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Import thumbnail preview unavailable

Pat5

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Lightroom Version
Lightroom Classic 10.3 Camera Raw 13.3
Operating System
  1. macOS 11.0 Big Sur
MacBook Pro (Big Sur 11.4) Sony XQD card from my Nikon Z6 imports NEF files to Lightroom CC subscription without an actual thumbnail image. "Preview unavailable with this file" is displayed. Very annoying as I use a subject file system so can't select which photos to go to different folders.
 
Solution
I received your NEF file from weTransfer. I copied it to one of my XQD cards. I imported it via USB3 and again via USB-C. Each time I was able to see the thumbnail preview. It is possible that the copied file behaves differently from the original file laid down on your XQD card. And for this reason you also do not see a problem if you copy the card contents to a local disk drive.
In your email, you indicated that resetting the preferences file did not make any difference. In composing this reply I have questions about the formatting of your XQD card. how often do you reformat the camera card? Do you use the camera to reformat (preferred) or have you reformatted the card using the Disk Utility? if you use the camera to...
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Sony XQD USB adapter as a card reader. At a guess been like this for over a year.

The message sounds like something that I may have seen intermittently but not in a long time and not since upgrading to MacOS 11.x. Reinserting the XQD card into the Card reader may have resolved the issue.
Do you see image thumbnails if you view the card via Finder? Try this: Copy the card contents to a local folder and being up the Import dialog and see if the previews are available when you import from the disk drive and not through the Card reader.

Another question? Is the card reader connected via USB3 or USB-C?


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Pat5

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Card is connected via Cable Matters Thunderbolt hub, USB3. Inserting & re-inserting the card and the adapter renders the same result - 'no preview available'. However if I use finder to copy to the desktop or a folder, all is good & I can view the image thumbnail.
 
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Card is connected via Cable Matters Thunderbolt hub, USB3. Inserting & re-inserting the card and the adapter renders the same result - 'no preview available'. However if I use finder to copy to the desktop or a folder, all is good & I can view the image thumbnail.

Try connecting the USB3 directly to a port on the computer.

I think it may be the unpowered Hub interfering with the data transmission.


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Pat5

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The Thunderbolt 3 hub is powered. The card adapter is a USB-3 (USB 3.1 Gen.1) & cannot connect directly to the MacBook Pro which has only USB-C.
 
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The Thunderbolt 3 hub is powered. The card adapter is a USB-3 (USB 3.1 Gen.1) & cannot connect directly to the MacBook Pro which has only USB-C.

I have not seen a USB C hub that did not draw it power from the computer. Never the less, I think it is the hub that is the problem. You can purchase a USB3 to USB-C adapter. Try that? Or better, Purchase a USB-C XQD card reader. I have both USB3 and USB-C card readers and my iMac has TB and USB3 ports. I can import using either card reader directly connected to my iMac.


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Pat5

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I had done a quick search but didn't find a USB-C XQD card reader but will look again. I do appreciate your efforts to help me solve this problem. So thank you very much.
 
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I had done a quick search but didn't find a USB-C XQD card reader but will look again. I do appreciate your efforts to help me solve this problem. So thank you very much.



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Pat5

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Since I'm in Canada, I found one on Amazon.ca. Initially I did consider that the problem might be the card reader but thought that if it worked with Finder I kinda gave up. Thanks again for your trouble. Fingers crossed this solves the problem.
 
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Since I'm in Canada, I found one on Amazon.ca. Initially I did consider that the problem might be the card reader but thought that if it worked with Finder I kinda gave up. Thanks again for your trouble. Fingers crossed this solves the problem.
Replacing "amazon.com" with "amazon.ca" in the above link produces the same product. It is the one that I have. I also have a USB3 version that also works on my iMac through a powered USB3 hub.
 

Pat5

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This is what I've ordered
Fulfilled by Amazon so if it doesn't work I can return it. Don't have a shipping date as yet.
 
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This is what I've ordered
Fulfilled by Amazon so if it doesn't work I can return it. Don't have a shipping date as yet.

I have that one and two others. I am using the one you ordered on my iPadPro.


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Pat5

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If you didn't live so far away - in Texas, I would be asking to borrow/rent photo equipment. Delivery is said to be July 6th so I have a bit of a wait.
 
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If you didn't live so far away - in Texas, I would be asking to borrow/rent photo equipment. Delivery is said to be July 6th so I have a bit of a wait.

And Canada still won’t let me visit.

The reason that I have so many is that I misplaced the first one that I got and reordered. Also I have an iPadPro that I use as a front end for importing to my Master Lightroom Classic catalog (using mobile Lightroom and syncing). It has a USB-C port only Later I found the readers that I misplaced. Now one stays in my camera bag, One stays on the iPadPro. One on the iMac and the other USB3 is a spare.

I’d mail you the spare but probably could not get it through Canadian customs any sooner than July 6.


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Pat5

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How very sweet of you to offer. As soon as you buy a new xxx, the misplaced one nearly always appears. Or so it seems. You've now got yourself covered that's for sure.
 

Pat5

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Well it's good news - the USB-C card reader arrived today. Good ol' Amazon delivers early yet again. The bad news is that this card reader also shows the 'preview not available' and not an image thumbnail <sigh> So it's not the card reader which was my only hope in solving this problem. I've got my NIkon D800 for sale; maybe I should also be selling the Z6. Am thinking of upgrading to the Z7ii but not because of my current problem necessarily but it does have a SD slot. I'm certainly not 'tied' to using an XQD card. Just thinking out loud.
 
