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Old Nov 28, 2003, 10:27 AM   #1
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Default Canon A60, no software, no drivers, questions and answers

I bought a Canon A60 from http://www.pixmania.com/ as a simple point and click camera after reading several reviews on here and other sites. Previously I had owned a Samsung DigiMax101, and recently tried a Samsung Digimax240 but returned it due to battery consumption.

Now I knew I would be getting the manual in French - but hey - it's a point-and-click camera and the Samsung ones weren't too hard to figure out were they?

Wrong.

First up I never got a manual nor did I get a driver/software CD, there was the invoice inside the box so someone had opened it before sending. Due to me getting home late in the evening I decided to install the camera and ring PixMania the day after (this was on Monday when it arrived - click here: http://www.hardforum.com/showthread....hreadid=691721 to read what had happened before then). I plug the camera in, the same as I did for the Samsungs, but nothing happened. Okay maybe I do need the drivers. Go to the Canon website. After following a lot of links going round in circles I wind up at http://software.canon-europe.com/ to find that the links didn't work. I then search around a bit more and found the TWAIN drivers (I always thought TWAIN was for scanners...) and a working link on the Austrailian site for Canon, and the manual in PDF format.

Okay, things are looking up. I install the drivers and plug the camera in, and the camera is detected. It then starts Kodak Imaging program (I'm running Win2K Pro). Considering I was familiar to the Samsung where the camera is detected as a USB mass storage device and I could simply drag and drop the images to a folder, this was an annoyance. After recieving a message that Kodak Image software couldn't use TIFF or Motion sequences I closed it down and looked in My Computer.

Nothing.

Unplugged the camera and plugged it back in. Kodak started up, the warning message and then my pictures appeared. After looking at the shoddy interface it seems like there isn't an option to mass copy all files to my harddrive - okay I can live without copying a test video to my drive, but having to save each individually? I went on holiday with my DigiMax240 recently (I bought if before I went on holiday and where I found it ate batteries) and took 150mb worth of pictures at ~400kb a pic - try copying each of those individually to your laptop! Obviously I would need the Zoombrowser software. The Canon link only has updates for the software so I searched around the Net for downloads. Nothing, so I turn to P2P software, stick 4.1 EX in my queue and retire to bed.

PixMania was apologetic and promised to send it out. Apparently several people hadn't received theirs and the fault was Canon's. I pointed out that the invoice was in the box and ergo someone must of seen that it was missing. Anyway, they would be sent out immeadiately (as of they haven't turned up and I left after the first post today).

Fortunately during the day the software had downloaded, but I was busy during the next couple of evenings so I last night was the first time I had a chance to sit down and sort out the camera. I installed the software to it's default location, rebooted my machine as instructed. I plugged in my camera, now an option appeared to select which TWAIN program to use: Kodak Imaging or ZoomBrowser. I selected ZoomBrowser, and for the briefest of seconds the splash screen appeared and then disappeared.

I then started the program via the start menu, selected the Camera Icon from the left most menu and was told that there was no actions (I'm writing this from memory while I am at work). I fiddled around and followed what little instructions there is. The software's troubleshooting says to refer to the manual and the manual says to refer to the software for software issues.

Any ideas? Why did Canon choose to go the route of proprietry software? It's not due to Compact Flash because my friends Oregen Scientific use CF and that plugs straight into USB and is also detected as a Mass Storage device. If I get a CF reader will that allow me to get around the ZoomBrowser? Is there any (preferably free) software that will allow me to browse the card ala Windows?

Also about the camera itself. Steve says in his review that the camera take 0.6 seconds from the time it takes pressing the button to the moment the picture is taken. However when I take pictures it is a lot longer - nearer 3 seconds. I'm timing from the moment I press the button to the moment the flash goes off. What gives? Is there some 'fast photo' setting I've missed? What settings were you on when you tested the camera?

I'm going to have another play this evening, but if the software/drivers don't turn up tomorrow (Saturday), then Monday I will be sending it all back.
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Old Nov 28, 2003, 12:29 PM   #2
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Just forget about the Canon software, I just use a GE brand USB compact flash reader that I paid about $15 for to download my pics from my G5, it's faster than connecting to the cameras USB port using the supplied cable and ZoomBrowser, I have all the Canon software but don't use it, I prefer to use the USB reader and save the pics that way and use my own image editor to work with them. Another plus is you can use the reader as a drive of it's own and put any kind of file you want on the card and be able to load it to anyones computer that has USB support.
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Old Nov 28, 2003, 1:53 PM   #3
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What OS are you using? I'm concerned that as a 2K user I will still need to go through ZoomBrowser.

