digital camera pics to PC
August 15, 2011 5:01 AM   Subscribe

I need to do a lot of quick images of stuff to sell on ebay and other places. I'd like to be able to take a pic and have it immediately available on a PC. I know I can use a memory card reader or USB cable to transfer images. What I would like to have is the image transferred immediately upon shooting to the PC.

When I take images now, I shoot several, hook up my camera, wait for the software (Picasa) to sense the camera, then download the images. Unhook the cable, shoot more images...repeat. I'd like to cut out the 'hook up the USB cable' step entirely.

I'm going to set up a softbox with a camera and a USB cable to a nearby PC. I have an older Nikon 990 and a Canon 1200IS. I don't know if either of these two camera would be compatible for this type of setup. It would be ideal if they were.

It seems to me that digital cameras should be able to have their memory mounted on a PC while they are taking pictures, but never seen this option in any camera I've used.

As a side note to this post, I've misplaced the installer CD's for the Nikon 990. The current Nikon software doesn't mount the camera on my PC though Image Transfer on my Mac works fine. Any tips for getting images off the 990 onto Windows XP would be very appreciated.
posted by diode to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Sounds like Eye-Fi is what you're looking for... it's a SD card w/ a wifi interface that can upload to your PC as you take photos, assuming you have a wifi connection available where you're shooting.
posted by reptile at 5:06 AM on August 15, 2011 [2 favorites]


(I have one, very lightly used, for sale. Want it?)
posted by devbrain at 5:19 AM on August 15, 2011

"Tethered shooting" is the phrase you want to search. I have a Canon so don't know the specifics for your camera, but a quick Google search suggests that Nikon's Camera Control Pro 2 software is what you want. There is a button for a free trial on that page so you can see if it works before buying.
posted by ella wren at 5:59 AM on August 15, 2011

Oh wait, you have a Canon too! In that case you can do it for free if you still have the install CD. Instructions.
posted by ella wren at 6:02 AM on August 15, 2011

Eye Fi is a pretty easy solution. I have an Eye Fi card that can actually upload straight to flickr, so if you don't plan to do much editing on the computer that's nice.

Here is the company's web page about it:

Nice: it will upload RAW files, although then the previews won't work; it saves me from finding my camera cable or card reader; straight to flickr/other website is a nice shortcut for some snapshots

Cons: when you shoot a gazillion pictures in RAW or large JPEGs, upload can be s l o w. and to change where the pictures go, you have to put the card into the laptop & change its settings using the EyeFi app.
posted by lyra4 at 6:59 AM on August 15, 2011

Just to throw another option in here: most web cam control software includes the ability to take stills with the web cam and save it directly to the computer. Webcams are typically a lot cheaper than the Eye-fi, and you may already have one. Images will be of significantly lower resolution than with a "real" camera, but a lot of times one has to (or should, anyway) downsize images to post items for sale online. Image quality can be pretty poor if you just start snapping away without any forethought, but you can improve it by lighting your subjects very well and shooting against a neutral backdrop.
posted by richyoung at 9:46 AM on August 15, 2011

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