Smart Shooter Tech Tip: Saving Photos to Card and Computer Through Lightroom Classic

Posted by: on Dec 04, 2020

Smart Shooter Tech Tip: Saving Photos to Card and Computer Through Lightroom Classic

Smart Shooter is an excellent tool for effectively managing a tethered session with exceptional ability to customize your workflow for your specific needs.  Of course, you are ultimately going to want to work with your images in the post-capture phase.  The Smart Shooter Lightroom Classic Plug-in is a great way to seamlessly get your images into Lightroom Classic for your post-capture workflow.

In this article, we will look at how to set up your tethering session and how you can optimize both Smart Shooter and Lightroom Classic in your workflow.

Once you have installed the Lightroom Classic plugin, you are ready to get started.  As always, it is important to be clear about the type of files that you are saving and where those files are being saved before you start capturing images.


As you would expect, this workflow will require images to initially be transferred from the camera into Smart Shooter.  Therefore, the Storage setting in Smart Shooter should be set to either “Both” or “Disk.”  The “Both” setting will ensure that a copy of the image is written to the card in the camera as well as transferred over to the computer for storage.

Note: some cameras (Sony a7 cameras, for example) will require you to set the save location in the camera menu rather than in Smart Shooter.

Both Smart Shooter and Lightroom Classic allow you to set Destination locations.  This can potentially be a point of confusion, so it is worth giving this an extra moment to consider.

Because this workflow is ultimately importing the images files into Lightroom Classic, the destination setting in the Tethered Capture Settings window matters the most.  This will likely be pointing to the location within your catalog where you want the images to ultimately reside.

The destination setting in Smart Shooter will only be a temporary location where image files are downloaded from the camera before they are moved to the location specified in the Lightroom Classic Tethered Capture Settings window.

Note: if RAW + JPEG is enabled on the camera, both files may be downloaded to Smart Shooter (depending on the “Card Preview setting); However, only the RAW version will be imported to Lightroom Classic and thus moved to the file location that is determined by Lightroom Classic (as described above).  The JPEG version will remain untouched and will remain in the destination set in Smart Shooter.

Naming Policy

In this workflow, the files are moving from the camera, through Smart Shooter and then finally arriving in Lightroom Classic.  Each step along the way offers an opportunity to name the file; However, Lightroom Classic will always have the final say on the file name.  Depending on your workflow and your preferences, it may be easiest to simply establish the naming convention at the final step in Lightroom Classic.  You can do this in the Tethered Capture Settings window in Lightroom Classic.

However, it is important to note that Smart Shooter offers robust ability to rename the file based on a number of possible variables.  For this reason, you may wish to use Smart Shooter’s Name Policy to establish the filename for your images.  Then, you can set Lightroom Classic to simply retain the existing filename so that the Smart Shooter filename will be used.

To do this, you can establish the filename in the Photo Filename area of Smart Shooter preferences as you would normally do.  You can learn more about the Filename Expression in Smart Shooter here.

Once you have established your desired Filename Expression in Smart Shooter, it is simply a matter of telling Lightroom Classic to use the “Filename” under Naming in the Tethered Capture Settings window.

Working Tethered

Once you have established the preferred settings in both Smart Shooter and Lightroom Classic, you can begin your shoot.  This workflow allows you to work flexibly depending on your preferences.  You might prefer to stay in Lightroom and review your images there once a preset has been applied to your images.  This is great if you have a client who is reviewing images or you prefer to compare images or make adjustments to images as you go. 

Alternately, it may be important that you have full control of the camera and access to live view.  In this case, you might work primarily in Smart Shooter and simply have Lightroom Classic in the background quietly importing images so that the entire shoot is ready for you the moment you turn your camera off.

Or, you may choose to have the best of both worlds by having both applications running side-by-side or even on different displays connected to the same computer.