6 Replies Latest reply on May 7, 2017 8:31 AM by Jao vdL

    Lightroom 6 new import steps?


      I'm struggling with Lightroom 6's new import steps. I import all my files into my catalog as dng.  I understand that LR6 no longer does the conversion on the fly, but first copies the proprietary raw file to disk, then converts it.  When I import files now in LR 6, there are a total of four operations that take place. First, proprietary raw files are copied to disk.  Next, three concurrent operations occur: building smart previews, building search index, and conversion to camera raw.  Of these concurrent operations, building previews always completes twice as fast as the other two operations.  So, with that said, here are my questions:


      1. How can LR6 build a preview of an image before it's done converting the image to dng?  And why would we want to see a preview based on a different raw format?  Once it's converted to raw with any custom import settings, won't it have to re-generate the preview (i.e. is this a resource-intensive, wasted step)?
      2. What is "building search index?"  This operation takes just as long as the raw conversion process, which - in my experience over the past couple days - takes about 2-3 times as long as it did in LR5 (so much longer in fact that I'm probably going to switch back until Adobe figures out how to rework this).  Can I turn this off, or make the action manual, or make it occur after raw conversion?
        • 1. Re: Lightroom 6 new import steps?

          I concur with this sentiment.  I shoot exclusively in raw format and importing and converting to DNG takes 3 times as long as it used to.  LR 5 used to read the raw image from my SD card and write the image to the hard drive in DNG format.  Now it reads the raw image from the SD card, writes it to the hard drive in the same format and then reads the image from the hard drive and writes it back to the hard drive as DNG format and then deletes the original raw image.  All of this reading/writing/deleting is tremendously slower.

          • 2. Re: Lightroom 6 new import steps?
            SeanMcCormack Adobe Community Professional

            The search index is Face Detection in operation. It's building face regions for the photos that have just been imported. You can pause it in the Activity Monitor if it's an issue, and restart it whenever it suits (assuming you want to use it).

            • 3. Re: Lightroom 6 new import steps?

              Importing is taking 2-3 times longer than it did which is frustrating, but I accidentally turned on Face detection, now the import is taking 10 times longer.   I'm glad I found this post so I could figure out what I did and turn face detection back off.

              • 4. Re: Lightroom 6 new import steps?
                JimHess Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                The preview image is generated from the JPEG preview that is embedded in the original raw file. The resulting DNG file has an embedded JPEG preview as well. The reason Adobe changed Lightroom to import the images first and then start the conversion process is to speed up the import process and then allow you to work on individual images as the conversion takes place.


                The DNG file does not contain different raw image data. It is the same raw data that is copied from the original raw file. It is just in a different container that has a standardized format.

                • 5. Re: Lightroom 6 new import steps?

                  I agree about the the process taking longer than ever with V6. Two processes take place at the same time during upload and slow down the experience. One thing you can do as I do is to click on the process bars in the upper left top corner and when the options open up click the X to turn off the "building a search database". This will cut your upload time in half and face detection is not something I use or miss.

                  • 6. Re: Lightroom 6 new import steps?
                    Jao vdL Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    >Next, three concurrent operations occur: building smart previews, building search index, and conversion to camera raw.


                    Note that none of these are necessary operations in most people's workflows. You only need smart previews if you want to work on your images when the originals are offline. The search index building is only necessary if you use the facial recognition. Conversion to DNG is almost never needed. DNG is a nice handy standard format that is slightly more efficient with disk space but Lightroom works just as well with camera-original raw files as with dng files. So think about your workflow and if you really need smart previews, facial recognition, and dng files. Most likely not and you can speed up your import by a lot by simply not doing them and only building standard previews.