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How to Download Pictures from a Camera in Mac OS X Lion

Chances are good that you’ll want to import pictures from your digital camera into Mac OS X Lion someday. Getting pictures from your digital camera onto your OS X Lion hard drive is a pretty simple task. Here’s how to do it 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 appropriate application from the Connecting This Camera Opens pop-up menu.

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

    • 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.

Here, 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.

If a disk icon, often named No Name, appeared on your Desktop 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 — 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.

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