How to Connect a Canon Rebel to a PC

By Andrew Aarons

Canon's Digital Rebel DSRL cameras have been around for a while now; the company released the first Digital Rebel back in 2003: the EOS 300D. Many other "Rebels" have followed, from the XT or 350D in 2005 to the Rebel T3i or 600D in February of 2011. All these Rebels cameras take digital photos, of course, and transferring these pictures to your PC is simple.

Turn on your Digital Rebel and snap a few pictures. You need to make sure that the memory card has pictures on it, or your PC won't recognize your camera. Make sure the photo quality is set for JPG (not RAW, an uncompressed, unprocessed photo format) to make sure your PC detects images when you plug it in.

Turn the camera off. Connect the USB cable that came with your Digital Rebel to the USB connection slot on the side of the camera. The small end of the cable plugs in to your camera and the large end connects to a USB port in your PC. Turn the camera on. On a computer using Windows XP or later, you don't necessarily need to install the Canon software that comes with a Digital Rebel. Windows detects your camera (or, more precisely, the JPEG images on the memory card) and loads the Windows Photo and Scanner Wizard. Click "Import Pictures" using Windows" to load the wizard and transfer your images.

Install the Canon software that came with your Rebel, if you want to have more control over your images. You need to use this software if you want to shoot in RAW with your Rebel, but it's helpful for transferring and editing images too. Insert the CDRom that came with the camera into your PC or download the software you want from Canon's support site. Canon Rebels come with a few different programs that you can install: EOS Utility, Picture Style Editor and ZoomBrowser. The last of these -- ZoomBrowser -- replaces the Microsoft Transfer Utility. After you install the Canon-specific software, you'll have the option use it to transfer photos whenever you connect the Rebel via USB, as in Step 2.

Eject the memory card from the Rebel and insert it directly into your PC, as long as your computer has a card reader. Most laptop computers sold since 2009, and some desktop systems, have card readers built-in. These readers eliminate the USB cable when transferring photos and let you use the memory card as an internal drive, copying photos from the card to a folder on your computer. When you insert the card into a Windows Vista or Windows 7 PC, Windows detects the photos and loads the transfer software as in Steps 2 or 3 above.