Importing Photos With Image Capture

You can use the handy Image Capture app on your Mac to import and manage the photos on your camera, SD cards or iPhone. By using Image Capture you can skip library apps like iPhoto and Aperture and bring photos and videos directly from the device or card to the Finder. You can also delete photos and videos from the device or card without importing them.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: Importing Photos With Image Capture.

Hi, this is Gary with Let me show you how you can use the Image Capture app to import photos and videos.

So I want to show you an app that is on your Mac called Image Capture. You can find it in the Applications folder. I'm using Image Capture version 6.3 but most versions have always worked like this.

The cool thing about Image Capture is if you have a camera and you want to connect it to your Mac or you have a SD card from your camera and you want to connect that, even connecting your iPhone or iPad that you've used to take pictures you don't have to use iPhoto to bring the photos into your iPhoto library.

If you just want to grab the photos and have them as files you can use Image Capture.

I'm going to insert an SD card into my Mac and you will see all the pictures are just going to appear here in Image Capture. I can browse through them. I can change the magnification here to look at them. I can select them. When I select one I can hit the Import button to bring it in. I can select multiple ones and import those or simply import them all from the camera.

Or better still, I can simply drag and drop from Image Capture to the Finder. I'm going to drag to the Desktop here but I could easily drag it to a folder in a Finder window as well. See how easy it is to grab those photos.

The same is true for videos. Here I've got a video and I can grab that and drag that out as well.

Not only that, but Image Capture does something really cool. I can delete a photo. I can select it or select more then one and I can hit this Delete button to get rid of it from the SD card, or camera, or iPhone. I'm going to do that right here without ever having to import it or anything. So it is a great tool to be able to really manipulate these photos as you want.

You can also view things in the List View here. It shows you all sorts of information about the individual photos. This is before you have even imported them. They're still just sitting on the card or on your phone.

Note that if you are going to use the import button, so you select a few here, this is the location where they go. So you want to make sure that you set the location first. Drag and drop method works well with you not having to worry about that.

But also notice that you can set an App for a location. So you can make the photos go to iPhoto or you can make them go to Preview, for instance. I can select Preview, select this photo, hit Import and it opens up in Preview. It doesn't save the file anywhere. I can now work with it in Preview without having to create a file first.

I can even select Mail as the destination. When I import the photo it create a new message with that photo in it. So it is coming right from the card or the camera directly into an email message.

Image Capture even works with multiple devices connected at the same time. So I've just plugged in my iPhone and I can switch to it. I can see the photo in there and do the same thing here. I can select a bunch and delete them. So, especially now that you can use Burst mode and take tons and tons of pictures very quickly, it is interesting to be able to use Image Capture to quickly go through the photos on your iPhone and just delete the ones that you don't want to keep and then import the ones, or just drag and drop the ones that you want to keep without ever having to use iPhoto or Aperture or any other software.

I think that where this is particularly useful is for people that use cameras and photography professionally and don't necessarily want to put all their pictures into an App like Aperture or iPhoto. They can simply drag and drop them into a folder and manage them as files. Bring them into photoshop and do things with them like that rather than filling up a library especially if you also take personal photos and then you don't want to mix and match the professional ones, the ones for work, with the ones you take of your family.

Comments: 8 Responses to “Importing Photos With Image Capture”

    5 years ago

    That wonderful app has been sitting there unused for years. I can’t thank you enough. It works great.

    Linda Lyn
    5 years ago

    I will try it out ,from seeing you doing it look not too hard to do. Well, I have try it to find out for myself. Thank you so much.

    5 years ago

    Great tip. Do you need to plug in an I-phone to import or can it be done wireless ? Thanks.

      5 years ago

      You need to connect it via your dock or lightning cable.

    Anne Cartwright
    5 years ago

    Will this also work with an iPod touch (4th gen) and/or an iPad (2nd gen)?

    5 years ago

    My wife and I both have iPhone. When I use Image Capture to pull photos, each phone has (different) pics with the same name. So if I overwrite, something gets deleted. Any way around this?


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