Digital Cameras - Transferring Images to a Computer

The pictures themselves are then stored within the camera's memory and the next step is to transfer them to a computer. Originally the only way to transfer images to a computer was via a cable link between the camera and the computer's serial port.

Cables are normally supplied with cameras together with software that can be loaded onto a computer that allows the transfer to take place. This method has two main drawbacks. First the rate of transfer is very slow and secondly the number of pictures that could be stored in the camera at any given time was limited.

Now there are two standard methods for transferring the images that are far superior to the original solution. The simplest and fastest method is by using a cable connect your camera to your computers USB port. Then using software provided with the camera, a few mouse clicks later and the pictures are loaded. In fact to make the loading even more straight forward, a series of USB card readers are now available.

Not all computers have USB functionality and if this is the case then you will need to use a card reader. These are also attached to the computer. Again all you have to do is load the card into the reader and upload the pictures.

If you need to buy a card reader make sure you buy a reader that is compatible with the storage media that you are using. Although there are some readers that will read more than one type of card you need to ensure, for example, that if you use Smart Media cards then you will need a Smart Media reader.

If you have a more basic model camera, then the pictures may be in the camera's built-in memory (rather than on a storage card), you can only download them to the computer via serial cable--which as we said at the top can be pretty slow can be pretty slow. Therefore we recommend that you include this as one of the key points in making decision as to what camera to buy.

Card readers are available at around £20.

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