Windows Technical Preview – Import Photos with “Photos”

Using the default photo importer in Windows Technical Preview

With the Windows Technical Preview, a preview of Windows 10, Microsoft promises to correct all the flubs of Windows 8 and Windows 8.1. Those prior offerings were a disappointment for photo enthusiasts. Is there hope for the new system? In this article, I will look at the preview and see what is offered.

Win10-Camera-001aThe Windows Technical Preview takes you to the desktop on start – a good omen. When a camera is plugged in, it is recognized and a little blue panel pops up just at it did in Windows 8. It asks “Tap to choose what happens with this device”. Win10-Camera-002a“Tap” is touch-speak for “click”, we can live with that. Next come some offerings, “Open device to view files – File Explorer”, “Import photos and videos – Photos”, and “Take no action”.

The only useful one is to import with “Photos”. Win10-Camera-003aIn Windows 8 that was a big disappointment. The next full screen message does not inspire much confidence. Does it really take a full screen to say “Scanning your device. Files found …”. Then, still full screen, an ominous listing of the photos on the camera. I say ominous because instead of thumbnails of the photos the listings shows a little landscape icon for each file. There are option in a menu bar on the bottom. All images are checked and there is a Clear selection option. Others are Select all, Import, and Cancel.


There is no hint of being able to select the target folder or any other options. Import is all that will cause the process to proceed. So I click Import. The import process goes on and the screen turns black for a simple message. Win10-Camera-007a

These full-screen “modern” apps can be run in a smaller window on the desktop, but there are limits to how small you can make them. My fear is stoked when the message says “There are no files or folders in this view”.

File Explorer is more helpful. The import app made a folder in Pictures with the date of the importation as the file name. All photos, regardless when they were taken, that were on the camera are stuffed into that one folder. There are no thumbnails. Nothing is displayed when you click on a photo file. Win10-Camera-009a

The files are in “RAW” format on my camera which the Windows Technical Preview can’t handle. Windows 8.1 did! So now I know that the Windows 10 preview is based on Windows 8 and not on Windows 8.1. Why the step backwards, Microsoft? I’m sure if the photos were JPEG files they would show alright. But photo enthusiasts, and certainly professional photographers, want the best their cameras can deliver and that means RAW format, in my case Nikon NEF format. As I said, my Windows 8.1 machine has a codec for these files. It took Microsoft a long time to include that, Windows 8 didn’t. Microsoft has offered a codec for many years and I have used it with Windows 7, but that gets us ahead of my story. Win10-Camera-010a

When you click on a photo file you get “This file can’t be opened. The file might be damaged.” No, dear Microsoft, the file is not damaged, the Windows Technical Preview is. For now the Windows Technical Preview is too dumb to be of use to photo enthusiasts. We can get around that, I tried a couple of approaches. “Those stories and more” in coming posts, stick with me.


© 2014 Ludwig Keck

About Ludwig

Lending a helping hand where I can. . . My motto: If it is worth doing, it is worth doing well.
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6 Responses to Windows Technical Preview – Import Photos with “Photos”

  1. Catria says:

    WHO is running Windows?!!!!!!!!! This must be the most convoluted system in the world for taking photos off your phone and putting them on your computer. Then you want them on iCloud in case the computer crashes, and then on a separate hard drive incase iCloud loses them. What an exercise…….and we still do not have the option to Erase once imported? or do we? and if we do, do we KNOW for certain Windows has indeed, imported ALL photos? I’ve seen a few that were missed. To top it off, it often seems to import ALL photos on several different occasions, so now, I often have multiple copies of the same photo. I dedicated hours on Sunday and more today, to try and sort this out. Only thing I can recommend, is to Import photos daily! It becomes monumental after that. Technology was supposed to streamline our worlds! So glad you exist Ludwig!!!! Thank you!

    • Ludwig says:

      Thank you, Catria!
      The process is really simple on Windows 7. Windows 8 didn’t do it, Windows 8.1 isn’t much better. And now the preview shows that no effort has gone into this area. I will post an article that makes WTP workable in a couple of days.
      When it comes to “erase after import” that option is available (watch for my post) but I recommend against using it. Leave the photos on your camera until you are sure that they are safely stored and backed up. We’ll solve your other problem too, I think.

      • Catria says:

        You are most welcome……this issue is enough to almost make me go back to Apple!!!! and NO I have not, nor will, use the automated ERASE after import…..scary. But now, I foresee a few days of going through my computer photo folders for duplicates, triplicates, whatever “cates”. What a MESS.

        I do not know if it’s best to use the automatic import, or go to Picture Gallery, and select Import. Thoughts?

      • Ludwig says:

        See my posts on using Picasa and Photo Gallery. Don’t despair, there are ways to make the process palatable.

      • Catria says:

        Thank you. I am not thrilled to have yet another program, but I did, discover Photo Gallery (I think I had written you regarding this one. I may start using it instead of the automatic Import, though, to be honest, the results are very similar.)

        I came up against a new issue, last evening. I Saved some photos my son had Photostream Shared with me, and then proceeded to Save / Import through both those programs. Several photos were unable to be imported due to “parameter” issues. Now, they were all taken at the same time, by the same phone or camera, in rapid succession. Some were able to be saved / imported, while others were not.

        any idea?

        I am so appreciative of finding your site!!!!!

        thank you

  2. Pingback: Windows Technical Preview–Import Photos with Picasa | This 'n That

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