Download Photos with Image Capture in Mountain Lion

Chances are good that you’ll want to import pictures from your digital camera to your Mac running OS X Mountain Lion. Getting pictures from your digital camera onto your hard drive is a pretty simple task. Here’s how to do it step by step using Image Capture:

  1. Turn on the camera, and set it to review or playback mode.

    This step might not be necessary for some cameras.

  2. Connect the camera to your Mac with its USB cable.

    At this point, Image Capture may launch automatically, or, if you have iPhoto, it may launch instead.

    If you have both programs on your hard drive and the wrong one opens when you connect your camera, you can change that behavior in Image Capture’s Device Settings pane. Launch Image Capture (it’s in your Applications folder) if it didn’t launch when you connected your camera.

    Now choose the application you prefer for photo management (Image Capture in the figure; other options could include iPhoto, Aperture, Photoshop, Photoshop Elements, Adobe Bridge, or whatever photo-management app you happen to have installed on your hard disk) from the Connecting This Camera Opens pop-up menu.

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  3. From the Image Capture window, you can either click Import All to download all the photos in your camera or click Import to import only the select photos.

    • To choose contiguous photos, click the first photo you want to download, press Shift, and then click the last photo you want to download.

    • To choose noncontiguous photos, press Command and click each photo you want to download. Either way, an orange highlight shows you which photos are going to be downloaded when you click the Download button (such as the first, third, fourth, and sixth photos in the figure).

In the figure, the Download To pop-up menu is set to the Pictures folder, which is the default setting. If you were to click the Download or Download All button now, Image Capture would download the photos in your camera to the Pictures folder inside your Home folder.

If you want to delete the photos from your camera after they’re downloaded to your hard drive, select the photos you want to delete, and click the Delete button. To delete all photos after you’ve imported them, check the Delete after Import check box.

If a disk icon, often named No Name, appears in the Devices section of the Sidebar when you plugged in your camera, you have to eject that disk by clicking the Eject Disk icon next to its name in the Image Capture window (or by ejecting it in the Finder in the usual way) before you disconnect your camera, or you could lose or damage files in your camera.

So try to remember. If you don’t, Image Capture scolds you with the scary warning dialog shown here.

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