Getting Images from a Digital Camera

Getting Images from a Digital Camera

Paint Shop Pro can be a great tool for digital photography. First, however, you have to get your camera and your PC talking to each other. They have to connect (interface in geek-speak) physically and in software:

  • Physical interface: Digital cameras physically connect to PCs in all kinds of ways. Your physical connection may be a serial port (a connector on the back of most PCs, if a modem or something else isn’t already using it), a parallel (printer) port, a USB port, a FireWire port, a memory card that plugs into your computer, a floppy disk, an infrared beam, X-rays, semaphore flags, or magical auras — who knows what the camera people will come up with next? See your camera manual for details. You also probably have to set a switch on your camera to prepare it for sending images to the PC.

  • Software interface: You also need a software interface, unless your camera stores photos on some disk or other device your PC can read. (In that circumstance, pop the floppy disk, memory stick, or whatever in the proper place in your PC, copy the files to a folder on your hard disk, and open the files in Paint Shop Pro.)

    Cameras come with the interface software they need, and to read photos from your camera, you need to install it. If the installation gives you a way to install either a Windows Image Acquisition (WIA) interface or a TWAIN interface, you’re in business. If the installation program lets you, avoid installing any freebie image software (like a cheap Paint Shop Pro) that comes with the camera. If you do, the installation process may assign certain image file types to that program rather than to Paint Shop Pro. If that happens, refer to the sidebar in Chapter 1 about making Paint Shop Pro open the right file types when you double-click.

    Many cameras have TWAIN-compliant software because TWAIN is a long-standing PC standard that allows every program on your computer to talk to image-acquisition devices, like cameras and scanners.

If your digital camera uses WIA, you need to follow the instructions that came with the camera. In Paint Shop Pro, choose File→Import→From Scanner or Camera to open camera files using the WIA method.

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