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Ruahrc

iPhoto Digital Camera to Mac import: any way to preview pics

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My parents bought themselves a digital camera for christmas. It's a sony model. I wanted to import the photos that we took on the camera onto my Powerbook into iPhoto.

 

So I plug the USB cable in (note that I did not install any drivers or software prior to this- just straight up plug-n-pray). The memory stick mounts onto the desktop with a little memory stick icon- and iPhoto automatically pops up. After a few secs it automatically sets itself up to import the photos. I press import and everything seems to go according to plan.

 

Now I have 2 questions about this process.

 

1) The import page in iPhoto showed a big white screen with the camera icon in the middle. I was not able to preview on my mac the photos contained on the camera prior to importing. In fact I was not able to select a limited number of photos either. I was forced to import all 200 or so photos off the card and onto my mac. Is this the way it's supposed to work? This is my first experience importing pics from a digital camera into iPhoto- so I didn't know whether or not it was because I didn't install drivers, or didn't configure iPhoto properly, or what? (as an aside, we tried importing onto XP using it's built-in functions, and although the UI was different- I was given the ability to preview all photos on the card prior to import- and I was able to select which ones I did not want to import) This seems like it can lead to problems when importing. Say you go out and take 20 pictures. Then you import them into iPhoto without erasing them from the memory card. Then you go out and take 20 more. Now when you go back into iPhoto to import- you are forced to import all 40, and not just the 20 new ones!

 

2) Even though the camera was USB2.0 (I think) importing seemed to take "a while". I'd say probably ~2 minutes for all 60-odd photos. As a comparison- I manually opened the memory stick on the desktop and browsed to the folder in which all the photos were stored. I selected them all and copied them to the desktop. This time around copying the photos only took maybe 15-20 seconds. Is this rather pronounced slowdown in photo importing due solely to the fact that it's adding these photos to the iPhoto database while it's copying? Or just because iPhoto's transfer algorithms are slower than direct copies from Finder? Or both? I am just curious- as I was surprised in the speed difference (especially the magnitude of the difference!) between the 2 methods.

 

Thanks for any answers you can give- these are asked mostly out of curiosity as it was my first "digital photo" experience with iPhoto. I wanted to see really how simple and easy Apple made the whole process. I use iPhoto fairly regularly to store and catalog images but these are all .jpg files I import into iPhoto manually, not imported from a camera. The preview issue is most striking to me as it seems like a rather large deficiency in the whole import process (and more striking is the fact that "crummy ol Windows XP" allows you to do this!). In fact the first thing I thought to myself as I saw the import screen appear was "why can't I see previews of the photos I want to import?"

 

Ruahrc

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iPhoto will import all the pictures... I actually like this because I can't tell what I want to keep until I get a large view. Then I can decide to delete or not.

 

You can use the Image Capture program for more control over importing pictures. It's in the Applications folder.

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I believe iPhoto does give you you the option to do exactly what you want. I'll have to check it when I get home to make sure.

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After looking at the iPhoto info over at Apple, it appears I was wrong. However, as adamf said, you can use Image Capture instead. It will give you the option to preview and select specific photos to import (and I think they'll still be added to the iPhoto library).

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You can select the files in finder and drag them onto you iphoto dock icon. If you use the column view you can see a preview to help you select the photos. Also you can choose add to library from the file menu in iPhoto, and then choose the pictures on the mounted memory card volume.

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Thanks I will try those alternatives next time I am home.

 

Isn't it kind of wierd though? Seems like an awful lot of wasted screen with that big camera sitting in the middle of all that white space. IMHO it'd be a lot more intuitive and/or useful if they filled that window with previews!

 

Ruahrc

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this is a big problem - especially if you have many photos on the camera.

 

Say I take 20 pics, and import. Then I don't clean the camera ( i know i know its bad to do that). I take 10 more pics and want to import. Now I have to import 30, 20 of which are duplicates. Then I have to go thru and delete the duplicates one by one or row by row.

 

It seems to me that there needs to be more control on the import - by importing via preview, or even integrating spolight type features into the process (import by date, resolution, etc etc).

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I do not import photos from my camera card using iPhoto, because I shoot in Camera RAW. However, after I have tweaked them in Photoshop Elements, I save to TIFF and import into iPhoto. I have noticed a few times, and most recently last night, if I drag a photo to the iPhoto window or icon that is already in my photo library, iPhoto lets me know and asks if I do want to import the duplicate.

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After looking at the iPhoto info over at Apple, it appears I was wrong. However, as adamf said, you can use Image Capture instead. It will give you the option to preview and select specific photos to import (and I think they'll still be added to the iPhoto library).

 

+1 for Image Capture. i have a small Canon point and shoot and i have IC set up to auto open when it detects my camera plugged in. it allows you to preview the pics on your card at different sizes and to select however many you want to download/delete. i use Photoshop for all of my image adjustment so when i download pics, they get downloaded to a folder i have specifically for those images. i guess dl'ing straight to iPhoto makes it easier, but that's just my .02.

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