Also it is another 15 I will have to spend:-(
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Old Nov 28, 2003, 2:25 PM   #4
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I'm running XP, I've used the reader on Win 95 that had USB support, 98 and XP with no problems, I don't know much about 2K.
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Old Dec 1, 2003, 3:58 AM   #5
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I bought a Lexar 40x 256mb CF card that came with a USB reader. I am a little unsure about the constant removal of the card to transfer photo's (damage, wear and tear, etc.) but at least I don't have to go through the stupid software.

Cool thing is I now have 250 photo's at max res and max fineness.
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Old Dec 1, 2003, 4:45 AM   #6
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I installed WIA driver on a computer with Windows ME and it gave me options of selecting and even rotating images. You might want to delete old drivers before installing new ones - this often causes problems, and there are warnings in the camera's manual not to connect camera before installing the software.

3 seconds shutter delay is way too much. Focusing does take time, but with my camera it never took so long. I didn't measure it, but I think it was close to the Steve's 0.6-0.7 seconds - with standard settings. If your batteries were fully charged and the camera was not busy writing pics to the memory card, it might be defective.
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Old Dec 1, 2003, 3:23 PM   #7
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Quote:
I installed WIA driver on a computer with Windows ME and it gave me options of selecting and even rotating images. You might want to delete old drivers before installing new ones - this often causes problems, and there are warnings in the camera's manual not to connect camera before installing the software.
WIA driver?

Quote:
3 seconds shutter delay is way too much. Focusing does take time, but with my camera it never took so long. I didn't measure it, but I think it was close to the Steve's 0.6-0.7 seconds - with standard settings. If your batteries were fully charged and the camera was not busy writing pics to the memory card, it might be defective.
Let's get the timing straight. From the moment you point the camera at an object and press the button (no prefocusing etc.) to the moment the flash explodes is .6 of a second? Standard settings? I haven't changed any settings apart from forcing most modes to use Superfine and Large settings (256mb card to fill.

If that is the time you are getting what are the settings you are using?

Also images when zoomed don't seem as clear as the Samsung 240. The Samsung had trouble when the images were partially zoomed but crisp when at either extent.
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Old Dec 2, 2003, 2:30 AM   #8
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Quote:
WIA driver?
Yes. I believe it has different names for different operating systems: TWAIN for Win98 and 2K, WIA for WinME and XP. Someone correct me if I'm wrong. I don't know if their functionality differs with the system.

Quote:
Let's get the timing straight. From the moment you point the camera at an object and press the button (no prefocusing etc.) to the moment the flash explodes is .6 of a second? Standard settings? I haven't changed any settings apart from forcing most modes to use Superfine and Large settings (256mb card to fill.

If that is the time you are getting what are the settings you are using?
I took pictures with different settings. The shutter delay seems to be more if I use flash, higher resolution and quality. Sometimes it does take a while, well, yes - up to 2-3 seconds in low light conditions with low contrast scenes when the camera has problems with focusing, but normally the focusing takes somewhat like half a second, and the actual taking a picture takes even less.

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Also images when zoomed don't seem as clear as the Samsung 240. The Samsung had trouble when the images were partially zoomed but crisp when at either extent.
If you mean the digital zoom, my camera does that too, but I think it's normal. The optical zoom works fine - no loss in quality.
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Old Dec 4, 2003, 3:13 AM   #9
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Some corrections to my previous comment. I did some testing yesterday. It seems that the shutter delay doesn't really depend on the light condtions - it either focuses or doesn't focus at all. Focusing seems to take more time in telephoto and macro modes. Flash increases the postfocusing delay. Resolution and quality effect only the time of recording images to the card memory. I tried to estimate the delay, but it was not easy. I was pushing the shutter button with one hand and the timer button with the other, and it gave me 1-1.5 sec. This is very approximate, hard to get more accurate figures without special equipment or at least another person who would control the timer.
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Old Dec 4, 2003, 2:12 PM   #10
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Thanks Oleg. I've been doing some testing of my own. At work in Ultrabright conditions (3 large flourescent strips) the timing was around 1.5-2.0 using a microsecond timer and pressing the computer spacebar to start and stop it.

In my living room which is lit by two energy saver bulbs, and without the use of the microsecond timer the delay is around 2.5 seconds.

However I noticed that without the flash in the office that picture taking is instantaneous.


On the update with the manuals. I rang them yesterday. It had been a week since I first rung about the manuals & driver and the person I spoke to on the phone said they'd be sent out immeadiately. This time another person said they'd be sent out immeadiately and he'll also send me a link to a site which the entire software is available. As yet no software and no link.

Also my recharger + 2100 batteries hasn't turned up from Amazon either. Apparently it was sent on Monday:-(
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