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Sorting oddities when shooting burst (10 FPS) #1
Thomas Emmerich's picture
by Thomas Emmerich
August 12, 2015 - 7:13am

I noticed that when LR is set to sort by Capture Time, if I’ve shot a burst of photos of some action at 10FPS, LR does not properly sort them. I need to switch to sort by filename to get the sort correct.

Is this the expected behavior? Is the EXIF granularity such that photos shot within the same second cannot be sorted correctly? The displayed capture time appears to only be down to the second. Photos shot within the same second have the same time.

I’ve never seen Aperture do this. Maybe Aperture is using the filename as a backup when the capture times are too close together?


Thomas Emmerich's picture
by Thomas Emmerich
August 25, 2015 - 5:06am

Bueller? Nobody is shooting burst mode?


Jim Burgess's picture
by Jim Burgess
August 25, 2015 - 2:32pm

Beuller here…

Back in my previous LR days (Ver 3.6 and earlier) I recall experiencing a similar problem which I reported on some Adobe forum. Never received a response. So it’s possible this is one of those issues that never got fixed along with many others, I might add.

Since you asked, and now that I’m switching back to LR6 from Aperture, I revisited the issue. I imported a few hundred action shots into LR6 and took a look at several burst mode sequences. The shots were taken with a Nikon D4S, and ranged from 7 to 12 shots per sequence separated by .09 to .10 seconds per frame. All of them sorted properly by Capture Time, probably what you didn’t want to hear.

Intermittent problem, or most sequences? And you didn’t mention your camera… Nikon or Canon? I could have been using Canon gear back when I experienced the similar problem.

With the exception of one metadata field I’m aware of, LR does only display times to one second as you mentioned. In the Metadata panel, check the field named “Date Created” which you can display with either the “IPTC” or “All Possible Items” metadata sets … it displays the time to hundredths of a second. 

I know this doesn’t fix your problem, but wanted to share my experiences. Be interested to hear what you find out.


Thomas Emmerich's picture
by Thomas Emmerich
August 27, 2015 - 8:07am

Thanks for the response Jim. I checked the metadata fields you described and it only displays whole seconds. Here’s a sample: 2015-08-08T15:39:45

For an example 10 shot burst, 4 images show 2015-08-08T15:39:45 and 6 show 2015-08-08T15:39:46. So when sorted by capture time, the first four are first but in random order and the last 6 are last but in random order. So LR is apparently only seeing the time to the whole second and is ignoring the filename as a secondary sort. I don’t know how LR is choosing to sort them when the whole second is the same. When you switch the sort back to capture time, it always puts them in the same wrong order.

Just for fun I imported the same 10 shot burst into Aperture. They were correctly sorted there when using the “date” sort setting.

My camera is Olympus OM-D E-M5 MKII. Maybe the camera is only recording whole seconds? 

I suppose using filename as the sort setting is the workaround since these burst shots are (almost) always sequentially named. I’m guessing the 4 digit number in the filename would eventually jump from 9999 to 0000 at some point and foil at least one set of burst photos on rare occasions. 

I wonder why Aperture gets it right but LR doesn’t.


Jim Burgess's picture
by Jim Burgess
August 28, 2015 - 12:57pm

I took a look at Olympus OM-D E-M5 MKII sample images using Exiftool and it does appear that all times recorded by the M5 (and the M1) are to whole seconds, like you surmised. So camera manufacturers do it differently…e.g., Panasonic records to thousandths of a second, Nikon to hundredths of a second, Olympus to whole seconds, etc.

That would seem to explain what you are seeing, and keeping the frame number available does provide a workaround. LR maintains the original filename, so even if you rename the file after import you will have access to the frame number. (Don’t rename during import, though, because the original filename will assume whatever you renamed it to.)

Have you checked the “Added Order” sort after import? Maybe that’s how LR is “sorting” the files during import.

As to the difference with Aperture, who knows. Your assumption is probably correct.

Milo's picture
by Milo
August 28, 2015 - 8:19pm

I’m close to leaving Lightroom because of the sorting. I can’t get LR to keep photos together and I didn’t realize how important that is. 

Thomas Emmerich's picture
by Thomas Emmerich
August 28, 2015 - 8:55pm


Thanks for your insight. I tried switching sort order to “Added Order” and it is exactly the same as “Capture Time”. So apparently when photos have the same capture time, it is using “Added Order” as the secondary sort. Strange because when in grid view with 100+ photos visible, there is no difference between Capture Time and Added Order. Nothing moves position.

I’ve never tried Added Order before.


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