Dangers in copying pics from camera to computer

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

  1. macca

    ASAAR Guest

    No way. By then I can see you telling people to avoid getting one
    of those 256GB or 512GB cards. By carrying a couple of 100GB cards
    you'd avoid the risks of putting all of your eggs in one basket. :)
    ASAAR, Feb 4, 2006
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  2. That should be stated as "It charges through the *connector*
    that is also used by the USB port". It does not in any way
    use the USB port for charging.
    Floyd Davidson, Feb 4, 2006
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  3. macca

    Al Dykes Guest

    Huh? I never use the Unplug Device thing in w2k, or XP and my
    machines go months without rebooting. I plug a cf card in and remove
    it almost daily.

    When I plug it in I capy *all* files to the hard disk and my work
    habit is to format the card in the camera each time I insert it.

    I use Windows drag-n-drop to move the files into a folder. If you're
    having a chronic problem, it's with your application.
    Al Dykes, Feb 4, 2006
  4. macca

    KewlKiwi Guest

    Bill Funk replied to:
    And it's the same page for the printed manual.

    Actually, I've tried it both ways (the 'wall-wart' with a USB plug, and
    the USB connection to a computer) and both seem to take the same time to
    charge the battery. The charger's label says it is '5V 2A 10W' - dunno
    how that compares with the power available from a computer's USB socket?

    Either way, it fulfills the statement:
    "Yes, there are some cameras that charge themselves from the USB, these
    are not equipped with any other form of battery charging for a
    proprietary battery"

    IOW, there is no separate charger *for the battery*, you have to charge
    it via the USB port.

    (Although, I guess, one could argue that the battery is not proprietary
    since it's used in other cameras!)

    Incidently, that wall-wart is handy for charging my MP3 player too! That
    has it's battery built-in and can only be charged via it's USB port.
    KewlKiwi, Feb 4, 2006
  5. macca

    KewlKiwi Guest

    Bzzzt. Wrong. See other reply
    KewlKiwi, Feb 4, 2006
  6. macca

    MarkH Guest

    The USB socket can provide 5V and 0.5A which is 2.5W. In theory you can
    charge the camera 4x as fast from the wall socket.
    Actually that is not true. As you said the camera you are talking about
    comes with a 'wall-wart', so you can charge the battery without the USB
    from a computer.
    No, you can charge it from the wall, as you mentioned. You seem to be
    contradicting yourself, or at least confusing the use of the same socket
    on the camera with having to connect the camera to a USB port.

    But I take it that you ARE saying that the camera can indeed draw its
    power from the computer's USB port? I take it that you have verified
    that the battery does indeed become fully charged from the computers USB
    port alone? I ask this because the manual states that you should charge
    the camera from the power adapter. If what you say is correct this
    would bring the total number of cameras that I know of that are capable
    of powering themselves from a computer USB port to 1!

    Since the manual explicitly states that the camera should be charged
    from the wall socket, it could actually be a product fault that allows
    it to charge from the USB port, possibly with the potential to damage
    the PC. Personally I would not be happy charging from the PC unless the
    manual indicated that this was designed to happen and that the amps
    would not exceed what the USB port is designed to deliver. How long
    does it take to charge the battery from flat? This would give us an
    idea of how high the amperage draw is.

    I would not buy this particular camera anyway of course, I have seen
    better cameras for less money. With 3MPix and no optical zoom it offers
    limited functionality for what I would use such a camera for. For $60
    less I have seen the Fuji Finepix A345, which has 4MPix and 3x optical

    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 4, 2006
  7. macca

    Bill Funk Guest

    How so, when a charger is included with the camera?
    They do not charge "from the USB", they charge "through" the USB port,
    using a charger.
    Wrong. Read the manual, and look again at that charger. It's "fo the
    So far, I've seen nothing to actually convince me that the camera
    charges its battery using power from the computer's USB system. What I
    do see is a manual that mentions absolutely nothing about charging in
    any way other than connecting the charger.
    Now, while I suppose it's possible, I still don't see it.
    Bill Funk, Feb 5, 2006
  8. macca

    Paul J Gans Guest

    I'd seriously recommend never MOVING an image (or anything
    else) from a flash card, including the pocket ones.

    To MOVE the file, the operating system has to write to
    the directory after each file is moved. Since you can't
    simply write to a flash card, this could be dangerous.

    What happens on a write is that a block of some size, often
    256 bytes or more, is first *read* from the card. The data
    in memory is then changed. That entire block is then erased
    (i.e. set to zeros) and then the new data is written back to

    If you move two hundred images, that's a lot of writes. If
    something goes wrong (such as a battery dying) then the entire
    directory might be screwed and you'd have some difficulty
    reading the card -- though some manufacturers seem to have
    provided "rescue" programming to pull files off the cards
    even when the directory is pied.

    Still, I think that the right way to do things is to COPY
    images to your computer and then *back them up* onto a CD
    or whatever. Then and only then do I format the card *in*
    the camera.

    Yes, that does the same erasing, but much less of it, and
    there are no images to be lost in case of a glitch.

