Lightroom Performance Stats

For those of you interested in the Lightroom 1.1 performance, here are some stats I pulled from a recent wedding job.

The PC in use was my laptop computer with an Intel Core Duo T2300E 1.66 GHz running Windows XP SP2 and with 1 GB of RAM. Usually this machine is a good performer. The computer was manufactured in May 2006.

Now, the images that I exported were RAW files coming from my Canon 1ds mark II (60% of the images, usually 16 Megapixel) and the Canon 1d mark II N (40% of the images, usually 8 Megapixel). The average image size is thus 16×60%+8×40% = 12.8 Megapixel, about the size of a Canon 5D shot.

I typically turn and crop the images, adjust color and brightness, and remove noise. I exported the images to three resolutions: (a) original size in “Quality 85″, for posters and high-end prints, (b) contrained to 2496 pixels in “Quality 80″, for normal prints up to 8″x12″, and (c) constrained to 750 pixels in “Quality 70″, for web use and email.

As Lightroom seems to behave strangely when you are running more than one export job at the same time (see previous post), I had to do three exports in total. Exporting the 764 images took each time 112 minutes, i.e. 8.8 seconds per image, or 0.7 seconds per Megapixel. The size of the resulting image does not affect process time in any way. This makes sense as the operations are performed on the high resolution image anyway. The image will only be resized and written to disk once all the steps have been done. From this, I think Adobe should consider having a “multiple size” output option. As most of the processing time is spent on processing the image, this would mean a huge performance increase for those exporting the same set of images to different sizes. Just let the user select (up to) three constrained export sizes!

Anyway, the resulting image files were on average 2.4 MB in size for the high-res files, 782 KB for the “2496 constrained” files, and 111 KB for the “750 constrained” files. Image quality was good, as expected.

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