Firstly, to clarify what is meant by "non-destructively" in this context:

  • Without losing access to all photos contained within burst shots
  • Without losing the ability to revert to originals
  • Without losing the ability to view Live Photos as Live Photos Update: I have found an answer regarding Live Photos.

It is my hope that I will be able to simply drag the folder of copied files (jpeg, mov, png, aae) into Photos.app at a later time and Photos will interpret the files correctly and put them back into a state just the way they were on my iPhone, editable and all. But I have no idea if this is what actually happens in practice.

My reasons for wanting to use Image Capture are:

  1. I can delete later, after the import is complete and I have confirmed that all files were copied in tact, instead of having to choose to Delete After Import and pray nothing goes wrong in the process.

  2. I like being able to see all my files in a way that Finder can browse, instead of having to go through some database schema. (Anyone who ever had a corrupt iPhoto Library back in the day can probably relate.) The less proprietary software I need to rely on, the better.

Then, after those basic requirements are met, I can think about copying my photos into Photos.app and putting some albums together.

The problem I currently face is that I don't know if it's "safe" to delete these items from my Camera Roll after copying them to my Mac through Image Capture. Am I committing to keep only the burst shots I've marked, discarding the others, for example? There are a lot of unknowns, and my iPhone's capacity is full. These days I have to delete apps when I want to take more photos, so I am hoping to get an understanding of how to manage these various special photo formats non-destructively once they're on my Mac. Thanks.

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