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Transferring Photos from a Canon Rebel T3 Series Camera to a Computer

Regardless of the type of photo software you choose, you can take the following approaches to downloading images from your Canon EOS Rebel T3 or T3i to your computer:

  • Connect the camera to the computer via a USB cable. The USB cable you need is supplied in the camera box.

  • Use a memory card reader. With a card reader, you simply pop the memory card out of your camera and into the card reader instead of hooking the camera to the computer. Many computers and printers now have card readers, and you also can buy standalone readers for under $30. Note: If you use the new SDHC (Secure Digital High-Capacity) or SDXC (Secure Digital Extended-Capacity) cards, the reader must specifically support that type.

  • Invest in Eye-Fi memory cards and transfer images via a wireless network. You can find out more about these special memory cards, and how to set up the card to connect with your computer, at the manufacturer's website, www.eye.fi. Your computer must be connected to a wireless network for the transfer technology to work.

For most people, a card reader works well. Sending pictures directly from the camera, whether via cable or wirelessly, requires that the camera be turned on during the entire download process, wasting battery power. Additionally, not all devices can use Eye-Fi memory cards, meaning that you're spending money on cards that may have limited use beyond serving as storage on your camera. Card readers, on the other hand, can accept cards from any device that uses SD cards, which are fast becoming the standard storage medium for portable devices.

    Connecting your T3 or T3i and your computer

You need to follow a specific set of steps when connecting the camera to your computer. Otherwise, you can damage the camera or the memory card. Also note that for the process to work smoothly, Canon suggests that your computer run one of the following operating systems:

  • Windows 7, Vista, or XP with Service Pack 3

  • Mac OS X 10.5 and higher

With that preamble out of the way, these steps show you how to get your camera to talk to your computer:

  1. Assess the level of the camera battery and recharge it if it’s low.

    Running out of battery power during the transfer process can cause problems, including lost picture data.

    Alternatively, if you have an AC adapter, use it to power the camera during picture transfers.

  2. If your computer isn’t already on, turn it on and give it time to finish its normal startup routine.

  3. Make sure that the camera is turned off.

  4. Insert the smaller of the two plugs on the USB cable into the A/V Out/Digital port on the side of the camera.

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  5. Plug the other end of the cable into the computer’s USB port.

  6. Turn on the camera.

    What happens next depends on what software you choose to use to download photos.

    Starting the transfer process from your T3 or T3i to your computer

After you connect the camera to the computer or insert a memory card into the card reader, your next step depends, again, on the software installed on your computer and on the OS it runs.

Here are the most common possibilities and how to move forward:

  • On a Windows-based computer, a Windows dialog box appears, asking you what program you want to use to view or transfer the files.

  • An installed photo program automatically displays a photo download wizard.

  • Nothing happens. Don’t panic; assuming that your card reader or camera is properly connected, all is probably well. Someone simply may have disabled all automatic downloaders on your system. Just launch your photo software and then transfer your pictures using whichever command starts that process.

You can also use Windows Explorer or the Mac Finder to simply drag and drop files from your memory card to your computer’s hard drive. The process is exactly the same as when you move any other file from a CD or DVD or another storage device onto your hard drive.

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