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Mac OS X: The Missing Manual, Panther Edition by David Pogue

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Image Capture

This unsung little program is something of an orphan. It was designed to download pictures from a USB digital 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 still includes Image Capture with Mac OS X for these reasons:

  • Image Capture makes it easy to download only some pictures from your camera (Figure 9-6). iPhoto, by contrast, always downloads the entire contents of your camera’s memory card.

  • Image Capture can grab images from Mac OS X-compatible scanners, too, not just digital cameras.

  • Image Capture can download your movies and sounds from a digital still camera; iPhoto can’t.

  • In Mac OS X 10.3, Image Capture can turn a compatible digital camera into a Webcam, broadcasting whatever it “sees” to anyone on your office network—or the whole Internet. Similarly, it can share a scanner with all the networked Macs in your office.

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 USB digital camera and turn it on. To set up that arrangement, open Image Capture manually. Choose Image CapturePreferences, click Camera, and choose Image Capture from the “When a camera is connected, open” pop-up menu.

In any case, once Image Capture is open, it looks like

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