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Old May 21, 2005, 1:29 AM   #1
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Just bought our first camera - Canon A510 after reading and reading reviews and the software that comes with the camera will not run on Win98 Have been trying to read up tonight and can find tons of info on cameras, but not much info on how to play with the pictures after you take them. Is the software that comes with the camera so essential that I need to upgrade my OS or am I better off spending the money on something else? As far as I can tell my option is a reader that stays plugged into a USB slot with another type of software. Any opinions? My wife has someone at work that is constantly bringing in very nicely done printed (standard printer paper size) groups of photos. Where she has arrangeda few photos of an eventand can also includecaptions. graphics,anddates etc. Have also seen slide shows running on computers. Some programs better for file storage like photo albums?

Is there an agreed upon best way to manipulate the files that most people are using or are most just using the software bundle that comes with the camera they purchase? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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Old May 21, 2005, 2:17 AM   #2
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Your camera is only compatible with Windows XP home/pro.

XP does not need drivers for USB devices and consequently there are no drivers available for your camera. According to Canon USA a driver will be available at a later date (who knows when ?). http://consumer.usa.canon.com/ir/controller?act=OSCompatibilityAct&fcategoryid= 145&modelid=11086&keycode=windr

The majority of camera owners will be using a card reader, preferably USB2, to upload their images. It is a lot quicker than the camera and doesn't drain the batteries. These will likely need to have drivers installed on Win 98, so check compatibility before you buy.

You will need software to edit your photos and the most popular are the Photoshop family. PSCS, PS7, PS Elements 2/3, and Paint Shop Pro and any number of freeware programs. Again, many applications will not be compatible, be sure to check.

My opinion is to seriously consider moving up to XP. It is quicker, far more stable and has more compatibility than 98.

It's a catch 22 situation. If you don't upgrade to XP you will have fewer options, but even if you do you will still need to acquire editing software, although with your options enhanced you will be spoilt for choice and won't have to spend big bucks for editing.

I don't think many users will be making do with the software bundles that came with their cameras, they are pretty basic. I'm not sure of the free programs but there are some good ones I believe. If you wanted to buy a very good one to start, you won't go wrong with Photoshop Elements 3. It has a Photo Album built in. Again this will need XP or at least Windows 2000. I know this may seem like jumping the gun but have a look here,http://www.adobe.com/products/photoshopelwin/main.html where you can download a trial or buy for $89.99. (When you have decided everything else that is)

Hope this has helped and any more questions, feel free to ask.

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Old May 21, 2005, 4:15 AM   #3
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I would guess the software that comes with your camera is Zoombrowser - which is Canon's own program. It is (or was when I had it) pretty good software.

Since your camera is Twain compatible you MIGHT be able to use other software with your camera. The reason for the *might* is I don't know how you camera actually connects to the Pc or quite whats it's requirements are. (Actually, just thinking here, you might be better off posting this question on the Canon forum, where others can probably help you a bit more).

However, there are free programs out there, Picasa - is excellent - that runs off win98 and should be able to download your pictures without too much problem. It also comes with most of the basic tools you need.

Any PC running Win98, will now struggle with the modern day requirements of digital photography - purely because of the specs of the machine will be lower than modern equivelants. So why I totally agree with Stevekin that XP is the way to go, I wouldn't quite give up hope yet!

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Old May 21, 2005, 10:15 AM   #4
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I'd buy a card reader (making sure that it is Win '98 compatible) if it were me, as a first step.

Then, see if the software available for Win '98 does what you need it to do.

Most of Adobe's products no longer run on Win '98. But, some competing products will (including Paint Shop Pro).

Win 'XP will require faster hardware (based on my experience) compared to Win '98, to get the same level of performance from applications designed to run on both. The base operating system also requires more RAMwith XP (so you don't have as much left over for applications). That's one reason you see higher minimumhardware requirements for XP from products designed to run on both.

But, you get into diminishing returns with Win '98 with newer hardware (for example, you can't add as much RAM and expect it to be supported by the OS and applications).

So, your hardware makes a difference if you want to upgrade. IOW, I wouldn't rush out and try to install Win XP on an older Pentium II based computer with 128mb of RAM and expect it to give acceptable performance compared to the same applicatons running on Win '98. You'd need to upgrade your computer hardware, too. Of course, 128mb of RAM (even on Win '98 )is really not enough for some of the larger applications designed to run on it (for example, Paint Shop Pro).You really need more RAM, faster processor, etc. for some applications. Others run fine in less RAM.

If you're happy with Win '98 (and don't really want/need to spend the bucks on upgrading your hardware and OS), there are a lot of photo editing tools that run fine in less resources.

A card reader is cheap. You can probably pick up a USB 2.0 reader at a local Best Buy, Circuit City, Office Supply Store, etc., for around $20.00. I'd buy one and play around with some of the photo editors designed to work on Win '98 first, unless you were going to upgrade your PC/OS anyway.

Some users do more editing than others, and you may be perfectly happy with the tools available for older Operating Systems and Hardware.

Transferring photos from your camera doesn't even require software using a card reader (other than the appropriate drivers). They show up as a removable drive. You can simply copy the photos from a folder on the memory card, just like you'd copy photos from any other folder, on any other drive. But, software is available to do this for you if desired.

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