What is Image Capture?

Most Mac users are familiar with iPhoto, Apple’s default photo editing app, but they may not know that there’s another photo tool sitting in the Applications folder. Image Capture offers a more streamlined approach for downloading your photos onto a computer, and it can also control other devices, such as scanners and tablets. Below, we’ve outlined what makes Image Capture great, including a few cool features that set it apart from iPhoto.  

What is Image Capture?

In essence, Image Capture is a photo management program. When you plug in a digital camera, smartphone, or tablet, the software shows exactly what photos are stored on each device. You can preview and import photos, see details about their aperture and file size, scan documents, and much more. In addition, you can specify what happens when you plug in a device. If you don’t like iPhoto opening every time you plug in your iPhone, just change the “Connecting this camera opens” setting in the bottom-left corner to “None”.
 
There are so many hidden features in Image Capture! Here are just a few things you can do with this deceptively simple software:
 
Set a Default Photo Application
Of course, you can also change the “Connecting this camera opens” setting to another photo software, such as Adobe Lightroom. Any editing programs installed on your computer will appear in the pop-up menu, which is located on the bottom-left. To choose a program that’s not on the list, select “Other” and then click on the application within the directory.  
 
Control the Scanner
If you have a scanner connected to your computer (via USB or wi-fi), it’s easy to control it with Image Capture. Just load the software, click on the scanner in the Devices section, and then select “Show Details” to see a wide range of scanning options. Here, you can specify the resolution, size, colors, and file format of the scanned document. Click the “Scan” button, and you’re done!
 
Design a Website
Besides the Import feature, there’s also an “Import To” menu that allows you to send images to another app. For example, you can create a photo contact sheet by choosing “MakePDF” from the menu, or design a mock-up web page with some photo thumbnails.
 
To do the latter, select “Build Web Page” from the menu, choose the images you want to include, and then click “Import”. Now, your default web browser should open, and your selected images will be arranged on a website. If you click on a thumbnail, you can see a larger version as well.    
 
Import Photos Automatically
Besides Image Capture, there’s another overlooked Mac application called AutoImporter, which allows you to pull photos from a device as soon as it’s connected. To enable this app, first choose a device from Image Capture’s device tab, and then select “AutoImporter” from the Applications menu. From now on, when you connect the device, any photos will be imported into a separate “AutoImport” folder within the main Pictures folder. No need to load Image Capture, iPhoto, or any other software!
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