So you have a camera that you bought a few years ago and you run into the biggest problem plaguing everyone who owns a digital camera. And if you think that you don't have this problem, well let's just say that it is something that you are going to find out about very soon.
You see there is a little problem that just about every camera manufacturer forgets to tell you about. And it is a problem located on ALL digital cameras. It is similar to the 1999 Y2K problem. Without backing up your photo collection this problem will wipe out a lot of fond memories.
When you get to picture #10,000 the camera rolls back to 0001. If you are using iPhoto and you do not relabel your photos this is akin to wiping out the original 0001.jpg photo that you have in your catalog. In my case, those were the pictures of the birth of my son. I was saved only in knowing that I had a back up of those precious early photos. Additionally, I did not realize the problem until I took picture # 10,110 ! That's right 110 of my original photos taken 8 years ago with my Sony DSC-F717 were completely gone from my iPhoto catalog. Again, I was saved only by the knowledge that a backup existed for these.
The next problem that has arisen is what happens when your spouse or child decides to get a camera? In the old days you would buy a simple point-and-shoot and take it to the store to be developed. You would then scan the photo into iPhoto. But today, just about everything is digital. And if you buy a camera that is made by the same company as your original camera then you are in trouble! Major trouble if you are using iPhoto. In this case, I had the opportunity to pick up a used Cannon SLR, which is now 8 years old, but takes the most wonderful pictures. It is digital. And it cost me pennies to purchase because it was used and the owner just wanted to get rid of it. It was also an inevitable purchase after my Sony F717 broke down. This was a God send because I was able to integrate it painlessly with iPhoto because it had a different prefix - IMG. So my first pictures were IMG0475.JPG and this did not interfere with the original Sony DSC0475.JPG. Dandy, until I get to 9999 in which the original problem that I discussed will inevitably arise. But then my wife's birthday came up and you guessed it, she wanted a simple point and shoot camera for her big day. Nothing expensive, but something that was not as clunky as my Canon ( a huge beast by today's standards) - just a simple point and shoot. I had a 100% chance of running into a problem. If I chose a Sony or Canon camera then the number problem would again be an issue. I found out also that Nikon uses the DSC prefix as well. She chose the Canon camera and this is where things got interesting.
iPhoto has become very long in the tooth and although there are dramatic changes being made to the program, including face recognition, mapping etc., the basics are being left behind. This numbering system for instance should be a thing of the past. Almost everything is digital. Just about every photo is digital, so why not keep up with the times on this one?
|Simple Batch Processing|
So what do I do? Well, if you own a Mac there is always someone out there with a solution that has been peer reviewed and investigated. The program that I found and which is literally saving my bacon these days is called simply NAMECHANGER. It is a public domain FREE program written by Mickey Roberson at http://www.mrrsoftware.com/ Mickey has done a great job with this and makes several different versions depending upon which flavor of OSX you have. Donating a dollar or two for his efforts would be a good thing to spur him along to continue doing what he is doing.
|More Complex Batch Processing|
What Apple needs to do is this. Since it has the ability to separate the photos into EVENTS, it should automatically change the FILE to represent this change if that is what the user wants. Just having it notice events is not good enough now that everyone and their uncle has a camera. By the way, did I forget to mention the iPhone and the iPod Touch photos as well? Yes I did didn't I. Well you get the point by now. The overlapping of photos is something that will happen to just about everyone at some point. For now, NameChanger may be the best solution for those of us not willing to part with $300 to buy either Lightroom or Aperture just for this feature.