I don’t take a lot of pictures, but when Dropbox offered a beta of their software that automatically downloaded (and uploaded) photos, I tried it out. (I wrote about it in February.) When you connect a compatible device – digital camera, iPhone, etc. – Dropbox detects it and asks if you want to upload photos automatically. It creates a Camera Uploads folder in your Dropbox folder, downloads the photos (and videos) from your device, then uploads them to the Dropbox server. The photos are then synced to any other devices you have.
This is quick and practical, and for many people will be a good way to get all their photos onto their computer – and synced to other computers – with little hassle. Once they’ve been copied, you can go through the folder and see what you want to save, what you want to add to iPhoto, and what is good for deletion.
Personally, I use this for screenshots when I write articles about iOS software. Instead of hassling to get screenshots from my iPhone or iPad onto my Mac, I just connect the device to my Mac, and the files are there almost immediately.
If you don’t have a Dropbox account, you can get a free account with 2 GB storage that you can sync across computers and access from mobile devices. To get an account, click this link. In addition, if you sign up through my link, I’ll get some additional free space as well: 250 MB per user.