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Import sort photos taken within the same second by time

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Jul 15, 2009
Lightroom Version Number
Operating System
  1. Windows 10
When importing photos into lightroom, I rename them based on timestamp plus a couter, but it only includes up to seconds and not milli seconds. I do not see a way to use millis second during the import process. As a result, photos show up out of sequence in the library module. Is there a trick to force the import process to bring photos in that respect the shot sequence?
If you do the menu command View > Sort > Capture Time, the photos will sort by capture time properly.
As @johnrellis said, if you want your gird/filmstrip sorted by capture date/time then sort it that way rather then relying on the file name.

If you have other reasons to have the file name include the DTS (Date/time/stamp), you are correct that the file renaming tool only goes down to whole seconds and to simulate fractions of seconds you'll need to use a sequence number. If you do this AFTER import, first sort the images by Capture date, then use a rename template that has the date and time following by a sequence number (of some number of digits) starting at 1 If you want to do this during import the problem is more challenging.

I don't know if the Capture Date sort option in the import dialog goes below whole seconds but to avoid that possibility sort by file name instead of date (assuming all the images came from the same camera).

But even this may or may not work and even if it works now it may not work later. Adobe is constantly making performance improvements and many times this includes multithreading operations. When they do this, the 2nd image may complete before the one before it and as such may get an earlier sequence number. This is something you can experiment with to see if it is a factor or not. I just don't know. And even if it is not a factor now, it could become one in the future.

If it were me, I'd re-evaluate why I need to have my image names include a DTS in the first place. And if I'm married to that idea for whatever reason, I'd do the rename after (not during) the import.
I agree with everything Califdan states, especially the possibility of multi threading.
Remember also that the number generated by the camera resets to 1 after 9999 and that can happen within a single import session, so by itself is not a reliable token.

Sorting by Capture Time as indicated above is the best method to get the sequence in chronological order

Different camera make / models store the fractional part of the second using different methods. Some in milliseconds (Ie fractions of 1000 ) and this number is stored in a separate field to the capture date time field.

You might also have to consider the possibility that you have images from multiple cameras in your Lr folder.

I developed my own Ingest App to copy images from card to disk and have bumped into most of the challenges involved. I do not incorporate the datetime as part of my image filename, but do give each image a unique sequence number.

Send me a private mail if you wish.
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