How to Transfer Digital Pictures From a Nikon Camera

By Andrew Aarons

Nikon's digital cameras cater to every range of consumer, from absolute beginners to seasoned professionals. The features and specifications of the cameras vary wildly between the simple point-and-shoot compact cameras and the high-end DSLRs, but one process is standard: transferring your digital photographs to your computer. All Nikon cameras are sold with the USB cable you need to do this, and some have special software included for helping simplify the process.

Step 1

Create a folder on your computer's hard drive where you can store all of your photos. Photographers who take a lot of pictures should create a file structure that will help in finding shots later on. It's best to sort pictures by date, as this information is automatically stored in the digital photo file. Windows allows you to sort by date when you view your photos later, so use "My Computer" to create a main folder called "Photos" and then sub-folders for each year and month.

Step 2

Install the "NXView" software, if desired. This isn't required, since Windows has its own built-in photo transfer and editing software, but the Nikon-brand software has its advantages: It is specifically designed for a Nikon camera and can read all the digital information stored on your photographs. For high-end digital cameras that can shoot in NEF/RAW mode, the "NXView" software acts a photo processing suite and edits/converts RAW photos into readable formats. To install, insert the CDROM and follow the on-screen prompts.

Step 3

Connect your Nikon digital camera to your PC with the included cable. Make sure the camera is turned off before connecting the cable. Attach the small end of the cable to your camera and the larger end to your PC (there's only one way to attach it).

Step 4

Turn on your PC and then turn on the camera. If you've installed the "NXView" software, skip to Step 5. Windows will open the Camera and Scanner Wizard, which will ask you what you do with the inserted media. Choose "Transfer photos to my computer" and click next. Select the pictures you wish to transfer and click next, then choose a folder that you created in Step 1.

Step 5

Click on "Source" in the "NXView" Windows that opens automatically when you connect a Nikon camera to your PC. Your camera is listed in the main window; click it. Then click the "Destination" tab at the top and select one of the folders you created earlier. Click "Start Transfer" to copy files to your computer. When finished, turn off the computer.

Tips & Warnings

  • Shooting in RAW mode (on DSLR and high-end point-and-shoot cameras) maintains the most photographic information. RAW photos are saved as .NEF files by Nikon cameras, and this file format can't be read by most photo editing software. Special software, like "NXView" is required for processing RAW image data.
  • Product manuals for every Nikon camera are available through the manufacturer's website at no cost.