    ----- Paul J. Gans
    Paul J Gans, Feb 5, 2006
  9. macca

    Paul J Gans Guest

    But that's not what the manuals say. Why would they lie?

    ---- Paul J. Gans
    Paul J Gans, Feb 5, 2006
  10. macca

    KewlKiwi Guest

    MarkH replied to:
    A USB is a USB is a USB! The power to charge the battery MUST go through
    the USB port on the camera. And the camera doesn't care if that power
    comes from the wall-wart or a computer's USB port. Ok, so it'll take
    longer on the later, but it's still charging.

    I also said:
    And you replied:
    Nope, no contradiction. The battery can only be charged via the USB
    port. (unless one buys a separate charger that can handle NP60 batt's,
    but such is _not_ supplied with the camera)

    (I note, in passing, that in both your statements above you now say 'you
    _can_ charge it from the wall' and not _must_ )

    Yes. After all, it can also function as a web-cam (see page 54) and you
    wouldn't want to do that while running on the battery!
    To _properly_ test this, I'd have to run the battery down to the point
    where it no longer records or plays back, and since I use the camera
    every day at work to record setups I'm reluctant to try it. However, I
    can state that the camera does recharge (fully, overnight) via a
    computer's USP port - the charger that came with it was used for the
    initial charge and since then the camera has nearly always simply been
    re-charged while connected to the computer.

    Incidentally, page 8 of the manual, which you have quoted, says "charge
    the battery via the power adapter provided for at least 10 hours _before
    using the camera for the first time"_ (my emphasis)

    IOW, that paragraph is about the initial charging (in fact it's part of
    the section entitled "Getting up and running")

    However, I'll concede that since this is the only section of the manual
    dealing with charging, it must also apply to the normal charge cycle,
    but if you can find anywhere in the manual that says something like "Do
    not attempt to re-charge the battery via the computer's USB port" I'd
    like to know what page it's on...
    [sigh] "...before using the camera for the first time"
    You keep forgetting to read/quote that bit...

    It does not say "You must only charge the battery from the power
    adapter". Well, does it??

    So, since you dont know of any, it must therefore be impossible?
    I'll allow you this: The manual does not explicitly say it *can* charge
    from the computer - so it's possible it's not supposed to, and might
    therefore be a 'product fault'.
    But it hasn't hurt my one, and the manual doesn't say 'Dont do it!'

    BTW, have you ever heard of a web cam that has to be run from batteries?
    I dont know enough about Li-Ion batteries to say that a flat battery has
    a high inrush current when it's put onto a charger, so perhaps you're
    right. But in that case why doesn't the manual warn about it? And as I
    said, mine works fine.

    Fair enough, your choice. Mine is different, I've tried it, it works.
    Sorry, can't say since {a) It has only ever been flat before the initial
    charge, and {b} I followed the manual - and that says "charge the
    battery via the power adapter provided for at least 10 hours before
    using the camera for the first time" which is what I did.
    (If it's any help, it gets a bit warm when left connected overnight)
    I'm tempted to say 'strawman argument' here.
    Your reasons for buying (or not) this camera have nothing to do with the
    subject we are discussing which is charging the battery.

    However, I'll just add that _my_ reasons for getting this particular
    model were quite sound: it does what it was bought for, it fits in my
    shirt pocket and I can carry it around with me all day, ready to take
    photos or movies with only about 5 seconds notice - and it cost (on
    special) less than $200.

    (Hmm, where did you say you saw the Fuji Finepix A345 for less than $140?)

    KewlKiwi, Feb 5, 2006
  11. macca

    KewlKiwi Guest

    Please see my post to Mark.

    I guess the only way you two will be convinced is if you buy it
    yourselves! Rather an expensive way to lose an argument though...

    It would be nice if (either of you) can explain just why you are so
    *sure* it is impossible for a camera to be charged from a computer's USB
    Other than the fact there's not much in the way of amps, just what is
    the problem?

    /mild sarcasm/
    Is it perhaps a 'special' sort of electricity that comes out of a USB
    host that makes it unusable for charging batteries?
    /end sarcasm/

    KewlKiwi, Feb 5, 2006
  12. macca

    ASAAR Guest

    But you might have to. Not necessarily with your camera, but
    you'd have to know the camera's power requirements. My old
    Powershot S10/S20 (fairly small P&S) requires 650 ma from the power
    supply when charging. New cameras may well need less than 500 ma,
    so the USB should be able to charge some batteries at their normal
    rate. Almost any battery could be charged via the USB since the
    camera's USB port can be designed to detect the difference between
    a standard USB connector and the one on the power supply provided
    with the camera. Some PDAs do this, with the only disadvantage to
    charging via the computer's USB is that charging takes much longer,
    presumably to avoid usurping all of the power that the USB can
    provide, allowing other devices on the USB to receive sufficient
    power. If the camera's battery voltage is more than about 4.5
    volts though, the camera would also need to have ability to step up
    the voltage supplied by the USB in order to charge the battery.

