Dangers in copying pics from camera to computer

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by macca, Feb 1, 2006.

  1. macca

    KewlKiwi Guest

    Rob J replied to:
    Nope - it is a standard USB camera socket. Called, I believe, a '5-pin
    Mini B' (Google confirms, there are lots of them out there)

    It's exactly the same as the ones on lots of other cameras and devices,
    including my wife's Cannon.

    It has 5 contacts, the cable has 5 pins. It receives, and uses, the
    standard 5 volt supply from a USB host.

    And, as I said in another post, I dont even use the cable that came with
    the camera, preferring the Cannon one which is more or less permanently
    connected to the computer.

    I've just had a look at the camera's cable, and it is exactly the same
    plug as the Cannon (and also the one that came with my MP3 player.

    There are no extra contacts, no extra 'bits' that might trigger or break
    a switch in the camera, no way for the camera to know that it's not
    connected with the cable that came with it.

    To repeat, it is a standard USB cable and the camera's socket is a
    standard USB socket.

    Give up yet? Or would you like to have another go at explaining:
    KewlKiwi, Feb 7, 2006
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  2. macca

    KewlKiwi Guest

    There are all sorts of things that use the USB power, even a coffee-cup
    warmer plate. How about a pair of electric gloves? :)
    Perhaps it's because it'd be rather impractical. A solar panel capable
    of supplying enough power to charge a camera in a reasonable time would
    probably be a lot bigger than the camera itself.

    Mind you, while there may not be a camera that 'comes with solar panels'
    it could be an excellent idea as an after-market accessory! Think of a
    tramper on extended trips in the outback...

    What I'm surprised at is that there aren't more cameras that can
    (re)charge via the USB port. Most of them, after all, do have a USB
    socket to connect to the computer, and that socket can supply 5 volts
    (albeit at a low wattage) so why not take advantage of it while the
    camera is connected to d/l photos?

    It may (depending on the camera) need additional circuitry to limit
    current draw (to protect the host supply) but that would be a simple
    addition on the circuit board (I guessing here)

    You're surprised there is one such camera, I'm surprised there aren't a
    lot of them.

    KewlKiwi, Feb 7, 2006
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  3. macca

    Dave Taylor Guest

    USB is current limited by the host hub device. (or is supposed to be)
    The camera may be able to pull more than 500 mA when it is connected to the
    There is some good info out there on how it works. Here is one:
    Dave Taylor, Feb 7, 2006
  4. macca

    Jerry Guest

    No, most people will find it easier from a card reader. A lot of new
    computers and printers even come with a built in card reader.
    Jerry, Feb 7, 2006
  5. macca

    Jerry Guest

    http://www.networktechinc.com/technote.html has the pinout of the 5 pin
    mini USB cable. It is a standard cable
    Jerry, Feb 7, 2006
  6. macca

    KewlKiwi Guest

    Thank you Dave.

    KewlKiwi, Feb 7, 2006
  7. macca

    KewlKiwi Guest

    KewlKiwi, Feb 7, 2006
  8. macca

    Ron Hunter Guest

    The standard USB port provides 5V at up to 500mw. No need for extra
    Ron Hunter, Feb 7, 2006
  9. macca

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Well, I wouldn't be surprised. I believe there are plans to produce a
    laptop with a hand crank! Really!
    Ron Hunter, Feb 7, 2006
  10. macca

    DaveD Guest

    Googling "5 pin mini usb connections" gave me this on the 7th hit :-


    and under USB there is this (fixed width font required) :-

    Mini-B Plug (for miniature peripheral devices)

    Solder/crimp view (or socket view)

    | x x x x x |
    | 1 2 3 4 5 |
    | |

    Pin 1 +5V Red
    Pin 2 -Data White
    Pin 3 +Data Green
    Pin 4 key (not connected)
    Pin 5 GND Black

    So it is a *standard* ... with pin 4 used as a key-way .. until some
    smart arse wants to do something *non-standard* and, provided the device
    manufacturer puts the charging circuit in the camera / whatever,
    plugging it in to a live USB socket can charge the internal battery.

    DaveD, Feb 7, 2006
  11. macca

    KewlKiwi Guest

    Thank you Dave

    KewlKiwi, Feb 7, 2006
  12. macca

    Paul J Gans Guest

    There is no reason why a camera battery can't be rechared via
    a USB port.

    However, that does not mean that it is possible for any given
    camera. It is quite possible to have a working USB port and
    not take a charge through it -- and there are any number of
    reasons (cost, weight, etc.) why you might not want the camera
    battery recharged that way.

    Manuals ought to be more specific about this situation.

    ---- Paul J. Gans
    Paul J Gans, Feb 7, 2006
  13. macca

    Wakke Guest

    With any transfer from a battery powered device you should always use
    an AC adapter. Just a safe rule of thumb. But as far as damage goes i
    can't really imagine anything big happening, if anything you may have
    to format your card afterwards.
    Wakke, Feb 7, 2006
  14. macca

    Larry Lynch Guest

    I purchased a Wolverine "Flashpac 7000 series" 40 gig pocket hard drive
    with slots for all popular memory cards.

    It comes with a rechargeable battery in it (lithium ion similar to those
    in many cameras) and a charger pack (wall wart).

    Imagine my surprise the first time I plugged it into the USB 2.0 port on
    my computer when the "charge lamp" lit up before I turned it on...

    I transferred my pictures and didnt think much about it 'till a week
    later, when I decided to see if it was really charging when on the USB

    I ran the battery down loading the 40 gig hard drive with photos, then
    hooked it up to the 'puter. Lo, and behold, there was suddenly enough
    power available to transfer pictures, and later, when I shut the drive
    off, but did not disconnect it from the computer, the charge light came
    on and the battery took on a full charge, while I did some work with the

    No mention of this feature is made in the manual for the drive, nor is
    there any mention on the website for Wolverine... but it does charge
    itself that way.

    I only mention this to point out that, sometimes, some of our gear is
    doing stuff we dont know about, and dont have control over.

    Larry Lynch
    Mystic Ct
    Larry Lynch, Feb 7, 2006
  15. macca

    MarkH Guest

    To be honest, if there were 2 models of the same camera for the same price
    - one with the ability to charge through the USB port and the other using a
    separate socket for the power adaptor which couldn't charge through the USB
    port - I would choose the one that didn't charge from the USB.

    There are reasons why people may not want the device to draw power from the
    USB port, one is that the port could be shared with a mouse or keyboard and
    plugging in a device that sucks power from the port will cause a problem
    for other devices that attempt to power themselves from the USB port at the
    same time.

    I have a printer and a scanner that both plug into the USB port, but both
    get their power from power adaptors. My Pocket PC also powers itself from
    a separate power adaptor. If all these devices were designed to get their
    power from the USB port then I would have a big problem, with not enough
    power to go around.

    My camera works just fine with a separate charger to charge the batteries.

    I wouldn't mind the USB charging so much if you could control it - decide
    whether to let the camera run on battery power or separate power or USB
    power. Without the control it has the potential to be a damn nuisance.

    Mark Heyes (New Zealand)
    See my pics at www.gigatech.co.nz (last updated 5-September-05)
    "The person on the other side was a young woman. Very obviously a
    young woman. There was no possible way she could have been mistaken
    for a young man in any language, especially Braille."
    MarkH, Feb 7, 2006
  16. macca

    Frank ess Guest

    I always format my card afterwards. I used to have a cigarette, too,
    but I quit smoking.
    Frank ess, Feb 7, 2006
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