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Old Jan 16, 2004, 9:58 PM   #1
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Default A1 Software Problem

My brother just got a new A1. I went to his house and tried to install the software. I put the CD in, and it installed the "viewer" program. We then hooked up the camera to the computer using the included USB cable, and the computer (running Win XP) recognized the new hardware, and (we thought) set things up.

Only later did we notice that the manual seems to say that the software and drivers included with the camera don't work with the camera, and you've got to buy (optional) additional software to get the camera working properly.

Then there's what Minolta calls a "ferrite core" that is supposed to be put on the cable that you're supposed to use.

Worst of all, while we were trying to view the images both in Microsoft Windows Explorer and in the Minolta Image Browser, the Minolta browser "lost" half the images. It showed the first group, and then locked up. We had to reboot the computer, and the same thing happened - it showed half the images, and "grayed out" boxes for the rest of the images that it had downloaded. It's very confusabobbled!



Question - what is going on here? Does Minolta provide incorrect software with the A1, and if so, why? Can you use the standard cable, or do you have to buy a different cable? I've never had these problems with Olympus or Nikon - it seems like Minolta should make it much easier to get the camera coupled to the computer. .....or is it me? Am I just missing something?
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Old Jan 17, 2004, 6:23 PM   #2
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I have not yet loaded the Viewer software, so I can't comment on your problem with only seeing half of the image files.

I'm using Windows 2000 SP4, so all I had to do was to connect the A1 to my PC and turn on the camera. Windows recognized the new hardware and mounted the camera as a removable drive. My habit is to ALWAYS copy the image files to my hard disk from any of my cameras or card media readers using Windows mechanisms, rather than trying to access the files directly from the camera by an image editor or viewer program. Once the files are on my hard disk, I open them with an image editor (usually PSP8). You may want to try uploading the files from the camera first and then try using the DiMAGE Viewer.

As to the rather cryptic comment in the A1 manual about the remote camera driver, I think what Minolta is trying to say is that there is another program (which is not included) that has the capaability to control the A1 for taking picture. This program is called DiMAGE Capture. It sends commands over the USB cable from the PC to the camera. If you were to use this optional Capture s/w you need to add the ferrite core to the USB cable.

The Minolta manual is less than stellar in the area of data transfer operation.
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Old Jan 17, 2004, 9:04 PM   #3
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Mike:

The problem may not be with Minolta.

You could have a hardware problem (bad USB ports causing too many read errors, bad cable inside PC, etc.).

BTW, have you upgraded your XP operating system? It is my understanding that unpatched XP has some USB problems. Here's the page for the Service Pack at Microsoft:

http://www.microsoft.com/WindowsXP/p...p1/default.asp
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Old Jan 18, 2004, 2:20 AM   #4
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Jim, his operating system very well might be un-updated and other stuff.... but it says right there in the manual that comes with the camera and software that the software is wrong. :-(

I will try to copy the exact wording the next time I'm at his house.
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Old Jan 18, 2004, 9:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikemyers
but it says right there in the manual that comes with the camera and software that the software is wrong. :-(
I recently bought an A1, and studied the manual in its entirety several times - unless I missed something - it says nothing of the sort. The ferrite core is provided ONLY if you buy additional cables for the camera (for remote computer operation). All the cords (USB and A/V) that came with my camera - already had a ferrite core on them. Everything that is needed to take pictures and transfer pictures to the computer - is included with the camera/software. Of course I do find it easier to just drag-drop pictures over to my computer - but you can use the DiMAGE software to do so as well.
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Old Jan 18, 2004, 10:45 AM   #6
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It's on page 146 near the bottom. Maybe it means something I didn't "read" correctly. .....something about the supplied software doesn't work with this camera. ...or was it drivers? I don't remember.

He's not going to update his Win XP software, as it's a "work" computer.
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Old Jan 18, 2004, 1:05 PM   #7
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Okay - I see the confusion - they talk about "Data Transfer" then jump into system requirements - start by talking about system requirements for "data transfer" but continue to talk about system requirements for all other features. It is pretty confusing - poor organization.
Anyway - the last paragraph on this page says:
"A remote camera driver is supplied in the Windows edition of the DiMAGE Viewer CD-ROM. This driver is not compatible with this camera. When using the DiMAGE Cpature software (sold separately), the supplied ferrite core should be attached to teh USB cabe, see page 161.
)Note on the top of the same page - they do talk about compatibility with XP immediately after talking about USB data transfer.)
So - the keyword in the quoted paragraph is "remote". I believe what they are talking about is connecting the camera to the computer such that it can be "remotely controlled" from the computer (like in a digital photo studio) - not the case wher e you are connecting it for storage retrieval. If you flip to page 161, they show the remote cord (in addition to the USB cable) - you do NOT need this remote cord to take pictures nor to download pictures - it is just for "remote control" of camera features from the computer.

Just to be clear/complete - As far as what should have shipped with his camera - he should have gotten the power cord/charger with battery, an A/V IO cord (connects camera to TV or VCR) and a USB cord along with a ferrite core. If the USB cord didn't come with a ferrite core on it - he should snap the ferrite core on.

The manual, by the way, is available to everyone online on Minolta's site - doesn't look like it has been updated.
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Old Jan 21, 2004, 8:35 AM   #8
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Thanks - this Thursday evening I might get to try it again. If the XP needs updating, I'm stuck, as he can't/won't do that until when/if his computer guys from work take care of it.

Assuming I can download the images via Explorer, he'll be OK I guess.


Does Minolta still use the strange "color space" so you have to use their software to get proper images, or will they be correct if I bypass their software completely and just transfer the images from the "remote hard disk" which XP will probably see?
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Old Jan 21, 2004, 11:01 AM   #9
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You don't need to use any Minolta software if not desired. You can transfer using XP and print using your favorite software (or even print directly from XP)
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