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trouble transferring photos from canon 5d m3 internal memory to Mac


Hi All,

I only use my camera occasionally, and have not had this problem before. I have always been able to save my photos onto the sd card, until the last time I used the camera. I have checked the photos on my sd card, and have used an apple sd card reader for my card, and have contacted apple support who guided me through the attempted problem solving, which informed me that the latest batch of photos were not saved to the sd card, only to the camera. 

The double is is that when I connect the camera to my Mac, the photos do not register on the software. It is only if I disconnect the usb cable from the camera, that I can see the photos on my camera. I have tried to transfer/copy from the internal memory to the sd card, and this does not work. 

I have installed the Eos utility onto my Mac, but when I press the play button on my canon, the reading light flashes for several seconds, without showing the images on the camera screen. I can only see the images on my camera if I disconnect the cable, but then cannot transfer onto my Mac. 

There seems to be a software compatibility issue between my canon and my Mac, but apple support have checked my computer and report that it is working fine. Does anyone have any ideas, as this is very frustrating. Any help will be greatly appreciated!

Thanks, Justin.


If you have both cards in the camera and the CF card is the primary card, then you can use the Image copy function in the Play menus to copy images from the primary card to the secondary.

Brian - Canon specialist trainer, author and photographer

View solution in original post



Your camera doesn't have internal memory.  It would save any captured photos to your media cards (e.g. SD card).  If the camera can play back the images from that card a-ok, but your Mac isn't showing the photos when you attach the card to your card reader, then it could be that your card reader is faulty.

Using a card reader is still the best way to transfer images to a computer.  There are lots of things that can go wrong, unfortunately, when attempting to attach a camera directly to your computer.


Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers

Hi Ricky,

Thank you for your reply. I bought a generic usb c sd card reader which transferred all of the photos, but recently I took some more (approx 30 ), but the new photos won't appear. I then bought an Apple sd card reader, but the problem remains. When I take my sd card out of my camera, I can still see the new photos. so I'm not sure what else I can do...

The only thing I can think of is to take the camera, card reader and Mac into a shop, as I'm trying everything that I can think of, but still no joy...


Try plugging the camera in and running image capture directly.

Hi, the '"wheel" spins round, showing something is active, but no photos are appearing. After a while my camera goes into sleep mode, and the transfer seems to abort.

If the camera has Wifi, is it off?

no, it doesn't have wifi.

I'm puzzled if the camera doesn't have an internal photo capacity, as when the usb cable isn't attached, I can see the photos on the camera. However, as soon as I attach it, I cannot access these photos, meaning they disappear from the screen as soon as I plug in the lead.  Secondly, if I take the sd card out of the camera and fit it into an sd card reader, it says the photos don't exist. 

You do know that you have two cards in the camera, right?

Yes, but I’m not familiar with the purpose/operation of the other card yet. With my limited knowledge and what I have read so far, I understood the sd held the still images. 
why would most of the images be stored on one card, and then an ‘overspill’ go onto the other. My current sd card is 32gb, and currently hold around 350 photos on it, so was expecting it to hold much more. 
the other disk is a 32gb Dan disk ultra, with 50MB/s. So, that stores still photographs, too? 

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