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Can't import photo's from Canon 550d to Mac


Where do I begin? ... I have a Canon 550d, am wanting to import photos from the camera to my iMac, OS X El Capitan, version 10.11.1. I connected the USB cable (Which I had to buy separately), but nothing pops up automatically, nothing shows up. So I put in the EOS Digital Solution/Software disk, and even the manual for the actual software disk, did what it said and whilst I may have the apps it downloads, they don't seem to recognize any device. 


So I do a little research, which turns into A LOT of research, including reading up on people who have had the same problem. And whilst their solutions seem to fix easily with a simple, 'download this and do that'. Whether that's downloading/ upgrading EOS Utility or going into Applications - Utilities - System Infomation and then checking if the device is recognized, (Which it isn't) nothing works. I have downloaded at least four different versions of EOS Utility, EOS Utility 2, EOS Utility 3, different yearly versions etc. Tried connecting the camera in another way, having the menu open whilst connecting it. With EOS Utility, I'm either stuck on the screen with only the 'Monitor Folder' available or the 'Connect An EOS Camera'. But nothing works!


PS: Have also tried Photo Capture, no devices show up, whatsoever. I don't have iPhoto but have tried downloading it, couldn't download it. However, I doubt that would work anyway since the computer doesn't recognize my device? 


If someone can help me out with this, thanks in advance! 



It should just work. Does your Mac have a card slot?  Did you try a new cable?



Stop torturing yourself. Just use a card reader.


Or as a last resort, get a Windows computer. Our experience in this forum suggests that Mac users have at least five times as many problems trying to import image files from cameras as Windows users do.

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania USA

Confirmation bias. There are a lot of Win10 threads on here with the same problem.


I have had many Macs and many Canons and *none* has had an issue with importing files.

Rising Star

It might be worth upgrading to OS X Sierra just to see if the problem persists with the latest version of the Mac OS.


Apple also has a very active support forum, and it might be helpful discussing this further there.


Make sure you have a data USB cable and not just a charging cable.


I believe the app you want to open is Image Capture.


John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, LR Classic

I have a data USB cable. And sorry, that's what I mean't by 'Photo Capture'.

Since you have a 550D I am guessing you are not in USA. Is there a Canon support line you can call in your country?

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

1D X Mark III, Many lenses, Pixma PRO-100, Pixma TR8620a, LR Classic


If the camera doesn't show up when you use "System Information" and drilling down into the System Profiler (you can directly launch System Profiler... it's in the Utilities folder) then the Mac doesn't see the device -- there will be no hope of any application seeing it.


The camera must be powered on (the camera is only powered by it's internal battery - it doesn't take power from the USB cable).    Also, connect the camera before launching the System Profiler utility (it only scans for devices when the utility is launched -- but you can force it to rescan for attached devices, it wont do that automatically.)


Where did you get this USB cable?  Canon includes one with every camera.  It is critically important that the cable have all the data pins wired (there are cables that are just for charging). 


Another consideration is whether you are connecting the USB cable directly between the camera & mac with no USB hub in the middle.  If you are using a USB hub, directly connect the camera (bypass the hub) just to make sure it isn't a problem with the hub.  I've had a few hubs that couldn't reliable work for every device (they might work for some devices and not for others).



Once you can get the computer to recognize the camera, things should be much easier.  It is possible to configure the mac for what photo application you'd prefer to launch when a camera is connected (mine is configured not to auto-launch anything because I switch between different software depending on what I'm doing.)



Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da
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