I have many duplicates. In an effort to gain control I consolidated all my folders, albums etc from the Apple app ('Photos'), ran them through a duplicate software, kept the ones I wanted and then transferred to Lightroom.

From 'Library' I see all my pictures. There seems to be hundreds of duplicates even though I ran the duplicate software. Here's an example of what the filenames look like. _DSC0095.jpg, _DSC0095-2.jpg, _DSC0095-3.jpg etc.

I'm not sure if all three photos are the same or are they different edits of the same photo. In most cases they look identical, the metadata is the same and the histogram stays the same. In some cases the color saturation is slightly different.

My second question is: I delete photos and they keep reappearing. Is that because they were originally in so many different folders?

  • Open the photos and check if they are managed by Lightroom, it seems for me those are virtual copies exports May 6, 2017 at 8:57
  • After 9999 photos, the 10,000th photo a Nikon camera takes will have the same name as the first (_DSC0001, if you're shooting Adobe RGB). Although this comment answers the question in the title, I doubt that it answers your full question
    – NoahL
    May 6, 2017 at 15:21

2 Answers 2


There are two approaches how to handle non-empty storage in camera.

Nikon, at least their D5200, Checks for the highest number and next shot is appended behind. Canon, at least my 700D, have option of continuous numbering, where it keeps the last number and next shot gets +1. If the number is manually re-set, new folder is created. When the orifinal, non-empty folder is selected it continues with new number. In both cases, so far as I tried, no -# is appended to the filename.

The "camera" in my Xperia keeps the counter in memory, but it was re-set several times. It caused the conflict in names and -# was appended to the name.

If the image is editted using creative filters in Canon, there is only one option, save as new image and this one is appended like regular shot; again no reason for dummy-counter.

Maybe, the dummy-counter was added during the consolidation in one huge folder. What was the duplicate software supposed to do? Compare filenames and timestamps? Compare EXIF metadata? Compare image staticsics (histograms, dynamic range, ...)? How many images did you have prior the consolidation and how many do you have now?

The second question: Do you have some backup sowtware maintaining the folder you are deleting files from?

  • 1
    Does Nikon do this appending of -# in camera? I've never seen a camera do that.
    – mattdm
    May 6, 2017 at 13:46
  • 1
    @mattdm no. Apple's Finder file system does that.
    – NoahL
    May 6, 2017 at 15:18
  • @NoahL So, that's probably the answer (at least to the title question) right there.
    – mattdm
    May 6, 2017 at 15:19
  • @mattdm I would guess so. But Nikon cameras take 9,999 unique photo names (for Adobe RGB: _DSC0001-_DSC9999) so if OP has 100,000 photos, they might be asking a different question (which I doubt)
    – NoahL
    May 6, 2017 at 15:23
  • @NoahL Well, I didn't try to place 10k photos to see what happens...
    – Crowley
    May 6, 2017 at 16:12

I have a Nikon D5300, the naming of the files in each folder goes from 0 to 9999, after which a new folder is created. It names any new file by picking up the last number and adding +1. When you retouch in-camera the photo, it will be saved using the same number, but the begging of the name (those first letters) will change, from the DSC to CSC (or SSC in the case of resizing). Also, in the Custom Settings menu: Shooting/ Display: File Number Sequence, I allows you some options, that is, if you want the camera to continue the numbering sequence, from the last recorded +1 even when you change folder, change memory card or format the memory card (not here that, if a folder reaches the 9999 limit, a new will be created and the numbering restart on 1), or if you want the numbering to restart from 1 everytime you create a new folder, change memory card or format the card (with the same has before happening if you reach the 9999). So, I don't think there is any way the camera would duplicate the photo in any way. Either the photos you have have the same number but different beginning letters or same begin letter and numbers but with a different format (e.g. one in .Raw and another in .Jpeg). So, either you have two different photos with same name and your OS just adds a -X after do differentiate them, or they are the same photo and the OS did the same. In regards to the second question, I assume you say they keep reappearing in Lightroom (if not let me know) after you deleted them in the disc. The thing is, Lightroom keeps a preview, and has a link to the photo (so when you want to export, he will then use the actual photo and not the preview he had created). When you move or delete a photo in the disc, without using the Lightroom tools, the program will not be notified of this, and so, he will keep the preview, the only change his that on the preview (when you are in multiple photos view) you will see a "!" mark on the upper-right corner of the photo. If you click there he will tell you he lost track of the photo and will ask you to find it so he can connect again the preview to the actual photo. If you just moved the photo, fine, just give the new path, if you deleted the photo, just erase the preview from Lightroom too, that should do the trick.

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