How to Import Images to Mac's iPhoto '11 from a Digital Camera - dummies

How to Import Images to Mac’s iPhoto ’11 from a Digital Camera

By Edward C. Baig

You will probably want your digital pictures on your Mac. In the past, it was a challenge to get digital images onto your computer, where the real fun begins. iPhoto and iCloud drastically simplify the process, and so does the fact that most Macs now have slots for SD (Secure Digital) memory cards.


You can change the look of an already-handsome program for the better by clicking the Full Screen button.


Connecting a digital camera

In some cases, you run a direct connection from the digital camera to the Mac by connecting the USB cable supplied with the camera:

  1. Turn the camera off.

  2. Plug one end of the cable into the camera and the other end into the Mac.

  3. Turn the camera back on.

    Although they’re not all that common, some cameras must be placed in playback mode, similar to what you do on most camcorders.

  4. When iPhoto asks whether you want it to download photos when a camera is connected, click Yes.

    This question pops up the first time you launch the program. The way iPhoto takes charge, you won’t even have to install the software that came with your camera. Consider yourself lucky (at least, most of the time).

If you ran into a problem, you can try the following:

  • Check to make sure that your camera is turned on and you have a fresh set of batteries.

  • Because every camera is different, consult the instructions that came with your model to make sure that it’s in the proper setting for importing pictures (usually, Play mode).

Importing images from the camera

When you connect a camera and iPhoto comes to life, the camera name (if known) appears below Devices in the Source list on the left side of the screen, and your pictures show up in the main viewing area. This camera is an iPhone.


To transfer images, follow these steps:

  1. Type an event name (such as Father’s Day) in the Add Event Name field in the upper-left corner of the window.

  2. If the pictures span a few days, select the Split Events check box to split the collection into several events.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • If you’ve already imported some of the pictures in the camera, select the Hide Imported Photos option.

    • If Hide Imported is already selected, click Show All X Photos to bring them out of hiding, with X representing the number of photos in question.

  4. Click ImportX,to transfer all the pictures to iPhoto’s digital shoebox.

    The X represents the actual number of pictures ready to be imported.

    The process may take several minutes, depending on a variety of factors, including the number and size of the images being imported (and whether videos are in the bunch). The images whiz (or crawl) by as they’re being copied. A counter at the top indicates how many pictures remain to be copied. If for any reason you want to stop copying pictures, click Stop Import.

    If you’d like to import only selected pictures from this batch, press the cmd key, click all the pictures you want to include, and then click Import Selected.

  5. In the dialog that appears, click Delete X photos to remove the photos from your camera or Keep Photos to keep them.

  6. To unmount the camera, drag the camera’s name from the Source list to iPhoto’s Trash or click the Eject button next to your camera’s name in the Source list.

  7. Turn off and disconnect the camera.

Seeing double? If iPhoto detects a duplicate photo, it asks whether you’re sure you want to copy it over again. Click Import to proceed or Don’t Import to skip this particular image. To avoid getting this question for each duplicate image, select the Apply to All Duplicates option.

iPhoto also copies movie clips from your digital camera, usually when they’re compatible with QuickTime. These videos are automatically transferred the same way as still images, except that the process may be slower.