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Old Jul 22, 2009, 9:46 PM   #1
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Here's my 1st question about my D90. Do I have to install the camera software to transfer the photos to my pc? I have XPsp3 & have always used the windows camera wizard for that purpose. I've never installed camera software before,& never really needed it. I will though,if you all think it's something I need or I have to, in order to transfer the pics from the camera to my pc. I already have photo editing software & programs.
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Old Jul 22, 2009, 10:16 PM   #2
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Sue- It would be my opinion that you should use a very inexpensive chip reader and a program such as Photoshop Elements to post process your photos.

Sarah Joyce
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Old Jul 23, 2009, 12:55 AM   #3
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Sue- It would be my opinion that you should use a very inexpensive chip reader and a program such as Photoshop Elements to post process your photos.

Sarah Joyce
Thanks Sarah for replying. I have PhotoImpact 11. Is that one OK? So,I don't have to use the software,but using a card reader is better than using the usb cord? I didn't know that . I just always did it the easy way with my other cameras. Looks like I have a lot of little things to learn as well as big things.
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Old Jul 23, 2009, 3:57 AM   #4
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Here's my 1st question about my D90. Do I have to install the camera software to transfer the photos to my pc? I have XPsp3 & have always used the windows camera wizard for that purpose. I've never installed camera software before,& never really needed it. I will though,if you all think it's something I need or I have to, in order to transfer the pics from the camera to my pc. I already have photo editing software & programs.
DSLR's usually produce images that will require some processing. The camera can be set up to produce punchier, more vivid images but most prefer to do the work themselves as it offers the photographer more control. If you shoot RAW, you will need a converter to get the image to a workable format. Nikon's included software is ok and includes a RAW converter, but really there are much better options, such as Photoshop elements. the advantage the Nkon software has is cost...you already have it.
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Old Jul 23, 2009, 10:03 AM   #5
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On the USB vs card reader question; I have a great card reader that is fast. I use the USB connector. By the time you remove the card, put it in the reader, transfer, then reverse the sequence, you could plug in a USB cable and do the same. I've done this since 2000 and never had a problem. The wear and tear on the USB equipment is no more than moving the card around. The time difference for up to 4 Gig is minimal.

Bottom line, use what ever is easier. One is no better than the other.

Garry
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Old Jul 23, 2009, 10:43 AM   #6
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I personally have all my cameras (including my D50) set in the 'mass storage device' mode rather than the USB device mode. All I get when I plug in the camera (with the USB cable) is the 'new hardware wizard' followed by a removable drive appearing in 'My Computer'. I manually drag the files out to their destination. I find it easier because I can make every camera I have behave the same way (and I don't need each camera's proprietary software installed)
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Old Jul 23, 2009, 11:16 AM   #7
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Not all cameras are USB Mass Storage Compliant.

Ironically (since this is discussing a Nikon model), newer Nikon models do not offer a USB Mass Storage option. That includes the OP's D90 (no USB Mass Storage Device option). You need to use PTP instead.

That can present a problem to users of other operating systems. For example, I've had to suggest to more than one Linux user to get a card reader to transfer their photos from a Nikon camera when using a newer model that was not supported yet by the latest libgphoto2 library used by image transfer programs in Linux (although they're pretty good about adding them as fast as possible, there is usually some lag time before a new model is supported)

Personally, I always use a card reader. That way, I don't have to worry about drivers for transferring photos from cameras that are not USB Mass Storage Compliant, especially since I use Linux most of the time.

That also means I don't need to worry about the camera's battery being charged to transfer my images.
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Old Jul 23, 2009, 12:46 PM   #8
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Not all cameras are USB Mass Storage Compliant.

Ironically (since this is discussing a Nikon model), newer Nikon models do not offer a USB Mass Storage option. That includes the OP's D90 (no USB Mass Storage Device option). You need to use PTP instead.

That can present a problem to users of other operating systems. For example, I've had to suggest to more than one Linux user to get a card reader to transfer their photos from a Nikon camera when using a newer model that was not supported yet by the latest libgphoto2 library used by image transfer programs in Linux (although they're pretty good about adding them as fast as possible, there is usually some lag time before a new model is supported)

Personally, I always use a card reader. That way, I don't have to worry about drivers for transferring photos from cameras that are not USB Mass Storage Compliant, especially since I use Linux most of the time.

That also means I don't need to worry about the camera's battery being charged to transfer my images.

wow, I'm amazed that Nikon wouldn't be compliant! good to know, thanks Jim!
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Old Jul 23, 2009, 12:50 PM   #9
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I also favor the card reader route. I used to do it via USB cord, then got a cheap card reader from Adorama when I was ordering some other stuff and have not used a cord since. I can just pop the card out of the camera without even taking it out of the camera case and the reader has been trouble free.

I use Nikon Capture NX2 software, mainly because it was a gift, but I really do like it. I have heard good comments about the free Nikon View NX software and it will do the RAW just fine. It is available on the Nikon website.

I also use Irfanview, which I have used for years and feel very comfortable with it, plus it's very fast and capable for JPG's and even NEF's. Half the battle is getting to feel comfortable with the software, whatever you decide on - Bruce
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Old Jul 23, 2009, 1:35 PM   #10
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wow, I'm amazed that Nikon wouldn't be compliant! good to know, thanks Jim!
PTP is probably a good way to go as time progresses, since it is a standard and offers a way to control cameras with device specific instructions, too. I think the primary malfunction is how new cameras are being recognized by the libraries if the device identifiers for it haven't been added yet, with manufacturers adding proprietary extensions. I've yet to see some Nikon models like the S550 work via available PTP libraries for Linux.

It would help if camera manufacturers would publish detailed specs on everything they do for better compatiblity with more software and operating systems.

Raw files are another good example of how proprietary formats can present issues, since the software you use for raw conversion needs to understand how to decode a given camera model's files. So, third party developers end up reverse engineering each new camera's files in order to support them in raw conversion software.

In addition to changes in byte offsets and more with each new camera model, you also run into manufacturers trying to obscure information. Nikon upset a lot of people when they decided to encrypt metadata related to White Balance in raw files from newer models (starting with the D2x, then the D2Hs, D50, D200, etc.). I don't like it, since I don't like a manufacturer trying to throw up roadblocks like encryption to stifle competition. Eric Hyman (the author of Bibble Pro cracked the encryption first. Basically, Nikon just XORd the RGB multipliers associated with the as shot WB. Dave Coffin (the author of dcraw.c) cracked it next and published his code. So, other developers can use it as a blueprint for decoding raw files from camera models he supports (and he adds support for newer cameras often).

Nikon is not the only one that's done that type of thing, though.

Other developers spend time trying to reverse engineer more of the proprietary information not used by raw converters, too. Each camera manufacturer tends to include a lot of good information in the Maker Notes section of the metadata about feature settings, focus information and more. But, they don't publish that information, so support for proprietary sections in the metadata tends to vary a lot between third party software products.

File Systems are another issue, with FAT32 being used by most cameras now. But, as the need for larger storage media and file sizes grows, camera manufacturers will likely migrate towards another proprietary file system like Microsoft's exFAT, making compatiblity an issue for users of non-Windows operating systems again.
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