Monday, September 25, 2006

Getting the FujiFilm F20SE Camera to Use iPhoto on Mac OS X

I just bought a Fuji FinePix F20SE digital camera for my wife. She already had a nice little Nikon Coolpix 2500, but it didn't have the resolution she needed, plus the Fuji had image stabilization and a huge LCD panel on the back.

Anyway, I set it up on her computer (a Mac Mini running OS X Tiger) and was dismayed to find out the installation CD wanted me to install a bunch of crap software, including a viewer program called FinePixViewer. What a disaster! The installer looks like a Mac OS 9 program, and then when the viewer comes up it looks like a clunky version of iPhoto.

And the integration between FinePixViewer and iPhoto??? None.

Oh, I was mad.

So, I set about figuring out how to get FinePixViewer off the machine and get the camera talking to iPhoto. I checked the Apple Website for cameras that it supported - alas, the FinePix F20SE was not on the list.

I decided to take the two FinePixViewer packages sitting in my application folder and drag them to the trash to see what happened.

Then I tried loading the photos from the camera. iPhoto popped open! Yes! But then, it wouldn't load the photos in. It recognized the camera model perfectly, but no photos.

My solution was to close iPhoto, disconnect the camera, and reboot the machine. After that, I connected the camera again, with great apprehension. Guess what?? It worked.

iPhoto immediately loaded all the pictures in from the camera, and everything recognized everything else.

I don't know whether I could have avoided the installation disks altogether. I'm guessing I couldn't, because it's pretty clear that Apple's iPhoto does NOT carry the drivers for the FujiFilm FinePix F20 SE, so the drivers would have to be loaded somehow. And the installation CD from the camera would NOT allow me to load drivers only.

So, that was my story for getting the Fuji F20 SE to work with iPhoto:
  1. Load the drivers and crappy viewer software (Fine Pix Viewer) from the camera installation CD.

  2. Load the photos from the camera into FinePixViewer.

  3. Close FinePixViewer and delete it and the other application in the Applications folder.

  4. Disconnect the camera, reboot the Mac.

  5. Load the photos in from the camera into iPhoto.

It should work. Hopefully, Apple will have the drivers for this camera as standard within iPhoto. I think this is going to be a popular model, it has excellent features. My wife loves it.


Anonymous said...

I'm sorry you had so many problems setting up your Mac to import the photos, but it's not a drivers issue. Compact digital cameras save image files as JPEGS (.jpg or .jpeg), and your computer simply copies files from a memory card (in or outside your camera) to your hard drive. It typically doesn't try to operate your camera, which is when you need drivers, and OS X comes with almost every major brand's drivers installed. (One reason why a Mac usually saves time over Windows.)

In your case, it would only have been necessary to connect the camera to your Mac, and when Image Capture or iPhoto popped up, to click "Download All Photos"/"Import Photos". In this particular case, I think what happened was that the Fuji software installation simply overrode the default preferences i.e. importing by iPhoto, so the latter wouldn't download your pictures unless you made it do so. You didn't need to restart (another highlight of the Mac OS) - you could have just trashed the .plist (preferences) file for the Fuji program. In future, when trashing a program and all its associated files (equivalent of uninstalling) remember to get rid of the appropriate .plist file as well.

A few point and shoot cameras also save in proprietary RAW formats, in which case you may need to download updates or use special/manufacturer software, but your camera doesn't allow saving in RAW.

Matthew said...

I just also purchased this camera. Didn't bother with the installation discs. Open iphoto, it sees the camera and everything works fine. There's no issues here, other than the fact that the usual icon that shows the drive doesn't appear on the desktop.

sofia said...

PLEASE HELP ME! I have a FujiFilm finepix camera and a mac. Iphoto recognizes my camera, but it says there are no photos. What do I do?

Daryl Kulak said...


Hmm. We haven't had that problem before. I would try connecting and reconnecting the camera, or maybe try another laptop or something to see if you can get the photos to come off the camera.

Sorry, not much help.


David said...

Just a comment about what you said about purchasing this camera for your wife.

You said it has image stabilization, but it doesn't, really. That anti-shake mode simply chooses faster shutter speeds and higher ISO settings.

I own this camera and I wish I had done more research first so I understood the image stabilization. Then again, the great quality of high ISO has been great, and I don't know that another camera at that price point would have given me full stabilization too.

Daryl said...


I see. I didn't know that. Thanks for the update.

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