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Camera Tips for Seniors: How to Transfer Pictures to a Computer

A few of our readers with digital cameras have contacted us, curious to know a bit more about the process of transferring pictures from the camera over to a computer. This is a natural concern; a camera could be near-perfect with a large LCD screen, an ergonomic design, and optical image stabilization but if the transferring process is overly complex or unintuitive, then those great photos aren’t going to do you much good.

With numerous digital cameras, the process of transferring photos from location A (the camera) to location B (the computer) gets confusing. Instructions are clouded in technical language. Understand that while the wording might get confusing, “uploading” and “downloading” pretty much have the same exact meaning in the context of transferring photos. And while each camera comes with its own uploading software, that uploading software isn’t necessary. You frequently have to pay for software upgrades in order to access advanced functionality.

You might not know that external software is usually unnecessary. We suggest that you transfer photos with the built in application; we consider this the easy, senior-friendly way to get photos on the computer.

For a PC with Windows XP:

Step 1. Connect the camera to the computer’s USB port, via USB cable.
Step 2. Turn the camera on.
Step 3. Windows XP will detect the connection and will ask you what you want to do with the camera. Double click Microsoft Scanner and Camera Wizard option.
Step 4. Windows will then ask you, “What do you want Windows to do?” Double click the “Copy pictures a folder on my computer using Microsoft Scanner and Camera Wizard” option.
Step 5. The Scanner and Camera Wizard will then appear. Click Next.
Step 6. By default, Windows XP selects all of the pictures for download but you can unselect pictures by checking the box next to the picture.
Step 7. Press next and give the folder a name.

For a Mac:

Step 1. Connect the camera to the computer’s USB port, via USB cable.
Step 2. Turn the camera on.
Step 3. Launch the iPhoto application. (It may open automatically, pending on your default settings)
Step 4. In the source panel (to the far left), click on your camera’s name under the ‘Device’ tab.
Step 5. If you want to import all of the pictures, click the “All” button or if you want specific pictures, click “Import Selected.

Note: As an alternative method for both a PC and a Mac, you could insert the camera’s memory card (instead of the USB cable) into the computer if the computer has a memory card port. Once the memory card is in the computer, follow the steps above.

Downloading pictures from your digital camera– (

Importing your pictures into iPhoto – (

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