Hi, I gave my mom my old G5 iMac, and want to give her a copy of my family photo database (over 70,000 files, mostly raw), which I recently updated to LR4 format. I just take an external drive, name it the same as mine, and copy over the database, keeping file structure and naming identical, so my mom can view all the photos of her grandaughter that she wants. I have done that as a backup for home on an Intel 64bit iMac. Before I send it over, and she tries it, can somone on here tell me whether #1 she will be be able to read the LR4 format and adjustments with her LR2 OS X 10.5.8 install, and whether any changes, such as creating a gallery or collection, would work, or doing exports and printing. Thanks so much!
You cannot view a LR4 catalog with an earlier version of LR. The catalog database structure is different. Even if LR2 could open it, the LR4 raw-engine is creating different adjustments than the LR2 raw-engine understands, so it wouldn’t work. The difference between one LR version and the next is exactly the database structure and the adjustments.
She might be able to import the photos into her LR2 database, but the XMP files won’t necessarily contain the adjustments that LR2 understands, so she’d be seeing the default rendering, not your adjustments.
I think you would be best to export jpegs of the files for your mom. As mentioned above catalogs are not backwards compatible.