Getting the images out of a camera via USB with a Mac

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Isaac Wingfield, May 27, 2004.

  1. I'm an old Mac hand, but a newbie at digital photography. I want to get
    a cheap camera with a USB interface to hack around with -- maybe try
    some of my old 35mm lenses.

    I'm trying to learn how to get the image files from the camera to my
    Mac, but the sources I've come across don't seem very confident of their
    answers. They say things like "Well, it *should*..." but I need to know
    for certain.

    Because of what I want to do (take it apart, maybe break it), I want to
    buy the cheapest possible camera, and most of those seem to come only
    with Windows software. If that software is just for image editing and
    cataloging, I don't care; all Iwant to do is get the images (jpg??) out
    of the camera and onto my iMac. OS 9, BTW, not OS X. Also, the cheapest
    cameras seem not to have removable memory cards, so a "universal" USB
    card reader won't work; I need to connect directly to the camera.

    What I want to know is:

    Does the camera look like a storage device to the Mac (i.e. can I just
    "mount" the camera via USB and see the files)?

    Do I need a special driver just to get the files transferred (I have
    Photoshop, so once I get the files, I assume I can edit them)?

    Does every manufacturer have a special, proprietary driver (or will one
    driver read any camera)?

    In general, the question is. can I get the images out of any USB camera
    I run across, or do I have to be careful to get one that has Mac drivers?

    thanks, Isaac
    Isaac Wingfield, May 27, 2004
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  2. Isaac Wingfield

    Lisa Horton Guest

    For the very modest price of a card reader, you can save yourself the

    Lisa Horton, May 27, 2004
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  3. Except that, as I said, the cheapest cameras do not have removable media.

    Isaac Wingfield, May 27, 2004
  4. And you said you are on OS9. Go to osX and you'll be in luck.
    John McWilliams, May 27, 2004
  5. Isaac Wingfield

    Lisa Horton Guest

    Ah, sorry, I missed that part.

    Lisa Horton, May 27, 2004
  6. Please explain; I can go to X if it matters. I just haven't felt the
    need so far.

    Isaac Wingfield, May 28, 2004
  7. Mac osX contains drivers for thousands of devices; most USB devices when
    plugged in mount automatically, or launch an appropriate application for
    handling the content.

    Mac OS9 doesn't have these capabilities, and never will. While some may
    snort, iPhoto- available only on osX - is fabulous for importing digital
    pix and doing *minor* cosmetics, then making the output readily
    available for web, E-mail, full size Export, slide shows, etc.
    John McWilliams, May 28, 2004
  8. Isaac Wingfield

    Mike Lane Guest

    I'm not familiar with OS 9 but with OS X the process is extremely simple.
    When a USB camera is connected, it is mounted as a removable drive from which
    you can drag and drop files to any location you wish.

    The default action though, is for iPhoto to launch itself. A click on the
    'import' button will then download all the images into iPhoto. You have to
    import all of the images and delete any unwanted ones afterwards though.

    Alternatively you can use Image Capture, which will present a window with all
    the images as resizable thumbnails. From this you can select any or all of
    the images to download to any location that you specify.

    No drivers or any special software is required for any of this provided a USB
    connection is used. Both iPhoto and Image Capture are included with OS X.
    Mike Lane, Jun 4, 2004
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