I'm looking to purchase a new Mac this week. I'm using Lightroom primarily, and had a question. My goal is to use an external SSD drive to house both my photo collection so that I can move between laptop and desktop seamlessly. Until now, I've stored my photos and on my internal SATA drive and want to end that practice with the arrival of my new machine. I'm taking a ton more photos these days and the old machine doesn't have much room left. So the question is simple. How do I go about taking my existing Lightroom setup for the catalog and for the photos on my current drive and transfer the operation to my new external SSD drive. I'm lame but I do know that I need to copy my "Picture" folder to the SSD but how do I deal with my existing catalog and getting that working so that my transition is seamless and LR continues to work for me. Also will I see a major speed degradation using the external SSD rather then an onboard one to handle my files.
Thanks so much in advance.
You won't see any speed improvement by having your images on the SSD drive. The catalog is a different story. You want the catalog on your fastest hard drive because that is the file Lightroom opens and manipulates. A better set up would be to have the SSD drive installed internally in your new computer with the catalog and other Lightroom files on that drive. Then you can have a larger regular external hard drive to hold all of your images. SSD drives are typically smaller. If you are taking a lot more images now you will find that you will fill that SSD drive very quickly. You will need to have your images on the new computer. Images are not stored in the catalog. The catalog is a database that points to your images where ever you decide to store them. Here is a link to some good information on how to move Lightroom to a new computer:
Thanks so much--that was very thorough and the link is excellent.