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Old Dec 9, 2004, 4:37 AM   #1
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Hi all,

I'm wondering if a USB flash drive can be used to transfer pictures from a digital camera to a computer. I know this sounds inane, but here's my situation:

I'm planning to buy my father a digital camera/printer bundle for Christmas. He has no computer and won't touch one, thus the camera/printer combo. He would use the camera primarily for his boat restoration business; right now he takes film photos and snailmails these to interested customers. He also mails a copy of the film photos to my boyfriend, who has created and updates a website for the business.

My boyfriend says that digital prints, especially after having been scanned into a computer, would be of poorer quality that the film prints. (BTW, neither my nor my boyfriend's computer can read memory cards) My boyfriend thinks that a flash drive can solve our problem, as both the digital camera and my computer have USB ports and we could snailmail a cheap flashdrive back and forth. But neither of us have owned a digital camera and we are unsure if there will be a way to transfer the pictures on the camera to the flash drive. Would it work the same way that the camera transfers pictures to a computer? And I suppose I should also ask if my boyfriend is correct that the digital prints, after being scanned, would indeed be of poorer quality. I'll be buying a simple camera. . .probably the Kodak Easyshare Cx7330 3.1 MP with Kodak Printer Dock. Sorry this is so long--having a ludite father tends to complicate all things digital
-Lee
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Old Dec 9, 2004, 6:20 AM   #2
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No, you can't use a USB Flash card to transfer photos from a camera. The camera will only act as a USB device, not as a USB host.

No, you will not lose quality transferring photos to your computer.You're not "scanning" the photos. You're copyingfiles from the memory card to the computer.

Modern digital cameras act as removal disk drives when plugged into a USB port on your PC. So, you simply copy the files to a desired folder on a PC.

The Kodak Printer dock also allows you to copy the photos to a folder on your PC (but it's got a dedicated button for this purpose). It's not scanning prints, it's copying the files. But, you don't need a Printer dock for this. You can simply plug the camera into a USB port on a PC.

As for sending photos back and forth to each other. If you both have high speed internet access, I'd probably just load them to an online album somewhere so others can view them (versus needing to copy them to their PC). Many photo printing web sites allow album space to view photos online.

There are many online album services now. Many users like http://www.pbase.com (but it's not free). If you search the forums for online albums, you'll find lots of threads onthese types of services.

We also have a Photo Sharing Album Links Forum here.

You could also use a CD Burner for mailing photos. These are relatively inexpensive now. Even a 16x DVD +-R, RWdrive with CD burning capabilities is under $100.00 from most online discounters now. I'm seeing DVD drives with the ability to supportDL (Double Layer) discs (8 GB)this cheap also online. So, if you don't have a CD burner already, I'd shop around to see what's available, and you'll find that prices have dropped a lot (very inexpensive for CD burning only, and not bad at all if you want DVD burning ability, too).

You could use a USB flash drive for transferringphotos from PC to PC (just not from the camera to a PC). But, a CD would be better so that you'd have a backup of them in case of a hard drive crash. BTW, USB 2.0 card readers are very inexpensive now, too.
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Old Dec 9, 2004, 11:39 AM   #3
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Hi Jim,

Thanks for replying and for letting me know that the Flash Drive idea won't work.

But I'm afraid that I haven't been clear enough--my father doesn't have a computer and refuses to get one. He still uses a typewriter for everything He does, however, want a digital camera, which is why I'm giving him the Kodak that comes with a printer and can function without a computer. Now if my father had a computer he could just email them and that would be lovely. Or, if my computer could read memory cards than we could buy an extra one and snailmail that back and forth. But as it stands, my father will have to send my boyfriend prints on photopaper. My boyfriend will have to scan these prints just as he presently scans regular film prints. My boyfriend says that digital images lose a great deal of quality in the printing process--or at least compared to film prints which aren't pixel based. The quality of the photos is fairly important because they go up on my father's business website which my boyfriend made and updates from my computer. It's an antique boat business having high quality photos of the boats makes a big difference for his customers.

So I was looking for an inexpensive portable device that could store and transfer the images from his camera to my computer. It sounds like maybe such a device doesn't exist since you said that the camera essentially functions like a disk. I will look into the USB card readers that you mentioned if that is the only solution.

Thanks for your help, Lee
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Old Dec 9, 2004, 3:12 PM   #4
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Quote:
So I was looking for an inexpensive portable device that could store and transfer the images from his camera to my computer.

Given the stubbornness of your Father it would seem the best and probably only option you have is to do as JimC suggested in his informative post and buy an extra memory card and card reader. You keep the card reader of course, then when Dad has filled his card it can be sent to you while he has use of the second card till you return it. No scanning needed, no loss of quality and arelatively inexpensive addition to the camera/printer package. And when all said and done you can't get much more portable than a secure digital card which the Kodak cx7330 uses.
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Old Dec 12, 2004, 2:49 AM   #5
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You also could have your father create a CD at local CVS or similar that has a Kodak self service kiosk...it's limited to 120 pix but for $2.99, not bad...thus he would retain the card and send you the CD...no chance of losing all pix in mail that way...

Or get a camera that has internal memory and copy desired pix to that, swap to second card, and copy them back to card...again, keeping originals intact...using second card to send to you...
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Old Dec 12, 2004, 9:24 AM   #6
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You may also want to take a look at some of the stand alone storage devices that have built in card readers with the ability to burn to CD without the use of a computer (although they can be used with a computer, too).

Here are a couple:

Addonics MFR DVD+/-R/RW, 25-in-1 Multi Function Recorder (records to both CD and DVD)

Addonics MFR, 18-in-1 Multi Function Recorder (records to CD, reads DVD)

Steve has a review of the earlier 18 in 1 Addonics Model (record to CD only) here:

http://www.steves-digicams.com/2003_...onics_mfr.html



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Old Dec 12, 2004, 8:48 PM   #7
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Sorry for the delay in response--it seems the forums were down for a day or so. Jim and Steve--thankyou for the suggestion about the memory card reader. That, plus an extra memory card, should do the trick. I looked at the prices on amazon very briefly and was surprised and happy that they go for as cheap as $20. I had the idea in my head that they were much more expensive.
I also really like jhallgren's idea of having CVS burn a CD--I didn't know they would do that. That's a great thing to remember--easy and cheap I may rely on that for a month or two if I don't have quite enough left over to buy the memory card reader and extra card. Jim, thankyou for the links to the cd burners. That may be something to consider next year if my father gets really into his camera. I should buy one myself one of these days--I've had the same imac for nearly six years and so I'm quite behind with the tech.
I'm so glad I found this forum--I was really convinced that there was no way out of this situation and now I've got three solutions. Thank you all so much for your help.
-Lee
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Old Dec 13, 2004, 12:10 AM   #8
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When I did prior reply, I wasn't sure that the Kodak camera had internal memory...I since have looked and seen that it does...(http://www.kodak.com/global/en/servi...p;pq-path=2318)

That would provide the ability (as I have done with my Nikon 2200) to copy pix to a "backup" card so originals are never lost by USPS...

Also, places other than CVS will do CD burns...not sure of pricing, however...Ritz Camera stores may have different options..etc...
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Old Apr 1, 2005, 4:35 AM   #9
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Just bring the memory card to costco and get them to print and make a cd to mail to you.
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