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Well it's good news - the USB-C card reader arrived today. Good ol' Amazon delivers early yet again. The bad news is that this card reader also shows the 'preview not available' and not an image thumbnail So it's not the card reader which was my only hope in solving this problem. I've got my NIkon D800 for sale; maybe I should also be selling the Z6. Am thinking of upgrading to the Z7ii but not because of my current problem necessarily but it does have a SD slot. I'm certainly not 'tied' to using an XQD card. Just thinking out loud.

There must be something we are overlooking. My XQD cards import fine from the same card readers. I have USB3 card reader connected to my iMac through a powered USB3 hub. It does not have a problem. The USB-C card reader works flawlessly too. I’ve even used my USB3 XQD card reader connected to a USB-C port on a hub using a USB-C to USB3 adapter. This (new, got it today) hub is connected to one of my ThunderBolt3 ports on the back of my iMac.
I know that this is not much comfort to you other than to know that it does work.

Do you see thumbnails in Finder when looking at the card? How about importing to the Photos app? Does that show images? I believe that you said earlier that if you copy the images to a folder on your internal drive, Lightroom Classic is happy. This pretty much indicates that it is the card reader/port path.


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Pat5

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Two different card readers using different ports - no NEF or JPEG previews available. Can't be a card reader issue. Finder shows image thumbnails for both formats as does LI when I copy the files to a folder on an external HD or the desktop. Somewhere between card & Lightroom has got to be the issue. I would doubt it's LI as this has been the case over numerous updates. In the meantime I get to be special - ha ha - in having to copy first & then import. At least that works. Shouldn't say that too loudly ... Again, I appreciate your taking the time to troubleshoot the issue.
 
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Two different card readers using different ports - no NEF or JPEG previews available. Can't be a card reader issue. Finder shows image thumbnails for both formats as does LI when I copy the files to a folder on an external HD or the desktop. Somewhere between card & Lightroom has got to be the issue. I would doubt it's LI as this has been the case over numerous updates. In the meantime I get to be special - ha ha - in having to copy first & then import. At least that works. Shouldn't say that too loudly ... Again, I appreciate your taking the time to troubleshoot the issue.

Perhaps some of the Big Guns can comment on this as I am fresh out of ideas.

Can you post a screen shot of the Import dialog showing the message and the lack of thumbnails?

I thought that possible there might be a CODEC missing that prevented MacOS from showing the NEFs, but since JPEGs are missing too ], that kind of rules out a missing CODEC.


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Pat5

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Calling on the Big Guns here for help with this issue. clee01l has suggested I post a screen shot of what happens when I try to import from a XQD card reader (Nikon Z6 image).
BTW this site doesn't recognize Mac's default *.png screen shot format. Changed it to *.jpg via Terminal.
 

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Calling on the Big Guns here for help with this issue. clee01l has suggested I post a screen shot of what happens when I try to import from a XQD card reader (Nikon Z6 image).
BTW this site doesn't recognize Mac's default *.png screen shot format. Changed it to *.jpg via Terminal.
I reached out to JimWilde and JohnREllis and haven't received a definitive answer. One thing that Jim suggested would be to force Lightroom Classic to generate a new Preferences file. This often cures Lightroom strangeness.

Another thing I would like you to do is send me one of your Z6 NEFs copied directly from your XQD card. You can use the WeTransfer website to upload the large fie and notify me that it is there using this email address [email protected]
I'll copy you Z6 NEF onto an XQD card and try importing it to my Lightroom Classic Catalog.
 
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In addition to resetting preferences and sharing a sample .nef copied directly off the card, I have a couple more low-probability guesses:

- Google archaeology doesn't suggest much, except one person who said in a thread with Jim that "Preview unavailable" in the Import window went away after doing Preferences > Performance > Camera Raw Cache Settings > Purge Cache. For good measure, make sure the cache is at least 5 GB too.

- Maybe your Mac OS is getting confused and thinking your card reader is a camera-like device using the outdated (and buggy) Picture Transfer Protocol. When you insert the card and start LR, do you see the Devices section at the top of the left column in the Import window?

1624645402442.png


- Earlier versions of Mac OS (10.13 and earlier) appeared to have required a Sony driver to be installed for its XQD readers. But recent versions of Mac OS seem to have the driver built-in and the new reader you purchased says " no driver" on the Amazon product page. But I'm wondering if you had installed the driver years ago and it's still installed, confusing Mac OS 11. You could try doing a clean install of Mac OS, but this requires reformatting your drive and restoring your apps and documents, so it's a heavyweight and potentially nerve-wracking process.
 
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In addition to resetting preferences and sharing a sample .nef copied directly off the card, I have a couple more low-probability guesses:

- Google archaeology doesn't suggest much, except one person who said in a thread with Jim that "Preview unavailable" in the Import window went away after doing Preferences > Performance > Camera Raw Cache Settings > Purge Cache. For good measure, make sure the cache is at least 5 GB too.

- Maybe your Mac OS is getting confused and thinking your card reader is a camera-like device using the outdated (and buggy) Picture Transfer Protocol. When you insert the card and start LR, do you see the Devices section at the top of the left column in the Import window?

View attachment 16799

- Earlier versions of Mac OS (10.13 and earlier) appeared to have required a Sony driver to be installed for its XQD readers. But recent versions of Mac OS seem to have the driver built-in and the new reader you purchased says " no driver" on the Amazon product page. But I'm wondering if you had installed the driver years ago and it's still installed, confusing Mac OS 11. You could try doing a clean install of Mac OS, but this requires reformatting your drive and restoring your apps and documents, so it's a heavyweight and potentially nerve-wracking process.
I don't think the Z-series camera came out before MacOS 10.14. I know that I was on 10.14 when I got my Z7 in 2019.
 
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