The option under the Photos tab for your iPhone sync preferences with iTunes transfers select photos from your computer to your iPhone only.
This is different from importing photos from a digital camera, which iTunes does not do.
When there are photos/videos in your iPhone's Camera Roll, your iPhone is also detected as a digital camera when connected to your computer.
It is a sync process with iTunes serving as the sync conduit for a true sync process with contacts, calendar events, notes, and Safari bookmarks with a supported application on your computer, and the rest is a one way transfer process only such as with photos transferred from your computer and for iTunes content - music, movies, tv shows, audio and print books, ringtones, podcasts, and 3rd party apps.
Since the sync process includes true syncing by definition for some data, and some data is transferred only, what would you propose to call the process to end all confusion?
I would not know what to call it, but a one way transfer of photos is not a sync. The other data seems to actually sync.
I am sure you can see how it would confuse someone.
If I understand correctly it will copy photos from my computer to the iPhone, but not from the Camera Roll to the computer.
But now that it has been explained I understand the behavior and can plan accordingly.
I will just click and drag the Camera Roll manually or use Photo Mechanic.
Thank you again.
iTunes data is not synced. iTunes data is a transfer process only. The data that can be synced by definition is contacts, calendar events, notes, and Safari bookmarks.
It is called syncing for the masses to understand, just as most Windows users call anything harmful to their computer a virus - malware, spyware, and phishing scams are all viruses.
Importing photos/videos from a digital camera can involve more than transferring the data, and everything with iOS devices is centered around a Mac and Mac applications that can be used for this and rightfully so. I use iPhoto on my Mac for importing photos and video from a digital camera including from my iPhone and iPad 2, and for photo storage and management. iPhoto includes an option to delete imported photos/videos from a digital camera after the import process is complete including from the Camera Roll with an iOS device. I assume adding photo/video import functions from a digital camera could be added to iTunes, but there are already applications on a Mac and Windows that provide for this.
It wasn't confusing to me - namely because it is called a Camera Roll on an iOS device. Anything involving a camera involves an import process which iTunes does not handle with any other digital camera.