positioning the Mac platform, both hardware and software, as a hub for the digital lifestyle, it’s not surprising that Mac OS X 10.1 has beefed up features designed to appeal to digital photographers.
The operating system’s Image Capture application makes it easy to get your pictures, audio, and short movie clips from your digital camera into your Mac. Apple says the app supports “most popular digital cameras,” including such models as the Canon Elph and G1, the Kodak DC3400 and DX3600, the Nikon Coolpix 990, and the Sony Cyber-shot. They’re the ones that Apple mentions specifically, but many more are supported. If you camera supports standard protocols such as Mass Storage, Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP), and Digita, it should work with Mac OS X 10.1.
Apple says this level of out-of-the-box support for digital cameras beats that of any other operating system around. And developers can add support for specific cameras by taking advantage of the Image Capture plug-in programming interface.
How does it work? Just connect your camera to your Mac using USB or a media card reader. Mac OS X automatically detects the device and launches the Image Capture application. The app can automatically download the images to your Mac’s Picture folder (which is inside the Home folder). The Picture folder is designed to offer an organizational area for your images.
Once your photos are downloaded, Image Capture can tackle automated tasks such as auto formatting and building a Web page. You can choose which job you want from Automatic Task pop-up menu before starting the download process. Or, using the Preferences menu, you can tell Image Capture to download photos automatically whenever you plug in your camera.
The Picture folder is also integrated into the Mac OS X screen saver. This means the screen saver utility can automatically access your Pictures folder to create a custom screen saver slide show that’s enhanced by OpenGL transitions. Open the Screen Saver preference in the Systems Preference application and choose Select Slide Show from the Screen Savers column. Click Test to view your new screen saver.
The result, according to Apple, is that your monitor is transformed into a big digital picture frame. Plus, you can access your Pictures folder from the Desktop preference, offering a quick and easy way to customize your desktop image with your own pics.
Image Capture has built-in capabilities such as a thumbnail browser that lets you choose which images you’d like to download to your Mac. It can automatically embed a ColorSync profile into each image, which helps ensure more accurate color when the images are displayed and printed. You can choose which metadata to display, such as flash, shutter, exposure, and aperture, as well as image info such as file size, width, height, resolution, and such.
If your digital camera can capture sounds and movies, they’ll be downloaded to the Music and Movies folders, also inside the Home folder.