Canon G10 – No mass storage mode??

I love the little Canon G10. It’s a great camera that is much more portable than either of my two Nikon dSLRs. However, this little issue is enough to make me incredibly aggravated!

See, I guess I’m spoiled. My old Canon Powershot S30 (really old, but still works great to this day) had a mass storage mode. So do both my Nikon bodies. So what’s up Canon? What could possibly motivate you to remove such a helpful feature from your camera? And looking around online, I’m not the only one! In fact, it appears that many of the Canon dSLR bodies don’t have a mass storage mode either!

So let’s back up a step. With most cameras I’ve used, I shoot photos, they get saved to a flash memory device (either Compact Flash or Secure Digital) and I put the aforementioned card into a card reader. This works good for me. I don’t have to get out a cable and open the side of my cameras to attach the USB cable, and most card readers boast faster transfer speeds than the camera itself. So why, you ask don’t I just do this for the Canon G10? Good question!

When I bought my Nikon D50 which uses SD cards, I purchased a few 2GB SD cards for shooting. These worked well and were all I really needed. I got plenty of photos on each card (6 megapixel images) and I don’t like to store all my “eggs in one basked” so to speak. With the purchase of the Canon Powershot G10, I found that the 15 megapixel RAW files were so large that a 2GB card simply wasn’t enough. I found a good deal on a 4GB SDHC card and went for it. Little did I know that my SD card reader didn’t support the “HC” (high capacity) format of the cards. Bummer for me.

After a weekend of shooting in RAW I decided to copy the images off the card, run my custom renaming script on them and import them into Lightroom. Finding that my card reader wasn’t going to cut it, I simply pulled out a USB cable and plugged the camera directly into my MacBook. But wait! No icon appeared on my desktop. I tried my wife’s computer. No dice. Strange. I opened up Lightroom and behold, it recognized the camera. But wait! I can only import the photos into the Lightroom catalog. I don’t want to do this yet! I want to rename them first!

See, Canon, in all their infinite wisdom, decided that their cameras were too good for a Mass Storage mode which allows them to look like an external hard drive. Why? Well, that you’ll have to take up with the fine folks at Canon.

In the end, i worked around the problem by importing the files into Lightroom, deleting them from Lightroom (but leaving them on the hard drive), running my renaming script and then re-importing them into Lightroom. Phew! And then I went to bed. Needless to say, I’ll be posting some of the images I took soon, as well as investing in a newer SDHC card reader.

4 thoughts on “Canon G10 – No mass storage mode??

  1. The feature you want works perfectly with Windows XP and Vista. It is not a Canon problem, it must be an Apple problem.

  2. @OasisShutterbug – Glad to hear it’s working for you, but I tried it with both Windows XP and Linux and could not get it to be recognized as a removable drive. Did you set something in camera to enable this behavior?

  3. Agreed! I have just bought a brand new Canon PowerShot and am stunned to find it doesn’t have a USB mass storage mode! My old Olympus was great – simply have the cable with the camera and attach to any computer without installing software (and having to carry the CD around with you). Unbelievable that Canon do this.

  4. Sorry! It appears that it is OK to connect the camera without software to Windows XP/Vista! This info is hidden away in the camera documentation, but it does point out that there are certain limitations when doing it this way without the software.

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