DCIM stands for Digital Camera Images and as the term suggests all of our photos captured by digital cameras that may be exclusive digital cameras, digital cameras of our phone, or iPad or any device, there is always a DCIM folder where actually these photos are saved.

This DCIM folder is present in your device storage and actually stores all the photos captured by your digital camera.


Why only the DCIM folder is chosen?

DCIM was chosen to make a standard directory for digital camera captured image as it provides a standard layout and necessary compatibility to images files.

Mostly it exists to keep everything organized. When you put a memory card into a camera, the camera immediately looks for a ‘DCIM’ folder. If it does not find such a folder, it creates one.

To get to know about DCIM, we should first meet DCF. DCF is a Design rule for Camera File system and it is a specification created by JEITA, the Japan Electronics, and Information Technology Industries Association. DCF is responsible for defining the file system of digital cameras as we can infer from its expansion. What comprises a file system are the directory structure, file naming method, character set, file format, and metadata format. The same sort of file system exists in the memory card you would use for digital cameras. What DCF is trying to do is making digital cameras compatible with their memory cards. Moreover, DCIM is the folder in which images should be stored according to DCF.

The first version of this standard was issued in 2003, and it was last updated in 2010.

As we can see, there a number of other folders inside the DCIM folder and they are the result of DCF specification which includes them into the main DCIM folder for proper maintenance of our images.

DCIM helps in

  • Synchronization of photos for faster and efficient action.
  • Getting our photos detected by PC for autoplay.
  • Providing the required thumbnails for a quick look.
  • Providing common workspace for photo app developers.

In other words:

The DCIM folder provides a standard way for computers to recognize and import images from connected devices. For example, if your computer finds a DCIM folder on a memory card, it may automatically open your default image organization program or image importing utility. This allows all types of computers to find and import images from cameras made by different manufacturers.

While most computers include software that can automatically import all images from the DCIM folder, you can also manually browse through the images stored within the DCIM directory. However, you may have to browse through multiple subdirectories to find all the images. Additionally, your camera may save thumbnail images along with the full-size images. By using a program or utility that imports digital photos, you can make sure to import all the full-size images from the DCIM folder to your computer correctly.

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