Importing Photos from Cameras and Card Readers

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If you are connecting your camera directly to your computer, via a serial, USB or FireWire cable, first make sure that you have all the necessary drivers that came with your camera. If you are running Windows XP, drivers for some cameras (models of Nikon, Kodak, Olympus, and others) are already installed. Still, I recommend installing the drivers that actually came with your camera. If you don't know where the disk containing the drivers is, you should be able to download the drivers from the camera manufacturer's Web site.

If this is the first time connecting your camera, I recommend reading the documentation that came with your camera. As dry as most manuals are, the information is usually useful. And let's face it, if the camera isn't talking to the computer, there's no way the images are getting into Album.

The exact steps you take to import photos from a digital camera also depend on the kind of driver your camera uses:

i TWAIN drivers: TWAIN is a universal software standard that links applications and devices, such as cameras and scanners. If your camera came with a TWAIN driver, it must be installed so that the computer and Album can talk to the camera. Also, if you are running Windows 2000 or 98SE, you will have to work with TWAIN drivers.

i WIA (Windows Image Acquisition) drivers: WIA can be used only if you're running Windows XP or ME. If your camera is WIA-enabled, you can get photos from your camera by clicking a single button in Album.

Some cameras mount directly to your computer like a hard drive. Getting photos from a mounted camera is similar to getting photos from a hard drive, so follow the steps in the section "Importing Photos from Your Hard Drive," earlier in this chapter.

If your camera uses a flash card or memory card, like a CompactFlash or SmartMedia, or another kind of card and you have a reader attached to your computer, Album also can import images from the reader. In fact, importing from the reader is usually faster, quicker and pretty much hassle-free. If you have a choice between importing from the camera or from the reader, I recommend going with the reader.

To get photos directly from the camera or the reader, follow these steps:

1. Make sure that your camera or card reader is connected to the computer.

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If you are unsure how to connect the camera or card to the computer, check the documentation that came with your camera. Most likely a USB cable was included in the box along with your camera or card reader.

Manufacturers recommend that you keep the camera turned off while cabling it up. Card readers usually don't have any on and off switch, so don't worry about those being off.

If you're connecting your camera via a serial cable, turn off your camera and your computer, as well. If you don't, the computer may not recognize that the camera is connected.

2. Turn on your camera.

At this point, some juice is needed.

Note: If you're running Windows XP or Me and using a WIA-enabled camera, Album may begin importing your photos automatically, so you can skip the rest of the steps. Your newly imported images appear in the Photo Well. Click the Clear button to see your entire catalog.

3. Choose FileOGet Photos from Camera or Card Reader.

You also can use one of these methods:

• Click the Get Photos button in the Shortcuts bar and choose From Camera or Card Reader from the drop-down menu.

• Choose HelpOQuick Guide and click the Get Photos button or tab. Click the Camera button.

The Get Photos from Camera or Card Reader dialog box appears, as shown in Figure 4-4.

4. Choose the name of the camera or reader from the Camera pop-up menu, if necessary.

If you have already established your settings in the Preferences dialog box (described in the next section), you bypass the dialog box, and your photos are imported directly into the Photo Well.

Album may not distinguish between the camera or reader in the Camera pop-up menu. Both may appear as <Camera or Card Reader> rather than the specific name of the device. And to make matters more confusing, if you happen to have a Zip drive, it may also be called <Camera or Card Reader>. If you're not sure what device belongs to what drive letter, use Windows Explorer and check and see what contents are on each drive letter.

5. Click the Browse button if you want to save the imported photos in a particular folder on your hard drive. In the Browse for Folder dialog box, navigate to the folder and then click OK.

Figure 4-4:

Choose your camera or card reader from the appropriately named Get Photos from Camera or Card Reader dialog box.

Figure 4-4:

Choose your camera or card reader from the appropriately named Get Photos from Camera or Card Reader dialog box.

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By default, Album stores the files at C:\Documents and Settings\My Pictures\Adobe\Digital Camera Photos\. You also can create a new folder if desired.

If you want to import your photos into a new subfolder, which is named using the date and time of import, select the Create Subfolder Using Date/Time of Import option.

This subfolder is saved inside the folder that appears in the Save Files In field. This option can come in handy if you have other folders on your computer identified by date and time, and you want to be able to readily identify this new batch of images.

If you want to delete the files from your camera after they have been imported into Album, select Delete Photos on Camera or Memory Card after Import option.

If you choose this option, Album displays a prompt when you click OK, asking you if this is really what you want to do.

I really don't recommend selecting this option, just in case something goes awry in the importing process. You can always delete the images later, after you're sure they have been imported successfully.

The Import All Photos option is available only if you have a WIA-enabled camera. Select it if you want to import all the images on the camera.

If you want to select only certain photos, don't check this option.

9. Click OK and watch the magic happen.

If your camera uses TWAIN drivers, Album may launch the manufacturer's software that came with your camera. If so, just follow the onscreen instructions to import the photos from your camera. If there aren't any, consult your camera's documentation.

Album flashes a quick preview of the images as it imports them.

Album may display a dialog box that tells you that only newly imported files are being displayed. Click OK. If you don't want to see this message again, check the Don't Show Again option before you click OK. They are then displayed in the Photo Well. Click the Shortcuts button in the Shortcuts bar or the Clear button in the Find bar to see your entire catalog.

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Reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information presented in this book is  accurate. However, the reader should understand that the information provided does not constitute legal, medical or professional advice of any kind.

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