I just started using my Canon 500D camera with a Mac. I was expecting to see a new external drive appear in Finder, which I could eject when I need to safely disconnect the camera from the computer.

I figured out how to import my pictures through Preview, but is there a way to safely disconnect the camera when I'm done?

Related question: Is it possible to explore the files on the camera's SD card through Finder?


1 Answer 1


Safe disconnect

To safely disconnect your camera just wait until the red light of the memory card has stopped blinking and then pull out the USB cord. The light is positioned in the lower right corner next to the trash button. When it doesn't blink it means that no read/write operations are taking place.

Explore files through Finder

By removing the SD card from the camera and plugging it in a SD card reader you can access the card contents through Finder. Also, you can easily access them through iPhoto.


From this forum topic (and my own experience with the Canon 550D) I know that it is faster to import images through a SD card reader compared to straight from camera.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for the well-written response. Just what I needed to know. \$\endgroup\$
    – Nelu
    Jan 5, 2013 at 22:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ Note, too, that it depends how your camera is connected. If you're using PTP (the Picture Transfer Protocol), your cameraa is a camera as far as the computer is concerned. Most cameras will also let you connect as a mass storage device (essentially a really expensive card reader), but the option will be buried in the menus somewhere. \$\endgroup\$
    – user2719
    Jan 6, 2013 at 3:33
  • \$\begingroup\$ Adding to that, if you have connected camera to your Mac/PC you can just turn off the camera and disconnect. This will immediately stop all read/writes to the card, but just make sure you have closed all programs that have accessed your camera. \$\endgroup\$
    – GoodSp33d
    Jan 6, 2013 at 9:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @2-Stroker Canon cameras continue to write to the card until the current operation is finished. Turning off the camera is therefore no guarantee of safety. \$\endgroup\$ May 20, 2013 at 19:00
  • \$\begingroup\$ @ChinmayKanchi Err what ? By turning off camera you are cutting off SD card from terminal. If there was any read/write happening that would get abruptly terminated. \$\endgroup\$
    – GoodSp33d
    May 21, 2013 at 5:12

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