If you've recently joined the digital camera crowd, you may be less than satisfied with the functionality of the software or drivers used to extract pictures from the camera. This was certainly the case with the Nikon Coolpix 900 I recently acquired.
Although the mounting software is supposed to automatically select the highest reliable serial port speed, the mounting operation would constantly complain about communications errors. Reducing the port speed to 57,600 bps didn't help. Once the camera mounted, attempts to transfer files would often result in a lockup, requiring the dreaded "three finger salute".
Thank goodness for Cameraid, which will let you communicate with cameras from Agfa, Apple, Epson, Fuji, Leica, Nikon, Olympus, Sanyo, Toshiba and possibly others based on a Fujitsu chipset. Although Cameraid does a lot more than suck pictures out of a camera, basic connectivity features were of immediate concern. After selecting the camera type, the port to use, and a port speed of 230,400 bps, the Start Download button was pressed.
A download percent progress was displayed in a status window, and shortly thereafter, the image appeared in a new viewer window. Success! Also displayed by the viewer was a time and date stamp, plus information about the shutter speed, aperture and focal length used. These values will vary based on what info your camera chooses to store. Knowing these values can help aspiring photographers take better pictures, especially if allowed to fiddle with them manually.
Once an image is visible in the viewer window, one can apply lossless rotation to the image, and even apply an optimization algorithm to try and reduce the file size. Note that these options do not degrade the quality of the image.
The batch feature is where things get interesting. The wealth of options range from the mundane, such as which files to select and how to rename them, to image processing options which can affect the luminance, gamma, color balance and sharpness of the resulting image. You can also create an HTML page that will link to your pictures.
A grading features can help weed out pictures of thumbs, accidental pressing of the shutter, or just plain awful pictures. As you flip through each image, you can give it a higher or lower grade. Subsequent drag-and-drop and batch commands can use this grade to include or exclude certain pictures.
The robust connectivity features alone make Cameraid worth the price. The advanced transform, batch, grading and HTML features may make this the only tool you'll need to extract and manipulate your pictures.
Note the Additional Information Captured Along with the Image
Many Options Await You in the Batch Processing Dialog
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John is a software engineer who works in the corporate R&D group of a Fortune 500 company, focusing on all aspects of communications technology. He has several degrees that claim he knows what he's doing when it comes to computers. After watching co-workers reinstall Windows, search for device drivers, and experience other horrors during the day, he's glad that he comes home to a Mac (compatible) computer. Have any comments, suggestions, or favorite Gadgets? Drop John a line at