidth. (Something less than 1 gigabit and much less if using WiFi). While your friend might have access to their data over the WAN, they likely can’t connect a Lightroom Catalog to access those files on the WAN.

Connecting the drone via USB requires the drone battery to be well charged and causes additional charge cycles to be incurred limiting the life of the expensive proprietary battery. We at Lightroom Forums always recommend removing the camera card from the camera and using a card reader. If your drone is like mine, it has a MicroSD card which is easily removed and replaced.

If you have a MicroSD card in the Drone, I’d recommend getting a MicroSD card adapter and an SDXC > USB-C Card reader. To import directly into your. Catalog on the MBA. This will allow you to store the image during import on the External SSD or NAS.

For a storage volume, I would recommend getting a Thunderbolt4 Drive enclosure. At 40GB/s, the TB3 port is faster than any other external port. If you create Smart previews for your images, these will be stored in a folder alongside your catalog file. With only the catalog and the Smart Previews, you can unmount the external disk and leave it at home and still work with all of your cataloged images in Lightroom Classic.

Note: I recommend getting a Thunderbolt drive enclosure. You already have a perfectly useful SSD in an obsolete USB drive enclosure. If you get the (empty) Thunderbolt drive enclosure, you can put your existing SSD into the TB drive enclosure.

Your workflow becomes:
1. Remove the camera card from the camera.
2. Mount the External Drive enclosure to the TB port of the MBA
3. Insert the Camera Card into the card reader inserted into the remaining TB3/USB4 port.
4. With LrC, Import the images from the card to the EHD and catalog them in the catalog building Smart Previews.
You are done and only needed one computer and a card reader.

If you are not going to use the External SSD drive on the windows PC, then you can erase the contents and reformat the SSD using the Apple FileSystem (APFSD) instead of the less secure exFAT/FAT32 filesystem. If you are going to use the External SSD on both computers, then you are forced to use exFAT/FAT32 filesystem. You may need to get a TB3/USB3 adapter since the Windows computer is unlikely to have a high speed TB 3 port.


Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
 

boyfromrain

New Member
Joined
Sep 15, 2021
Messages
3
Holy moly, this is a hell of useful things u wrote there! :) thanks a lot!
Maybe u got me wrong, I only use my MacBook Air importing my files into Lightroom. I just used, most of the time, my Windows Desktop Computer for importing my drone pictures onto my SSD (Honestly I dunno why I didn't use my MBA for that :D)
You might be right, with the drone battery thing. I do have a card reader, but always connected my drone directly via USB-C/USB cable to the computer. U know, more comfortable ;) - But, I'll keep that in mind! :)
What do u mean by "Thunderbolt 4 Drive Enclosure" - didn't find that on amazon, just Thunderbolt 3 SSDs (which are quite expensive tbh).

So about smart Previews: (didn't know about that honestly) What does this actually mean? When importing the pictures and selecting "Create Smart Preview" (dunno how its called correctly, but do know where it is located) it gives me the "freedom" I don't need an attached drive for developing my pictures? why is it like this? are those pictures in a smaller quality? Or how u mean I'm working just with my catalog and my smart previews?

So, talking about the same thing: a catalog is storing all "previews" of an image and its location. - as well as edits on a "mirror image" (because the original image would not be changed, if im doing edits)?

Nevertheless a NAS would be great for me for other files as well I need to have access to when im on the road. Don't ask me why, I do very like technic things ^^

Really appreciated u helping me dude! @clee01l
 
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