How to make copies of all your old camera's pictures

nikon coolpix 950

Reader Kevin Kincaid has a question about an old camera and new desire. He writes:

I’ve had a number of digital cameras over the years and I’m interested in retrieving all the images shot with a particular one. Any suggestions how I might find them?

I have two, in fact. The first is to open iPhoto, choose File > New Smart Album, and in the sheet that appears create a condition that reads Any Text Contains [camera model], where the last entry is the model iPhoto recognizes for your camera. (If you’re not sure how iPhoto identifies your camera, just select an image taken with it and click the Info button at the bottom-right of the iPhoto window. In the resulting Info pane look near the top for the model number.)

iphoto smart camera

A smart album like this will help you find images taken with a specific camera.

This is the easy way to do it. However, it may not be the best way. When I tried this with images taken with an old Nikon Coolpix 950, iPhoto produced not only the original images, but some thumbnails as well. (The blame for this can be laid at my feet as I apparently performed some import goofiness years ago and cluttered up my iPhoto library with these things.)

One way to eliminate this issue would be to additionally filter images by their size. If I set the bar high enough, none of thumbnails would appear. Regrettably, iPhoto’s smart albums don’t let you use size as a condition.

Automator, however, does. And that’s the other option.

Launch Automator and from the workflow template chooser select Workflow and click Choose.

In the Finder, navigate to your iPhoto Library archive (found in youruserfolder/Pictures, by default), Control-click (right-click) on it, and choose Show Package Contents. From within this folder drag the Masters folder into the Automator workflow area. This will create a Get Specified Finder Items action.

While still in the Finder create a new folder and call it “Copied Images.”

In Automator select Files & Folders from the Library pane and drag the following actions into the workflow area: Get Folder Contents, Filter Finder Items, and Copy Finder Items.

In the Get Folder Contents action enable the Repeat for each subfolder found option.

automator camera import

The complete Automator workflow (click to expand).

For the Filter Finder Items action create one condition that reads Any content contains [camera model] (again, entering your camera model). Click the plus (+) button to the right and create another condition that reads Size is greater than 750KB. This should eliminate any thumbnails. Configure this action to read All of the following are true.

Finally, move back to the Finder and drag the Copied Images folder you created to the To pop-up menu found in the last action.

You can save the workflow if you like, but if this is a one-shot deal, just click the Run button at the top of the window. The workflow will do as instructed and copy all the larger images taken with that particular camera into your Copied Images folder.

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