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Old Jun 17, 2009, 5:38 PM   #1
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Default Canon printer card readers don't read RAW files

I got a new Canon Pixma MX860 printer. I was surprised to learn its card reader neither reads, nor allows my computer to read RAW files.

Is this limitation fairly common in printer card readers?

I also learned that the card reader cannot be written to, such as would be required to delete photos from the card via a computer program command. (there is only one way communication with the card, user definable.) This seems to be a quirky limitation.

Of course, these observations could be the result of user error or misinterpretation. But I was on the phone with Caon tech support who confirmed the RAW restriction. And the menus on the printer seem pretty clear that communication is either one way or the other, but not both without going deep into the file menus to change the option.
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Old Jun 18, 2009, 6:49 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gfmucci View Post
...
Is this limitation fairly common in printer card readers?...
No. The HP printers I use at work (a 7500 series model connected via Ethernet and a 7400 series model connected via USB) will read and write any format just like standard card readers.

It is normal that the printer won't print RAW files directly from a card since RAW files need to be "cooked" before they become conventional 3-color bitmap images, something that is beyond the printer's firmware's abilities.

Are you accessing the Canon printer's card reader using basic operating system functions or are you using some special dedicated Canon software utility. It could be that utilities limitation you are seeing. The HP printers that I use present the card reader as a standard "hard drive" so any OS file access service can be used. If the Canon does the same, try accessing the card via an Explorer window (Windows) or Finder window (Mac) and see if you can access RAW files.
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Old Jun 18, 2009, 4:55 PM   #3
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I took two photos: 1 RAW and one .jpg. I went back into my Elements 6.0 on Vista to get the photos.

From the "Get photos and videos" dropdown menu, I first selected "from scanner or card reader" and only saw the .jpg.

Going down to the ""from files and folders", both file types showed up.

Thanks for the tip. I thought for a moment that something in the Canon "blocked" RAW files from going to my computer.

Not a big deal, but I do appreciate the convenience of the card reader being at desktop height on my printer rather than bending down to the slot in the computer. I'm getting lazy.

So, to rephrase my questions:

1) How common is it for PRINTERS THEMSELVES not being able to read and process RAW files?
2) How common is it for printers to both read and write to a memory card inserted in the printer without manually changing a setting on the printer? For example, to delete photos from the card after they are transferred to the computer. By the way, I have never encountered a card corruption problem doing this dozens of times.

Last edited by gfmucci; Jun 18, 2009 at 5:00 PM. Reason: clarifying questions
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Old Jun 18, 2009, 8:21 PM   #4
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#1: Its highly unlikely that any printer with its own card reader will ever hand RAW files. There are way too many flavors of RAW files, most being camera brand and model specific. The printer's firmware would have to be updated every time a new model camera was introduced.

#2: I haven't used too wide a range of printers with card readers. Those I'm familiar with, all HP models, expose the card as a drive with full function. I've been able to read, write, overwrite, and format with no restrictions when accessing the card from the operating system's own functions. Accessing it from an application (i.e. Photoshop Elements) would incure whatever limitations that application presented.
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