Advanced Import Settings

The Settings tab of the Right Sidebar in the Import Tool interface opens five sections with advanced options for the import processing.

File Renaming Options

Cameras often do not use very meaningful filenames for photographs. The filenames are usually reused once the photographs have been deleted from the camera. This can lead to filename clashes if you download photographs from many shootings into the same Album. It can also be useful to include the date and time that an image was taken into the filename.

The Import Tool File Renames Advanced Settings

If you select Camera filenames the image filenames will not be altered. But you have the option to change their case to upper or lower case with the Change case to drop down field. If you select Customize you will be able to put together a renaming pattern from the Options drop down menu. The Modifier drop down menu allows to customize each option appended to the renaming pattern.

The file customize Renaming Options and Modifier possibilities are mostly the same than Advanced Rename tool available in Main Window. See the full description in this section of this manual.


With USB Mass Storage driver, the usage of file metadata setting during camera contents parsing influences the rules of file renaming operations. If this option is disabled, the file renaming features will be limited. Take a care that enabling this option will slow down the camera connection stage.

The new filename that digiKam will use for the photographs when they are downloaded can be shown underneath the Customize settings. Changing item selection from the icon-view will update these information. The renaming settings will be remembered the next time you use the camera interface.


With gPhoto2 drivers, at the moment digiKam cannot read metadata of RAW files during the import. You might want to import the files while preserving camera filenames first and then rename them after the import using the rename function (F2).

Another solution will be to use instead a memory cards reader and the USB Mass Storage driver.

Auto-Creation of Albums

The Import Tool Albums Auto-Creation Advanced Settings

Check Extension-based sub-albums and digiKam will create subalbums based on the file extensions of the imported images in the target album. At stage to download from your camera to your computer, digiKam will open a dialog where you can choose the target album once you click one of the download options either from the toolbar or from the Item menu. If you want to create a new Album, into which you could download the photographs, click the New Album button. The new Album will be created as a sub-folder of the Album that is currently selected in the existing Album list. This means that if you do not want your new Album to be a sub-folder of an existing folder you must first select the collection where you want to create the new album. Collections are indicated on top level of album hierarchies.

If your camera provides information about the date of the photograph's taking or, if you import from a USB device or a folder, the images contain Exif metadata with date/time information, digiKam can use this to automatically create subalbums in the target album during import. Subalbums names will be based on the image dates. All images which have the same date will be downloaded into the same subalbum if you check Date-based sub-albums. Not all cameras include this information. See the sidebar Metadata section for more detail about information your camera may have embedded in your photographs.

Automatically Albums create Date format can be ISO, Full text, Local Settings (taken from your desktop settings), or Custom. For this last one, an option modifiers editor is available below with a help dialog to know all date format possibilities. On the bottom of this view, an annotation will warn about the custom Album date format validity.

The Import Tool Albums Auto-Creation Helper Dialog

On the Fly Operations

The Import Tool on the Fly Operations Advanced Settings

This section of the Settings tab offers several options for JPEG images. The Template drop-down field lets you choose one of your metadata templates you customized in Templates Settings. You can access the Template Manager also with the edit button to the right of the drop-down field.

Write the document name to Exif and Fix internal date and time writes this information into the respective Exif tags and XMP fields.

If you check the next box digiKam will perform the auto-rotate/flip action described in Lossless Image Rotation.

Convert to lossless file format allows you to convert the images to PNG, TIFF, PGF, HEIF, WEBP, AVIF, or JPEG 2000 during import. To know more about these file formats, see this section from the manual.

DNG Convert Options

The Import Tool DNG Convert Advanced Settings

This section allows to enable the DNG conversion of RAW images by checking Convert RAW images to DNG container and to select options for that conversion. To learn more about Digital Negative (DNG) use the link DNG container.

  • Embed original file: Embeds the original RAW file into the DNG container.

  • Lossless Compression: Enables lossless compression. The difference between lossy and lossless compression is said to be practically indistinguishable with DNG.

  • JPEG preview: Choose whether you want a medium or full size JPEG preview to be embedded into the DNG container or none at all.


The Import Tool Scripting Advanced Settings

This last section of the Settings tab offers to run scripts to manipulate the images during import. You can type the filename of the script into the input field or search for it using the Browse button. Check out the info button for additional expressions to customize the command line.

The Import Tool Albums Scripting Helper Dialog

Post-Processing and Metadata

An important point to considerate is the post-processing stage after downloading from the camera. Due to limitations of camera drivers to handle items metadata from the devices, all renaming and album creating operations are preceded by a parse of files to get real information and pass all values to the dedicated modules to re-organize files before a database integration.

So, only the current view of the import tool depends on the camera metadata settings, i.e. metadata viewer of the sidebar, date in the thumbnail, etc. After the download, all metadata operations are post-processed from the downloaded images. Therefore, there can be a difference between the import view information and the real metadata determined later and used to organize the import in your collections.