Synchronizing two cameras in Lightroom

By Michael Clark
February 4, 2009 | Comments: 4

Recently, I had some trouble synchronizing images shot from with three different digital cameras when I imported them into Lightroom. As it turned out one of my cameras was not set to the correct time or time zone and this made it impossible to order the images by capture time. To alleviate this problem I synced up the cameras so they were all on the same page. Now, on every assignment I make sure my cameras have the right time zone and time set and that all of my cameras are synchronized to the same time.


On my next shoot it was simple to organize my images chronologically according to the capture order. All I had to do was import the images, select the folder or all of the images, then go to the sort menu in my toolbar and select "Capture Time". This organizes the photos according to the actual time they were shot in the camera and as long as my cameras are synced then it should be right on. Alternatively I can also select the sort options in the top menu bar as well by going to View > Sort > Capture Time.

Dialing in your own Workflow

If you are interested in developing a complete workflow of your own using Lightroom, I would recommend checking out my Lightroom Workflow e-book. The 124-page updated and revised workflow eBook using Lightroom 2.3, entitled Adobe Photoshop Lightroom: A Professional Photographer's Workflow is available for download on my website. The new version of the e-book includes information on all the new upgrades to Lightroom and how I integrate Lightroom into a complete workflow from camera to Photoshop. If you'd like to check it out click here.


The e-book offers a complete workflow which includes my in-camera settings, how to determining the optimum white balance and exposure, color management, working with Lightroom, web galleries, Noise Ninja and much, much more. Check out the link above for more information. A sample table of contents is available for download if you want to see exactly what is covered.

That's it for this month. Thanks for tuning in.

Adios, Michael Clark

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This is not for everyone, but I always set my cameras to UTC. I occasionally reset the time to adjust for drift (and why doesn't PTP allow for time synchronization via the connection?) but otherwise just have the absolute UTC time in all my photos.

This can be interesting once you upload pictures to various sharing sites (those of us west of time 0 can often get our pictures up on Flikr, et al, well before the time the photo was taken since that time will often be expressed in local time).

But I agree fully I might be a weirdo about this. I do a fair amount of work with folks near the Greenwich meridian and beyond, and have a dual-time watch always set to UTC and local time. So I find it easy to convert to local time elsewhere pretty easy.

I read your problem in your blog which you face with your camera. In my opinion you need a latest Digital Sir Camera. But if you don't like the big size camera then u buy Small Digital Camera to the market. In the market u can see easily that every Digital Camera Rating is different and set with it qualities.

I am following your blog regularly and got great information. I really like the tips you have given. Thanks a lot for sharing

Acquire enough BNC cables to do the job. Two, equal length BNC cables will be needed for each camera. They will need to be long enough to reach from the camera position to the switcher. If you happen to have a multipin camera cable that connects to a camera control unit (CCU), then the cables only need to reach the CCU. A bunch of shorter cables will be handy for monitors and other auxiliary items.
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