Digital Cameras

There's a lot of different digital cameras on the market. Read on to determine the features and functions you need.

Reader drives for your PC

There are several ways of transferring the images from a digital camera to the PC: either by connecting the camera directly to the PC via USB and downloading the images (more on this in the connectivity section below), or by using a memory card reader.

There are a range of memory card readers now available in the market, and they are priced very competitively. A five-in-one card reader that supports all the major formats can be bought for as little as $30.

Select vendors have also taken image downloading a step farther, and released printers which allow you simply to hook your digital camera directly to the printer to print images, bypassing the PC. Some now also contain built-in multiple memory card readers, so you can print your images directly from your memory card, as well as perform basic image manipulation on the device's LCD screen.


Connectivity

The standard your camera uses to transfer data requires your PC to have the relevant ports. How fast data transfer is will depend on these and your camera's connection standard.

Universal Serial Bus

The vast majority of digital cameras on the market use Universal Serial Bus (USB) to connect to a PC. USB allows easy installation of peripheral devices; just connect your camera to its cable and the cable to your PC. You don't have to install device drivers or even turn off your PC.

These days, pretty much every camera contains a USB 2.0 port, which runs at 480Mbps. This is considerably faster than the 12Mbs USB 1.1 ports that used to be used. Keep in mind though, to make proper use of US 2.0 your computer will have to support the interface, which many older machines do not. Otherwise you'll be forced to transfer at USB 1.1 speeds.

FireWire

FireWire, also known as IEEE 1394, transfers data at the same speed as USB 2.0, but is more commonly used by digital video cameras to transfer video. There are a few high end D-SLRs that have this connection, but for the most part you won't find it on any sort of consumer camera.

An advantage of FireWire is that it allows some cameras to receive power from the connection. Therefore, you could connect your unpowered camera with a FireWire connection and receive power from the bus.

Another benefit is that FireWire uses peer to peer connections, letting you transfer data between FireWire devices without a PC. USB is host-based, requiring a connection to a PC. Peer to peer connections are useful if you want to move photos from one camera to another, or perhaps from a camera to a digital video camera.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

GoodGearGuide Staff

Good Gear Guide
Show Comments

Essentials

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?