Mac-compatible DSLRs?

Discussion in 'Digital SLR' started by Dr. Boggis, Apr 18, 2006.

  1. Dr. Boggis

    Dr. Boggis Guest

    I'm about to buy an entry-level DSLR (haven't quite decided which yet),
    and have found it difficult to find out whether the bundled software
    with the cameras is Mac (OSX) compatible. Does anyone know about these:

    Canon EOS350D
    Nikon D50/D70s
    Olympus E-500
    Pentax *ist-DL or DS
    Dr. Boggis, Apr 18, 2006
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  2. Dr. Boggis

    Randy Howard Guest

    Dr. Boggis wrote
    (in article
    Does anyone actually use the bundled software?

    If you're using a Mac, you need a CF or SD reader (depending on
    camera) and Photoshop CS2. You might also spring for a
    third-party RAW converter depending upon your needs.

    It's not released as a commercial product yet, but the Adobe
    Lightroom beta is also a compelling offering to try out for
    Randy Howard, Apr 18, 2006
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  3. Speaking only re the Canon, you don't *need* a reader, however useful
    they may be for 20 bucks or so. You can connect the cable to any USB
    port and download that way. I use Image Capture, comes with all osX Macs.

    You certainly don't need PS, nor the Adobe Creative Suite, again,
    however useful they are. Updated Mac OSes handle RAW files well, and you
    can do your conversions in iPhoto, or buy PS Elements- or use the Canon
    software; your choice.
    Yes; you can try it for free until Adobe says no more and releases a
    pay-for version. Also you can get 30 day trials of both PS and Elements
    for the Mac.
    John McWilliams, Apr 18, 2006
  4. Dr. Boggis

    wayne Guest

    The 350D, Nikons and Olympus all come with Windows/Mac software. I
    don't remember the Pentax but I think it does.

    The only real reason to use the supplied software is if you do not have
    a recent version of Photoshop and so the RAW format of the camera is
    not supported. I often end up having to use the supplied software when
    I am reviewing cameras because they are often not yet supported.
    Actually there is one other reason to use the supplied software and
    that is that I have noticed with many cameras that all the camera
    information is not available in Adobe Bridge but is if you view the RAW
    file in the manufacturer's software. Thinks like custom function
    settings. Again for most people this is probably not an issue but I use
    it to pick between shots taken with and without noise reduction, for

    For image transfer I certainly prefer removing the memory card and
    using a card reader rather than plugging the cable into the camera.



    Wayne J. Cosshall
    Publisher, The Digital ImageMaker,
    Blog and Podcast
    Personal art site
    wayne, Apr 18, 2006
  5. Dr. Boggis

    Roy Smith Guest

    Why do you need a card reader? Can't you just download over USB,
    WiFi, firewire, bluetooth, or whatever else the camera supports?
    Roy Smith, Apr 18, 2006
  6. Dr. Boggis

    Dr. Boggis Guest

    Dunno, I've never had a DSLR before!
    Why would I need a card reader? Can't it mount the card and transfer by
    Dr. Boggis, Apr 18, 2006
  7. Dr. Boggis

    Pete D Guest

    Of course but then you would have to turn on your camera, with a $6 card
    reader you simply pop the card in the reader.
    Pete D, Apr 18, 2006
  8. Dr. Boggis

    Randy Howard Guest

    John McWilliams wrote
    Using a dedicated reader (which are dirt cheap) is MUCH faster
    and easier than connecting the camera to the computer via USB.
    Well worth it, imho.
    That hasn't been my experience, manipulating Nikon .NEF raw
    files will *frequently* crash finder and/or iPhoto. It seems to
    do okay with small folders with a limited number of files in
    them. Try to drag a few hundred raw files from a CF drive to
    the hard drive using finder (or import via iPhoto) will crash
    and lock up (or restart finder) more often than not.

    It may be different with Canon's raw format, but I find raw file
    handling to be rather fragile using built-in OS X tools. Bridge
    never has any trouble at all however, so it's on Apple's side.
    iPhoto isn't a serious tool. It's a toy, useful for soccer moms
    and point and shoot users, but since this is an SLR newsgroup,
    you may want to aim higher.

    Certainly Elements is a way to find out you wish you had
    purchased CS2 over time. :)
    Randy Howard, Apr 18, 2006
  9. Dr. Boggis

    Randy Howard Guest

    Roy Smith wrote
    Sure, if you want to spend more time, and have to tether the
    camera to your computer when you could be shooting pictures
    instead. This is especially true with multiple cards and an
    assistant, or even a reasonably well-trained wife. :)
    Randy Howard, Apr 18, 2006
  10. Does anyone actually use the bundled software?

    I do, with my Pentax (and I'm virtually certain it supports Mac). Not
    so much the photo browser, although on occasion it is useful. But the
    RAW conversion program supplied by Pentax seems to do a better job, and
    give more useful camera-specific control, than either of the freeware
    programs I've tried, and I'm not about to spend hundreds of dollars
    upgrading my Photoshop.
    Presumably, but that's slower and uses battery power, plus as others
    mentioned, it ties up your camera. Deciding to spend $10 on a card
    reader is a no-brainer, IMHO.

