Camera Card Workflow Tips

Camera Card Workflow Tips
Updated 4/29/16

Every time you stick a camera card into a card reader, the Photos app will auto-launch asking to import it. That can be a royal PITA, and Apple has not provided a way to turn that off. And each time that card gets erased, recorded to, and put back into the card reader, Photos thinks it is a brand new card it has never seen. Kirsten at FCP.co started a thread on this subject, and it prompted me to post this entry.

Includes a link to the free app "
Camera Response Annoyance Prompt" which solves all of this easily!
Camera Card Workflow Tips
Updated 4/29/16

Every time you stick a camera card into a card reader, the Photos app will auto-launch asking to import it. That can be a royal PITA, and Apple has not provided a way to turn that off. And each time that card gets erased, recorded to, and put back into the card reader, Photos thinks it is a brand new card it has never seen. Kirsten at FCP.co started a thread on this subject, and it prompted me to post this entry.

Includes a link to the free app "
Camera Response Annoyance Prompt" which solves all of this easily!


Tip 1 - Stop Photos From Auto-Launching
Recently I was working as DIT on a reality TV show location in Colorado. I had to copy the contents of tons and tons of camera cards daily, most of them being reused more than once a day. Photos kept auto-launching, since every time you insert a card into a camera, it becomes a new identity to Photos. So freakin' annoying and such a time waster! Here's what I did.

1- Launch the Terminal application. This can be found in the Utilities folder that is inside of the Application folder.
2- Copy and paste the following into a command line. Don't worry, it is perfectly safe, and I'll show you how to just as easily turn the function back on.

defaults -currentHost write com.apple.ImageCapture disableHotPlug - bool NO

3- Then hit the Return key
4- Command-Q (to quit Terminal).

Done! Photos will not auto-launch every time you connect a camera card or mobile device. You can simply get on with the task of copying media and getting it prep'ed for FCPX organization. I'll be doing a tutorial about this soon, so keep checking back.

If you want to turn the function back on, simply replace the ending NO with a YES, or copy/paste the following into the Terminal.

defaults -currentHost write com.apple.ImageCapture disableHotPlug - bool YES



Card Response Annoyance Prompt
Now you can use a handy little utility app, that is free, to switch this behavior back and forth quickly and easily! No more scary command lines! It is called the Card Response Annoyance Prompt (C.R.A.P.), and is not a joke. For DIT's and others who have to deal with large amounts of camera cards, but also want to switch back to the "auto launch Photos" behavior often, this is a huge help!
Click here for more information and download.




Tip 2 - Erasing Cards
Instead of wasting time running a "format" command on every card, each time they were being reused in our cameras, I did the following.

In the Finder, I as soon as a card was copied and verified, I'd open that card, did a Select All (Command-A), right-click any selected element, from the pop-up menu select "Move To Trash". Then empty the Trash. When that card goes back into a camera, it is already formatted for that camera (we keep specific cards labeled for specific camera models), and the camera automatically writes a new set of necessary metadata, system and media files to the card on the fly. Instant reuse!

On our set, time was tight, and we couldn't wait for "format" commands for each card on each of the almost 40 cameras being used, which were several of each of the following: GoPro Hero 3 & 4 (helmet, handlebar, doggie, handheld, wall, drone mounts), Zenmuse (DJI's Osmo & Inspire drones), Canon C100 Mk II (DJI Ronin stabilizer and Zacutta shoulder mounts). It worked very well for us.

The Automation Question
For anyone about to ask, no, we did not use any camera card copying automation software. We did drag-and-drop manual copies. In our pre-production tests, we found it to be just as reliable, and way faster.

Using over 50 different camera cards, SD and Micro-SD, daily, for almost two weeks, I did not encounter any corrupted file copies at all. Again, I'll be writing up our full post-production workflow, hardware and software used, etc, in the near future. But I and my team did not find card copy automation software to help in any way, and didn't use it. When you have
15 cards copying at one time, to 15 different folders, many times a day, for almost two weeks, we didn't find any automation software that saved us time in any way. If it were all going to ONE location, maybe, but not in our case.


Hope these help someone. And stay tuned for more workflow tips that can help us professionals out in the field.