Putting images back on a memory card

Image filePhotographers may need to put images back on a memory card in order to bring them to a photo lab,or to see them again on the camera’s LCD screen.

With a memory card reader, uploading pictures back onto it is easy. Access the card as you would any other hard disk or USB drive and copy the files. In Windows, that means using the “My Computer” icon.

Some cameras act as if they were card readers. When the camera is connected to a computer, a “Removable Disk” icon appears in “My Computer”. Simply proceed as you would with a regular card reader.

sddisk iconMany digital cameras come with a proprietary editing program that can be used to upload the files directly back onto the card.

Not all cameras act as card readers but use another communication protocol. When plugged in, the camera appears under “Scanners and cameras” in the “My Computer” menu. You can then access the files stored in the camera but you cannot upload pictures.

The only way to upload imges back onto the memory card is to use the software provided with the camera. For instance, Canon’s ZoomBrowser lets you upload imaage files by clicking on the “Camera and Memory Card Button” when a camera is connected and a picture is selected. If you don’t have this or similar option, the only solution is to use a card reader.

Copy files, don’t move them

When transferring files to a memory card, remember to COPY the files instead of MOVING. Moving files means they will be removed from your computer’s hard disk, and will be lost unless copied back from the memory card.

Naming files

In order to use the files in a photo lab, or to see them on another computer, use any file name. You can edit the pictures before uploading or remove EXIF data without problems. However, to see the pictures on your camera, you must:

  • preserve the exact file name
  • use the same folder name as when the camera stored the picture originally
  • make sure the EXIF data is preserved.

DCIMFor most brands, you must also upload an unedited version of the file. Using the software provided with the camera to upload your files generally takes care of these requirements.

Store files in the DCIM folder

When uploading the images with a card reader, store files in the DCIM (Digital Camera IMage) folder or a sub-folder that resides on the memory card. Some devices, like PDAs, will only look for pictures in that specific folder. Most photo labs don’t have this problem, however.

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