LR Workflow: Import Speed-Tests

June 5, 2012

With all applications closed, I chose ‘Import’ for 100 images in Lightroom 4.1.

Condition 1: 

Standard Preview

‘Automatically Write Changes to XMP’ off

4 minutes and 51 seconds

Condition 2: 

Standard Preview

‘Automatically Write Changes to XMP’ on

4 minutes and 35 seconds

Condition 3: 

1:1 Preview

‘Automatically Write Changes to XMP’ on

7 minutes and 53 seconds

Condition 4: 

1:1 Preview

‘Automatically Write Changes to XMP’ off

8 minutes and 9 seconds

My findings:

Regardless of whether the ‘Automatically Write Changes to XMP’ function is on or off, the longest wait time comes when it’s time for Lightroom to Render Previews. There appears to be a direct relationship between which preview you tell it to render (standard, 1:1, etc.) and the time you wait for them to render, with ‘1:1’ taking almost double the time of ‘standard’.

On average, I shoot approximately 250 images at a photo shoot. To wait nearly 5 minutes for only 100 images, much less 12 minutes for 200+ is far too long, because that 12 minutes only accounts for importing images. Take into account connecting to the internet, editing, modifying captions, exporting from LR, and uploading to a server, and I’ve gone well past an hour’s time. I need a solution for importing upwards of 250 images as fast as possible. This means well under 5 minutes, and under 2 minutes if such a thing is possible.

Conclusively, I believe an upgrade in RAM, increased cache size (perhaps to 50), and quad-core processor (which LR will take advantage of), will greatly increase my LR start-up, import and developing time.

*Note: When LR 4.1 is running, I have an average of 43 MB to 118 MB of free memory available (137% CPU) via Activity Monitor. LR off = 555.7 MB, on average. 

*Note: For specs on image size, Laptop specs, memory card, CF reader, etc. used during these tests, please see previous post, here

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