Using a digital camera around the world

(burgesst) #1

I want to buy a friend a digital camera for Christmas. They will be travelling round Australia next year, and want to email us back pictures. The problem is that we have no idea what equipment she will be connecting the camera to, to get the pictures off , as it may be in internet cafes or in various work places or wherever she can get net access.

I need some advice as to what camera or technology would be most suitable, preferably being ‘plug and play’ without having to install any drivers. Do internet cafes mind you connecting things to their computers ?

Any ideas ?


(acasto) #2

I would think that USB is pretty universal. But that would most likely require drivers and some program. The best option would probably be to get something like a Mavica that uses a little CD-R. Then you could just attach them like a file strait from the disk. This would require no extra drivers or anything. All you would have to and be authorized to do is to drop the cd in the cd-rom. That’s about as minimal impact on someone elses equipment as you can get, I would think :wink:

(Enzoblue) #3

They’re pretty good now, I got a nikon one and after the software is in, all you have to do is plug the camera in and turn it on. It all pops up and the interface is super easy.

(burgesst) #4

Ahh, but that involves installing software, which is what I want to avoid. I’ve heard some USB smartmedia readers appear just as a hard drive to newer Windows and Mac OSes, without drivers being needed.

Anyone got any experience ?



(pofo) #5

Many digital cameras use flash cards, the problem is that most of the cameras require special software if you want to plug them in directly. I use a separate card reader (or whatever I should call it), not much bigger than the card itself and I didn’t need to install anything to make it work in win98 and win2k. It attaches directly to a usb port, so no need for cables and stuff.
(The reason I use it is actually that my camera is old and it took almost a minute per picture to transfer with the old cable, now it takes a second or two.)

  1. pofo

(cohort) #6

My digicam uses CompactFlash, and I have a SanDisk USB CF reader. When I plug in to any Win 2k/Me/XP computer, it shows up as a removable HD, without any software install at all…

There is an adapter for several different media cards called a FlashPath, which allows for transferring data via a floppy drive, but I don’t know if it can be used without installing software.

(burgesst) #7

Card reader idea sounds promising. I had a Flashpath floppy adaptor once, but it did require drivers, unfortunately.

Thanks, all, for your help.



(IMProvisar) #8

I’ve been very happy with our setup. We have an Olympus Camedia C2100. It uses Smart Media cards, and we have a Zio! Smart Media card reader.

I usually read the cards with the reader (usb), but the camera has usb plug and cable as well. I just tried it out, the camera needs software. The Zio reader came with software, but I don’t think it’s needed. Of course, it’d work with any camera or other equipment that uses Smart Media cards.

My best advice would be to shop for the camera first. If you like the one that burns to a CD-R, you’re set… if not, just start e-mailing manufaturers. A lot of cameras will connect directly to a PC via USB, so check if they need software installed. If the camera you like does, then shop around for USB card readers for whatever type of media they write to.

Good luck,

(RipSting) #9

I just got a great digital camera that records onto mini-CDRs or CDRWs. You can put these in your computer’s CD rom drive’s inner tray. Plus, it has a USB interface that is plug and play with Windows XP, so you don’t need to install any software. It’s one of the Sony CD Mavicas. It’s 2 megapixels and cost about $500 US. I really reccommend it!

(burgesst) #10

How chunky is it ?

(mrmunkily) #11

pretty chunky. I don’t think the relevant machinery can fit in a streamlined packeage…

(RipSting) #12

The camera’s well balanced and quite compact. You can see some pictures and specs here:

(haunt_house) #13

some important things:

make sure it uses a rechargable power source.

You should be able to turn any automatic feature off. the more you can do manually, the better (my small camera loads the flash every time I turn it on and YES, it does only work with normal batteries)

Always divide the resolution of the camera by 4. So a 4 megapixel camera has a real resolution of 1 megapixel. the rest ist interpolated, because every pixel can only see one colour (red green or blue). the rest is calculated from the surrounding pixels.

Test the camera with extreme situations (fast motion, darkness, brightness)

good luck


(RipSting) #14

Always divide the resolution of the camera by 4

Shouldn’t that be / 3? There are 3 primary colors and it includes the intensity in those colors too. This is all about to change though, too. Some company just found out a way to stack the 3 color sensors on top of each other, so you won’t have to divide by anything. Therefore they made the jump from 5 megapixels to 15. Co-incidentally, most people agree that 15 megapixels will rival the quality of a slow speed film camera. Obviously, none are out on the market yet, but we may start to see them 2H of 2003.

(haunt_house) #15

It is four, because the green sensors are doubled.

Imagine a checkboard, where the black fields are green and the white fields are filled with blue, red, blue red, blue, red and so on.