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Old Oct 27, 2004, 11:33 AM   #1
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If anyone knows of a digital camera that will save directly to a laptop via ANY kind/type of cable let me know some makes/models and/or pro's cons to doing this. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I used to own a Sony DSC-85 and it saved WAY TO SLOW in TIFF mode to the Pro-Stick mem. I need to take this on-site to capture merchandise etc in my customers retail locations so it has to be fast.

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Old Nov 19, 2004, 5:15 PM   #2
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I have done that with my eos-10d, i think that the 20d will also plus it is usb2.0. I would suspect that all of the recent dslrs will, but some of the more current p&s may also. Best to look for cameras that have software for remote shutter release from a computer.
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Old Nov 20, 2004, 8:12 AM   #3
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stylindesign wrote:
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If anyone knows of a digital camera that will save directly to a laptop via ANY kind/type of cable let me know some makes/models and/or pro's cons to doing this. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. I used to own a Sony DSC-85 and it saved WAY TO SLOW in TIFF mode to the Pro-Stick mem. I need to take this on-site to capture merchandise etc in my customers retail locations so it has to be fast.
Some camera models can be operated via a tethered connection (most newer Canons can). BUT, I doubt you'd get any increase in performance working them this way (you'd probably have the opposite problem --- slower writes via USB to a laptop), and the hassle of using a tethered connection (using the PC to control the camera) would probably be a big inconvenience.

I'd look for a model that is capable of buffering shots (more internal memory), with fast writes to media instead. There can be a huge difference in the speed of a camera's interface to media (and a huge difference in the speed of their interface to USB, etc.). Just because a camera has a USB 2.0 connection, doesn't mean that it writes at USB 2.0 speed to it (most are FAR slower -- topping out at around 1.5mb/second to USB -- and many are faster to internal media now).

Ditto for fast memory cards. Just because you can use a 10mb/second memory card in a camera, doesn't mean that it will write to it that fast (most won't take advantage of faster cards, because their internal interfaces to media are too slow).

Also, RAW mode is preferrable to TIFF (so that you have more control of the image later). RAW files are typically smaller than TIFF, too (so that write times to media are faster).

Most non-DSLR models don't handle TIFF or RAW very well, with some exceptions. For example, with a Lexar 24X CompactFlash Card, the Konica-Minolta A1 can shoot the first 6 RAW files with a cycle time between them of around 2.3 seconds (slowing to about 6 seconds between them until the buffer clears -- which you'd ned to wait about 30 second for). This model also has a continuous mode that allows a faster burst of shots. TIFF is a little slower (almost 3 second between shots for only 3 shots, slowing to around 11 seconds between shots unless you let the buffer clear again).

A DSLR model is faster. For example, the Nikon D70 can shoot two RAW files at 0.64 second intervals, before slowing to around 1.65 seconds between photos with a Lexar 40X CF card (it's write time to media is much faster than you'll find in a non-DSLR model). In a little more expensive camera, the Canon EOS-20D is also fast in RAW mode, with a larger buffer, too. It can takearound 6 RAW photos at intervals of around 0.43 second intervals with a Lexar 80x CF Card, before starting to slow down (slows down to intervals of around 3.8 seconds after around 8 shots). Then, you have to wait for the buffer to clear before it speeds up again.

From looking at past reviews, your Sony DSC-85 is a very slow camera in TIFF mode (taking around 37.2 seconds to write a TIFF file to media).

So, most newer models would be a bigimprovement.


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