How to transfer pics
December 26, 2012 9:53 AM   Subscribe

How do I copy photos efficiently to my computer?

When i insert my SD card from my camera I used to be able to choose from an import menu on where and how I wanted to transfer pics to my system. For some reason this no longer appears (running Windows 7). What I have been doing is moving the pics to the desktop, creating a new folder, and the moving the folder to my pics directory. There has to be a more efficient way.
I use Lightroom and Photoshop too, but I don't want to transfer directly into those programs, I prefer to import into those programs after the pics are on my system.
posted by jtexman1 to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Are you sure the import menu you talk about came from native Windows or from some other application? I know lightroom can be configured to open a popup when an SD card gets inserted. Out of the top of my head I can not remember Windows ever asking me anything when I pop an SD card in.
posted by nostrada at 9:58 AM on December 26, 2012

You can set up your import preferences in Lightroom to maintain whatever file structure you are using. This will also add the images to your LR library, but it does it all in one step.
posted by bradbane at 9:59 AM on December 26, 2012

What about using Bridge? You can set up your import preferences (for example, create a new folder with the image creation date on the desktop) and then just click to import. If you routinely want to import to the same location, then you need only set your preferences once. Very easy.
posted by blaneyphoto at 10:06 AM on December 26, 2012

It sounds like you're talking about AutoPlay, which is a Windows function that pops up a dialog box when you insert some media (SD card, external hard drive, mp3 player, etc.) and asks you what you want to do with it. There is an option, called the Import Picture Wizard, to import pictures to a specified folder.

Some possible solutions:

Configuring AutoPlay
Configuring Import Picture Wizard
posted by danceswithlight at 11:52 AM on December 26, 2012

One option would be to get an Eye-Fi SD card and set it to import new photos into a specific folder or folder structure on your computer via your Wi-Fi every time your camera is turned on and in wireless range. There's a little expense upfront to buy the card, and you'll have to set it up, but after that, you'll be saved the hassle of pulling the card out of the camera, plugging it in, and making sure the import settings are correct every time.
posted by limeonaire at 11:54 AM on December 26, 2012

Maybe this is obvious, but you can skip the step where you copy photos from the SD card to your desktop. Create the folder in your pics directory and copy the photos directly from the card to the pics directory.
posted by cnc at 2:16 PM on December 26, 2012 [2 favorites]

Thanks all. I looked for a way to go directly into a folder as cnc suggested, but I didn't see that option on the menu. I can look again or at one of the other options suggested. Putting them onto the desktop and then putting them somewhere else is a pain. If I hold down the control when I select the pics the computer ends up making copies of them. Anyway, I will figure it out.
posted by jtexman1 at 4:55 PM on December 26, 2012

You should be able to navigate to the SD card in Windows Explorer (it should be a drive that shows up under Computer in the left-hand panel), then copy the picture files from it into your desired location, dragging and dropping into another instance of Windows Explorer. I think this might be what cnc was suggesting? This is how I import my photos in Windows 7 from SD cards.
posted by girih knot at 10:55 PM on December 27, 2012

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