new life for a Nikon 990 Coolpix
November 9, 2011 8:22 AM   Subscribe

I'm trying to set up my Nikon 990 Coolpix camera as a dedicated image camera on a PC. I'm not able to download images via USB and wondering how I could get this to work. I need to take a boatload of images and get them into a PC quickly and easily. I have this camera available as a utility camera that can be permanently utilized in this role if I can get it to work on a PC.

I'm able to connect this camera to a Macintosh and download images using Image Capture application. On a PC, I've tried the latest Nikon software available from their website, which does not detect the camera. I've tried looking for the original CD installer for the camera, and not been able to find it or buy it.
This camera has plenty of working utility for me if I can get images off it conveniently and quickly. I don't want to use a memory card transfer, though I suppose that could be a final way to do this. A cheap USB reader I got off eBay didn't work, so if there is one that would definitely be compatible and work, feel free to suggest one.
Best outcome: open source or free application that would run the camera as a tethered shooting platform. I don't think that's out there, so next best solution is the equivalent of Mac Image Capture for the PC.
posted by diode to Technology (11 answers total)
If you're a Linux geek at all, try gPhoto2. You might be able to get it running under Cygwin if you're on Windows.

It looks like it should definitely be able to get images off your camera, and it may even be able to remote control it -- some of the earlier Coolpix are listed as supported, though I don't see the 990 specifically.
posted by natabat at 8:50 AM on November 9, 2011

diode, check your memail. I have the original PC software.
posted by bonehead at 8:54 AM on November 9, 2011

Not that you asked, but the Coolpix 990 can be very easily modified to take great IR images, so even if you don't use it that way, make sure you sell it on eBay or something and don't just let it collect dust on the shelf!
posted by speedgraphic at 9:11 AM on November 9, 2011

Look at some of the options on this page.
posted by TedW at 10:44 AM on November 9, 2011

sounds like what you really need is a eye-fi card (it's a memory card with wifi built in that zaps pix to your computer automagically)...looks like you can get them for ~$30-40 on amazon, maybe cheaper googling around. PRO: no cables, greater range, instant, if camera goes kaput you can use it in another camera, &c.
posted by sexyrobot at 10:58 AM on November 9, 2011

sexyrobot's solution will only only work if you are able to use the Eye-Fi card with an SD to CF card adapter in the camera. That's a big if. for that reason, plus the fact that the camera is as old as a CP990 is.

My guess is that this solution will not work for those reasons.
posted by imjustsaying at 11:05 AM on November 9, 2011

Thanks for the suggestions for far. I can attest that this software does not work. More attempts to come.
posted by diode at 11:53 AM on November 9, 2011

This question will probably betray my ignorance of Complicated Photography (I just take snapshots for my blog). But I have read your question several times, and I wonder if you have tried transferring images just like any other Windows file?

I never use the native software that imports images from digital cameras. I find it tedious and annoying for my minimal needs. Instead, I plug my camera into my computer, and wait for the computer to recognize the camera.

Then I go to My Computer, and click through to find the files on the camera. Then it's just a matter of copy/paste, cut/paste, click/drag - however you like to move files - to move the files from there to the folder of your choice.

Not as instamagic as the solution it sounds like you're looking for. But probably easier than constantly swapping the card out to a USB card reader.
posted by ErikaB at 12:22 PM on November 9, 2011

From TedW's list, this (Remote Control Driver and GUI for the Nikon Coolpix 990, 950, 880, 775, and 995 Digital Cameras) appears to be exactly what you want. It even comes with source.
posted by bonehead at 12:29 PM on November 9, 2011 [1 favorite]

It does seem like the best answer.
posted by diode at 3:42 PM on November 9, 2011

ErikaaB - this camera does not mount on the desktop. Some do, some don't. I cannot use a native file system on a computer to access it in the way you describe as far as I know. I have to use software to access the images on the camera.
posted by diode at 3:45 PM on November 9, 2011

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