Test Results: Lightroom imports 600% slower than the competition (Video)

In Post-processing by Jim Harmer

My Facebook, Twitter, and blog comments have been lighting up over the last week since Adobe released version 6.2.  The outrage from photographers paying monthly for software that crashes at least every 5 minutes has been electric!

But in this post I'll set aside the crashing issues (that still are NOT fixed in the patch released after 6.2).  I'd like to focus on the dramatically poorer performance in Lightroom 6 vs the competition: Photo Mechanic, Capture One, and the Photos app from Apple.

My question is if I should be looking at alternatives to Lightroom to improve the culling process, which has progressively gotten slower with each version of Lightroom over the last 18 months.

I ran a test by taking 97 RAW photos from my Fuji XT1 and importing them into all three computers.  In all cases, I transferred the photos from my SD card to my hard drive, and added but did not move or copy the photos on import.

Test results importing 97 photos into each program:

  • Lightroom- 190 seconds just to bring in the photos, 685 seconds to bring in all photos and build full previews
  • Capture One – 27 seconds to bring in photos, 114 seconds to bring in all photos and build full previews
  • Photo Mechanic – 12 seconds to bring in photos and allow for lightning fast full-screen browsing
  • Photos App – 9 seconds to bring in all photos and allow for lightning fast full-screen browsing
  • Dark Table – 14 seconds to bring in all photos and allow for lightning fast full-screen browsing

 


About the Author

Jim Harmer

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Jim Harmer is the founder of Improve Photography, and host of the popular Improve Photography Podcast. More than a million photographers follow him on social media, and he has been listed at #35 in rankings of the most popular photographers in the world. He blogs about how to start an internet business on IncomeSchool.com..