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Old May 22, 2006, 3:23 PM   #1
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OK, brand new to digital photography. I have decided am not yet ready for SLRs or ANY high end equip., and now running my business on linux for about 1 year. Time to move into digital cameras. Linux supports about 100 different cameras, but many of them are older models.

I have discovered that Walmart has bubblepack cameras that are NOT Twain devices. They show up as mass storage devices (like a pendrive) when plugged in to USB. Here's why I like them:

Cheap - when the kids lose it, dad's not crying
plugin - ready to go - no drivers to load
decent quality - 2,4 or 6 mpx for under $80

Now, dad would like a better quality knockaround, say 5 or 6 mpx. I will be looking for something with optical zoom, flash, normal AA battery, SD memory and a viewfinder and here's my question.

Nikon tech support claims that all of its cameras show up as mass storage, but Kodak, Canon, HP, Sony and several others don't have a clue as to what I'm referring to. Someone at a local shop mentioned that I can buy ANY digital camera, AS LONG AS IT USES SD RAM memory, then plug the memory into a cheap little USB card reader which will make the SD memory appear as a mass storage device to the Linux operating system. This way I don't have to worry about the direct compatibility of the camera with the OS.

Is this true?

Thanks for any help.
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Old May 22, 2006, 3:41 PM   #2
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You can get a card reader for any any type of memory card, not just SD.

So you are correct, you take the card out of the camera, put it into the card reader and plug it into your computer using USB. It then appears as "Removable Storage"
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Old May 23, 2006, 3:49 AM   #3
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About every better camera should shows as USB mass storage device.

And don't buy anything from that shop, they don't have the smallest clue what they're talking about. Memory cards don't use any kind volatile RAM memory, they use flash memory. And actually it's CompactFlash (CF) which is easiest to connect to PCs, in laptops you need only adapter which connects card to PCMCIA slot and card acts like removable HD. In desktops there aren't free P-ATA cables hanging around so we have to use USB2 card reader.

trio3b wrote:
Now, dad would like a better quality knockaround, say 5 or 6 mpx. I will be looking for something with optical zoom, flash, normal AA battery, SD memory and a viewfinder
Now that's quite vague requirements...
Didn't have anything more specific requirements?
Like what kind camera you're looking, for example manual controls and such.
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Old May 25, 2006, 8:39 PM   #4
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Some camera's have multiple USB settings on them to appear different to operating systems depending on the settings. This is especially ture with pictbridge compatible camera's.

My D50 can appear as a Mass Storage device if that's what I have it set for in the camera menu, but it's default setting is Pictbridge compatability mode which will cause windows 2000 to ask for drivers to install the camera as a device.
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