Lightroom Import Clarification

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Today’s Question: Can you import from an SD card [into the “cloud” version of Lightroom]?

Tim’s Quick Answer: Yes, you can import into the cloud-based version of Lightroom (as well as into Lightroom Classic) from an SD card or any other media card. Only the primary storage is affected when you choose between Lightroom (cloud-based) and Lightroom Classic, not where you are able to import photos from.

More Detail: Today’s question is a follow-up to a previous question I addressed about the differences between Lightroom Classic and Lightroom (cloud). With both desktop applications in the Lightroom family, you are able to import any support image formats into your catalog from a memory card or other storage device.

The core difference as it relates to storage is what happens after you have imported your photos. With both versions of Lightroom, the files will initially be copied to the hard drive you have designated for local storage. With Lightroom Classic, the photos will remain on that local storage device, and will not be synchronized to the cloud unless you add photos to a collection that has synchronization enabled.

With the cloud-based version of Lightroom, cloud-storage is really intended to be your primary storage. So all photos will synchronize automatically to the cloud, and be available from any device (computer, smartphone, or tablet, for example) that you use to access your Lightroom catalog. Photos may be removed from local storage if there is not enough available space. But even if that happens, all photos will still be stored (and backed up) in the cloud if you’re using the cloud-based version of Lightroom.

So, the core difference between Lightroom and Lightroom Classic is that with Lightroom Classic you are directly managing all of your storage, while with Lightroom (cloud) your storage is primarily being managed in the cloud for you. With both versions, however, you can import photos from a variety of different sources.