    Marc Sabatella

    Music, art, & educational materials
    Featuring "A Jazz Improvisation Primer"
    Marc Sabatella, Apr 19, 2006
  11. The supplied Canon software is mediocre at best. You can plug the Canon
    in directly , but a card reader is the best bet. Don't know about the
    other non-Canons.
    Randall Ainsworth, Apr 19, 2006
  12. Dr. Boggis

    Paul J Gans Guest

    That runs the (slight) chance that the camera battery will
    poop out in mid transfer. If a card reader is used the power
    comes from the computer power supply.

    ---- Paul J. Gans
    Paul J Gans, Apr 19, 2006
  13. Dr. Boggis

    bmoag Guest

    Why don't you get a real computer to go with your camera?
    Realize that Apple is abandoning the OSX platform, for which there is
    available some good software.
    However if you buy into Mactel you are going to have to dual boot to Windows
    as there is still no native software, or drivers, to actually use your very
    expensive new toy with.
    bmoag, Apr 19, 2006
  14. Dr. Boggis

    default Guest

    With the Canon's, Adobe Photoshop CS2 with ACR works pretty well, but there
    are some things that the Canon software (Digital Photo Professional and Raw
    Image Task) do much better. The Canon programs allow you to set the options
    exactly as the camera does them so that it is easy to create the same image
    as the in camera jpg or just create the image as if you had changed the
    camera settings. Adobe has its own defaults and adjustments and doesn't
    replicate the camera controls exactly.

    The other big missing piece in CS2 ACR is the Black and White modes. The
    closest it has is desaturation. It doesn't have the filtering and toning
    options that are also camera options. Most of the time when I want to do
    black and white pictures, I will use the Canon software as it is much better
    at it.

    Hopefully Adobe will improve ACR further as it is faster and does many other
    things better such as noise reduction, good levels adjustment (although not
    as detailed as Canon DPP), and chromatic aberation corrections.

    With the Rebel XT (350D), the card reader seems only slightly faster than
    the camera with USB. I understand that the 300D had only USB 1.1 and was
    fairly slow at transferring the files.
    default, Apr 19, 2006
  15. Dr. Boggis

    DoN. Nichols Guest

    [ ... ]

    Other's snipped, because this is the camera which I have.

    [ ... ]
    First off -- you don't *really* need the bundled software if you
    shoot in jpegs --as there are many programs available for almost any

    Second -- the CD-ROM which came with the D70 contained both
    Windows and Mac programs -- plus some which were time-limited demo
    versions of more expensive programs -- at least for the Windows side. I
    don't know about the Mac side there.

    I did for a while. I used Picture Project (on Windows) to
    download the images (from a card reader), and then move them to my unix
    machines to process the images.

    I would occasionally work in Photoshop Elements on the Windows
    boxes, but preferred to work on the unix ones.

    But now, I've got dcraw for conversion from raw images, and "The
    GIMP" for processing, and I prefer that. And I have a SCSI to PCMCIA
    drive on the unix box, and a PCMCIA to CF card adaptor to allow me to
    read the card from the unix system -- since this machine is too old to
    have a USB port. But it works reliably for the task.

    Since your Mac's OS-X has a unix kernel hiding under the GUI,
    you can run both dcraw and The Gimp on that. You will need to install
    the development system (including a compiler) which is free for OS-X to
    compile dcraw. And you'll have to do the compile from a terminal
    window. I suspect that The GIMP is available already compiled for your
    system. And both are totally free, so you can't beat that.

    If your Mac is a laptop, it has a PCMCIA (PC card) reader built
    into it, so the PCMCIA to CF adaptor (or PCMCIA to SD should be
    available as well) could be used without the USB.
    Not if you have a Sun Ultra-2 -- too old for USB support.

    And consider the additional drain on the camera's battery during
    the transfers -- a lot more than when the camera is turned on waiting
    for you to decide to focus and take another shot. Ideally, you should
    have an external power supply to use during such transfers.

    DoN. Nichols, Apr 19, 2006
  16. Dr. Boggis

    fishfry Guest

    I use a Mac with my Canon 350D. The bundled software works fine but I
    don't tend to use it much. For uploading I have a FireWire cardreader.
    Sucks up a gigabyte in a minute or so.
    fishfry, Apr 19, 2006
  17. Dr. Boggis

    fishfry Guest

    Oh please. That's just not true.
    fishfry, Apr 19, 2006
  18. Dr. Boggis

    Pete D Guest

    Pete D, Apr 19, 2006
  19. *cough* bullshit
    Randall Ainsworth, Apr 19, 2006
  20. Dr. Boggis

    tomm42 Guest

    Why would I need a card reader? Can't it mount the card and transfer by

    Yes but as been said it is slow and the camera needs battery power to
    do the transfer. If you zone out and don't put a fresh battery in the
    camera before you download, you can loose pictures on the card.
    Happened to me with my first digital camera, have used a card reader
    ever since. Card readers cost, realisticly $25-30 (multiformat), every
    once in a while there is a deal (just got one for free from Ecost,
    rebate of course). You can find single format readers for around $20.
    Readers also run off USB power so there is no chance of loosing pics.
    Unless you prefer programs that file pictures for you, like IPhoto, you
    can structure your folders as you like.
    Most software that comes with cameras is useless, and very slow, Canon,
    Nikon, Pentax of Fuji all make great cameras and lousy SW. Photoshop
    Elements is a good way to start.

    tomm42, Apr 19, 2006
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