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As a general rule, you want to keep your catalog on the fastest hard drive on your computer. If this is your main hard drive then that is where the catalog should be. The catalog is the file that Lightroom opens and manipulates. So to get the best performance the catalog needs to be on your fastest drive. Your images can be on a separate internal hard drive or on an external hard drive. I have two extra internal hard drives and two extra external hard drives. I have my images on the two internal hard drives and use my external hard drives for catalog and image backups. You want to make sure that your backup files are on a separate drive because when your hard drive crashes someday a backup on the same drive that crashes isn't going to do you much good.
Thank you very much for your response JimHess. It is very clarifying for me. Just one little detail. If I keep my catalog in the laptop and the images in the external hard drive, how would you recommend to import them (Copy as DNG / Copy / Move / Add)? Its probably something super obvious but I don't have a clue as I'm just starting to use LR.
Thanks again for your support.
Which import type to use depends on how you want to get the images onto your hard drive.
Copy - LR will copy the images from your card to your hard drive, then do the import into the catalog
move - LR will move the images (normally already on the hard drive) to a new location then import them into the catalog.
Add - LR will leave the images where they are and just add them to the catalog. Good if you already put the images on the hard drive in folders where you want them.
Copy as DNG - LR copies the images to the hard drive from the card, converts them to DNG, imports the DNG files into the catalog.
I have made the personal choice not to work with DNG files. There is nothing wrong with DNG. I have just found that with my Nikon camera there isn't that much space savings. I only see a size reduction of about 15% whereas the Fuji raw files I have converted seem to compress by 50% or more. I use Lightroom to import new files directly from the SD card from my camera. I use a card reader. I import images using the Copy option which copies the images to a folder of my choice.