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Accessing Images on the Camera

Importing images from a camera is similar to importing images from a scanner in Photoshop Elements. The basic steps involve connecting the camera to the computer, installing the camera software drivers and TWAIN plug-ins, and then choosing the TWAIN plug-in in Photoshop Elements. This section shows you how to bring images from a digital camera into Photoshop Elements.

The first thing to do is plug the serial or USB cable into your computer. Connecting a camera to a computer creates a physical hardware connection between the two devices. Next, you'll need to install software that enables your computer to communicate with the software on your camera. You can install the software from the CD-ROM that comes bundled with the camera or download the software from the camera manufacturer's Web site.

Setting Up the Software

Some cameras are bundled with TWAIN plug-in software, which will enable you to control the camera within the Photoshop Elements work area (see "Installing Plug-In Files" at the beginning of this chapter for more information). Other cameras have their own custom software you must use to download images from the camera onto your computer. If your camera falls into the latter category, follow the instructions that came with your camera, and download the image files onto your computer's hard drive. Then skip ahead to the next chapter.

Downloading Images to Your Computer

Controlling a camera in the Photoshop Elements work area is similar to the way you work with a scanner.

There are two ways you can open the Select Import Source dialog box: Click the Import button in the shortcuts bar or click the Connect to Camera or Scanner button on the Welcome window. After the File, Import submenu or Select Import Source dialog box is open, select a camera from the list. Then, wait for the camera's software window to open in the Photoshop Elements work area.


Windows XP may enable you to download images using an Explorer window. Mac OS X users can try to use iPhoto to connect to and download images from a digital camera.

The user interface varies depending on the camera you're using. Usually, the software user interface is very simple. When Photoshop Elements first connects to the camera, a thumbnail image of each picture on the camera is downloaded to the computer. If you want to copy the file from the camera to the computer, click the Acquire button (see Figure 3.10).

Figure 3.10 Download images from your camera to your computer in Photoshop Elements.

You might find that downloading images over a cable takes more time than you'd like. It will also drain your camera's batteries. If you want to copy all the files from the storage card in your camera directly onto your computer's hard drive, without viewing any of the files, you can insert the storage card into a media reader or PC Card adapter. If you're using a media card reader, you'll need to install additional software on your desktop computer so that it can recognize the USB device.

If you're using a PC Card adapter, you probably won't need to install any additional software to view or copy files from the storage card to your computer. However, some PC Card adapters require you to install software to work with a particular version of Windows or Mac OS. Windows 98, 2000, and XP, as well as Mac OS 9 and X, all have built-in support for reading files from CompactFlash, SmartMedia, and Sony Memory Stick storage cards (see Figure 3.11).

Figure 3.11 Insert the media card from the camera into a PC Card adapter to quickly access your image files.

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