The newest Windows operating systems make it actually very easy to transfer photos from a digital camera to the local PC. The connected camera or memory card is usually identified automatically by Windows so that the photos can be copied directly to the Pictures folder of the operating system.
While that is very comfortable to get the photos loaded on the local PC, it often means that the user has to work with the photos afterwards. Missing are for instance options to rename the photos directly or to transfer photos into different photos depending on the digital camera or memory card they are stored on. That's for instance an excellent option for professional photographers who sometimes work with multiple cameras.
WIA-Loader is a free portable application for the Windows operating system that adds options to the photo download from digital cameras and memory cards. The software does not only work with Microsoft's WIA (Windows Image Acquisition) but with other sources as well. Still, it should work best with digital cameras that support WIA drivers. The two options available if the camera does not support the drivers is to either set the digital camera to mass storage mode (if available), or use a card reader to transfer the photos from camera to computer.
WIA-Loader uses photo profiles of which at least one has to be created before the software can be used. A profile creation wizard guides the user through the process.
It begins with the selection of a root folder for all pictures and the subfolder configuration. Photos are by default copied to CameraName\Keyword\day\month\year with options to change that folder structure in the wizard.
Additional tasks can be configured that the photo software will perform before, during or after transfers of the photos to the computer system.
Available options include rotating upright pictures automatically, setting the pictures to be read only, geocoding images with GPS information or tagging images with keywords.
The program options offer extensive configuration settings, including abilities to configure and modify profiles.
There is a lot to explore here. Options include to register WIA-Loader as the handler for removable media and as a scanner and camera program, to configure external programs like Adobe's DNG Converter or ExifTool, to import or export profiles, configure dozens of preview options and more. Folder and file names can be configured via variables in the options. The user manual lists all available options which includes using EXIF information to name the photos.
To import photos simply select your camera in the main menu, then an import profile and finally the import button. The photos are now imported and displayed in the program interface. It is possible to delete the images from the source device, or configure the program to automatically import new photos.
WIA-Loader is an excellent program for the Windows operating system. The photo importers biggest strength is its flexibility and vast number of options to customize the transfer of photos from digital cameras and memory cards to the PC. The program requires the Microsoft .NET Framework 2.0 or better. (via)
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