Image Capture

This unsung little program was originally designed to download pictures from a camera and then process them automatically (turning them into a Web page, scaling them to emailable size, and so on). Of course, after Image Capture’s birth, iPhoto came along, generally blowing its predecessor out of the water.

Even so, Apple includes Image Capture with OS X for these reasons:

  • Image Capture is a smaller, faster app for downloading all or only some pictures from your camera (Figure 11-16). iPhoto can do that nowadays, but sometimes that’s like using a bulldozer to get out a splinter.

  • Image Capture can grab images from scanners, too, not just cameras.

  • Image Capture can download your sounds (like voice notes) from a digital still camera; iPhoto can’t.

You can open Image Capture in either of two ways: You can simply double-click its icon in your Applications folder, or you can set it up to open automatically whenever you connect a digital camera and turn it on. To set up that arrangement, open Image Capture manually. Using the “Connecting this camera opens:” pop-up menu at the bottom of the pane, choose Image Capture.


Image Capture remembers your setting here separately for each camera. For example, you can set it up so that when you connect your fancy SLR camera, Aperture opens; when you connect your spouse’s pocket camera, iPhoto opens; and when you connect your iPhone, Image Capture opens, so you can quickly grab the best shots and email them directly.

Once Image Capture is ...

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