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Is your Digital Camera Compatible With Your Computer?

So you recently bought a digital camera or perhaps your thinking about it. And perhaps you may be wondering how many pictures will your computer hold? First you need to answer a few questions to come to an accurate conclusion. First, how big is your hard drive and how much free space does it currently have? You can find the answer to that question by first left-clicking on "My Computer:" Right-click on "C drive." A menu should appear. Left-click on "Properties." A pie chart should be displayed that will show you the size of the hard drive and how much of the disk drive is free. Your next step is too know how many mega pixels does your camera have? A pixel is a light sensing cell on the image pickup device.

The higher number of pixels, the higher the resolution or picture quality of the camera. A higher pixel number will also require more storage space in your camera and computer for a picture. How much storage does each picture need? If you have a 2M pixel camera, a high resolution picture will require storage in the range of 500kb. Two 500 kb pictures would occupy 1 MB. If that one picture requires 500kB of storage, you should be able to store 2000 pictures of that size in 1 gigabyte of disk space. I usually store my pictures in one folder in my computer called "Camera Pics" and then create sub-folders within that folder with different names depending on the occasion the pictures were taken at for easy reference later on.

Most camera manufacturers will provide software to allow you to transfer and edit pictures from your camera. But some of that software is not the easiest to install and operate. There are a few ways to do the transfer without the camera software. If your camera has a memory card, you can buy a memory card reader and use it to read the pictures from your camera. The memory card reader plugs into a free USB connector on your computer. When you plug a memory card into the memory reader, you should notice a new hard drive on "My Computer."

Your computer will consider the memory device to be a hard drive and will allow you to manage pictures as if they were files on a hard drive. Many new cameras are directly supported by Microsoft XP If you plug a USB cable into the camera and a USB slot on the computer, you might discover that your computer knows how to read the pictures off the camera. Digital cameras offer an economical way to get into photography. After you pay for the camera, it doesn't cost anything to take pictures. You just need a computer to allow you to view and save your pictures. After you have saved a bunch of pictures in your computer, I suggest you to transfer them to a CD or DVD. If you do not, someday you may lose all your pictures if your computer ever crashes.

One other thing you need to be aware of is that older computers will have a hard time working the large megapixel cameras that are being produced today. If you have an older computer and go out and buy yourself a 8 or 10 megapixel camera, you may suddenly find you that you may have to buy a new computer too, or at least upgrade the one you have. The hefty picture files that are created by these large megapixel cameras use a tremendous amount of computer memory and can cause an incompatible computer a lot of problems.

The average needs of most people really do not require a large megapixel digital camera unless you plan on printing large photos. So it is best to keep this general rule in mind when considering a digital camera. A typical 2-megapixel camera will produce a very good 4 x 6 inch image using a typical desktop color inkjet printer. With a 4 -megapixel camera, you can turn out a very good 8 x 10 print, which is the largest print anyone who is not a professional is likely to need.

Doug Rogers has worked as a freelance photographer for the past 25 years in various fields of photography. In the past two years he has become an avid and devoted fan of digital and video photography and a life long lover of new technology. For tips on better digital photography and the latest reviews on the newest digital equipment that hits the market, Subscribe to his monthly Newsletter "The View Finder" at


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