Duplicate Image Detection


Today’s Question: Over the years I’ve had several different cameras The file names for the cameras have all started from the first file names allocated by each camera, and as a result, there are many different images with the same file name. When I import images into Lightroom from each of the cameras, will Lightroom recognize that images with the same file name from different cameras are different from each other rather than treating them as duplicates?

Tim’s Quick Answer: In this scenario the photos will not be identified as duplicates by Lightroom Classic even though the filenames are the same, because the capture time and file size would be different.

More Detail: When importing photos into Lightroom Classic you can turn on the “Don’t Import Suspected Duplicates” checkbox in the File Handling section of the right panel in the Import dialog. With this option enabled Lightroom Classic will disable the import of photos that are determined to be duplicates of photos already in your catalog.

This duplicate detection is based on the filename, the capture date and time, and the file size. In the case of photos captured with different cameras that result in images with the same filename, the capture date and time and the file size would also be different. Therefore, the images would not be considered duplicates.

Obviously you can’t have two files with the exact same filename in the same folder. So, for example, if you were to attempt to move a photo within Lightroom Classic to a different folder where another photo with the same filename existed, you would receive an error message indicating that the photo could not be moved.

However, if you import photos into a folder that contains images with the exact same filenames, the import would proceed. To avoid the duplicate filenames Lightroom Classic would simply add a parenthetical number (such as “(1)”) to the end of the filename for the image being imported that had the same filename as another photo in the same folder.