actualla best practice to is to never have any computer program (including iPhoto) delete the photos from the card but to import the photos and keep them and then after at least one successful backup cycle has completed and the reformat the card -- I use three very large (32 GB) cards in rotation so I do not reformat for typically a year or more giving me one more long term backup of my photos
i'm having the exact same issue, every program up to date, same memory cards and cameras i've always used, and i no longer get the option to delete or save. it began about 2 months ago. SD cards are not locked, i deleted pref file too to no avail. did you ever figure it out?
and i say nuts to the idea of not letting iPhoto do this for me. it's been doing it for me since version 1 and i have never lost a single photos out of the 65,000 that i have imported.
no, this logic does not involve life or death situations nor 10's or 100's of thousands of dollars for a mistake. it's not really relevant comparision, and it has worked just fine for a decade or so. as it's a feature of iPhoto and it should be doing it, there's something amiss and i would like to fix it.
as i wrote, i tried that to no avail.
there are several threads around describing the same issue. my assumption is that it's a bug in one of the most recent updates. having to delete every time by using the camera or reformatting the card may be workarounds, but they are in no way a fix of the problem.
Try this: launch iPhoto with the Option key held down and create a new, test library. Import some photos and test to see if the same problem persists.
If you're using a digital camera, i.e. not an iPhone, the best practice is to use the camera to reformat the memory card after the upload and import is comfirmed successfull.
Any updates on a fix for this? Current version of iPhoto still does not ask to delete imported photos. Like the OP, I used this feature since iPhoto 08. Over this past year, it has disappeared.
The worst part is that iPhoto doesn't actually track what photos have been imported. It just goes by name. So, when I delete photos from my library that are still on the card, it wants to reimport them every time I import.
My workaround is to upload the photos to a folder on the Desktop, name the folder as I want the event to be named and drag the folder into the open iPhoto window to import them. I found that importing from the hard drive would let iPhoto eliminate duplicates when coming directly from the camera would not.
I don't believe it a bug in iPhoto as so few users are reporting this. Try the following:
1 - delete the iPhoto preference file, com.apple.iPhoto.plist, that resides in your
User/Home/Library/ Preferences folder.
2 - delete iPhoto's cache file, Cache.db, that is located in your
User/Home/Library/Caches/com.apple.iPhoto folder (Snow Leopard and Earlier).
or with Lion and Mt. Lion from the User/Library/Containers/com.apple.iPhoto/
3 - launch iPhoto and try again.
NOTE 1: If you're moved your library from its default location in your Home/Pictures folder you will have to point iPhoto to its new location when you next open iPhoto by holding down the Option key when launching iPhoto. You'll also have to reset the iPhoto's various preferences.
NOTE 2: In Lion and Mountain Lion the Library folder is now invisible. To make it permanently visible enter the following in the Terminal application window: chflags nohidden ~/Library and hit the Enter button - 10.7: Un-hide the User Library folder.
I finally solved this for my Mac. I have a Panasonic Lumix camera. When I connect it to my Mac via USB and turn it on, it (the camera) prompts me to select one of two connection options: "PictBridge(PTP)" or "PC". For years, I always chose PC, and the Mac always prompted me to delete the imported photos off the camera. Somehow I must have switched the option to PictBridge(PTP), and the camera kept that as the default. Under this option, the Mac does not ask if I want to delete the photos. I switched back to the PC connection option, and all was restored. I suspect the PictBridge option may nota llow the computer to have write access to the camera, so it knows it cannot delete the photos.
a best practice to is to never have any computer program (including iPhoto) delete the photos from the card but to import the photos and keep them and then after at least one successful backup cycle has completed and then reformat the card -- I use three very large (32 GB) cards in rotation so I do not reformat for typically a year or more giving me one more long term backup of my photos
I suggest you reconsider using iPhoto to delete the photos