Transferring Images from Your Camera to Your PC

The first challenge you have to face is getting your digital images from your camera into your computer so that you can edit them (if necessary), store them on some archival medium (such as CD or DVD), and make prints.

Today, transferring images to your computer is a fairly painless process. It wasn't always so. My first digital camera back in the last millennium had no removable storage. It was bad enough that when the camera's internal storage was full, I had to stop taking photos. But what was even worse was that it often took 10 to 20 minutes to move those photos from the camera to my computer. The only option was an old-fashioned serial cable that moved an image one bit at a time, like a line of soldiers, from the camera to the serial port on my computer at about 64 kilobits per second.

Even at a prehistoric resolution of 640 x 480 pixels, I had roughly 2.5 million bits (307 kilobytes) to move per picture. So at best, I spent a minimum of 40 seconds transferring one photo. It seemed longer.

To make things worse, this was back in the days when PCs didn't share peripheral ports very well, so my computer really had only two functional serial ports. I used one for my mouse, and the other for both a modem and my camera's serial cord. I had to unplug one to use the other. This may seem bizarre in these days of USB (Universal Serial Bus) ports, which enable you to connect a mouse and dozens of other peripherals at once, and FireWire connections, which speed files between computers.

Today, you have multiple options for transferring your images. I can plug a USB cable directly into my favorite camera and transfer multi-megapixel images in a few seconds. I also have a card reader that accepts memory cards and lets me move images between the card and my hard drive as if the memory card were another disk drive.

Card readers are so inexpensive these days that they are often built right into computers or printers, as you can see in Figure 3-1, which shows the slots of a reader included below the DVD drive in a Windows PC. Usually, such a reader will be your best choice for transferring photos. Compared to transferring using a cable connection, the reader is faster and uses less juice from your digital camera's battery.


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Memory Stick

Get Paid to Take Digital Photos

Get Paid to Take Digital Photos

Reasonable care has been taken to ensure that the information presented in this book isĀ  accurate. However, the reader should understand that the information provided does not constitute legal, medical or professional advice of any kind.

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