    These same Powershots need a much heftier power supply to operate
    the camera, 6 volts at 1.5 amps, so it's very unlikely they'd be
    able to operate when powered by the USB. Again, modern, more
    efficient cameras may not be so limited.

    I've seen it in several places at prices varying from about $145
    to $175 (in the USA). The A345 is also available from WalMart for
    $140 (or slightly less) but you might not recognize it since the
    camera is called "Fuji Finepix A360". The only difference between
    it and the A345 is the label on the camera. At least that's what
    Fuji says. The box also includes some accessories not provided with
    the A345 - a nylon camera case, a small charger and a pair of NiMH
    AA cells. As one never knows when WalMart sells products that are
    manufactured to a lower spec., I'd rather pay $145 and forego the
    extra accessories. I wouldn't be surprised if the slightly higher
    resolution A350 becomes available for about this price within a
    couple of months.
    ASAAR, Feb 5, 2006
  13. macca

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Want to tell me how (and why) you unplug your internal card reader each
    time you use it? Read the message completely before replying...
    Ron Hunter, Feb 5, 2006
  14. macca

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Just wondering why some cameras don't use this method, as the Ipod does!
    Ron Hunter, Feb 5, 2006
  15. macca

    Ron Hunter Guest

    I believe the spec. is 500mw from the USB port. Would probably take
    longer to recharge. I know the Ipod can use the USB port for recharging.
    Ron Hunter, Feb 5, 2006
  16. macca

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Not really, just a rather low current limit (500mw).
    I am sure it can be charged that way, but charge times would be somewhat
    Ron Hunter, Feb 5, 2006
  17. macca

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Well, many photographers are wary of putting all their pictures on one
    media. I have little problem with this as I haven't had a failure that
    affected more than one picture, so far. Had I lost a few hundred shots,
    I might reconsider.
    Ron Hunter, Feb 5, 2006
  18. macca

    Ron Hunter Guest

    No OS would be stupid enough to allow this! A file is copied, then the
    original is deleted (if move was selected), but only after the copy gets
    a good completion response. If your software works the way you suggest,
    get some software designed by a person with two brain cells!
    Ron Hunter, Feb 5, 2006
  19. macca

    MarkH Guest

    I believe that the power to charge the battery can be from either the
    power adapter or from the computers USB port. Either can connect to the
    cameras socket which it would seem is not just a USB port, but also
    doubles as a charging socket.
    Nope, the battery can be charged from the wall, using the socket which
    is not just a USB socket, but also doubles as a charging socket. You
    seem to be confused on what the socket on the camera is, clearly it is
    not JUST a USB socket. In fact the manual clearly says that the socket
    you are talking about is a "Mini USB Port / Power Adaptor Port". So the
    camera can in fact be charged through its "Power Adaptor Port"
    I base that on your assertion that the camera is able to take its power
    from the computers USB socket. Even though the manual does not mention
    this ability, it does not mean that it can't work that way.
    I have owned a camera that could be used as a web cam and couldn't be
    powered by the computer connection.
    That seems to suggest fairly conclusively that it does indeed charge
    from the USB socket of the PC. I am happy to accept your word on that.
    I would have expected some mention that you can also charge the camera
    from the computers USB socket. Obviously the manual leaves a little to
    be desired.
    Neither does it say that you can also use the computers USB power for
    I don’t believe that I either stated or implied that it was not
    Yes, I had one before my current camera. Actually the web cam feature
    was not its primary function and there was an optional power pack
    available that could be used.
    If the charging from USB is actually a feature (despite no mention in
    the manual) then there would have to be some detection of the power
    source so the camera can limit the charging amperage to 500mV. If so
    then there is no problem.
    Just because it works does not mean that it is within spec. It is
    possible that you could let the battery get a little flatter and then
    the charging rate could exceed the 500mV that the USB is limited to.
    This could possibly damage the mainboard of the PC.
    I am sorry, I just mean that the first camera that I have heard of that
    can charge from the USB port of a PC seems to be a pretty budget model.
    I was also implying that I would not purchase a camera just to receive
    this 'great' feature. Sure it seems to charge happily from the PCs USB
    port, but many cameras that can't do that have many other features going
    for them that make them a better choice. If your camera was an equal of
    any other camera at a similar price, but also featured the ability to
    charge from the PC then you might have a good argument that it was a
    better way to go.
    That is not too bad a price. Hey, if it does what you need and you are
    happy with it then there is no problem!
    I don't believe that I said that at all. The camera you have is listed
    by DSE at a price of $298. The Fuji Finepix A345 is advertised at
    Parallel Imported for $239. Like I said: 4MPix and 3x optical zoom
    seems like a big step up, add to that the fact that Fuji is a well known
    brand for digital cameras and my choice would be easy. Even at less
    than $200 I would rather pay the extra to have the 3x optical zoom, even
    if it means missing out on the charging from the PC.

    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 5, 2006
  20. macca

    MarkH Guest

    Feel free to find a post from me where I say that I am sure that it is
    impossible for a camera to be charged from the computer's USB port and I
    will apologise for saying it!

    From your point of view it is a pity that the manual completely left out
    all mention of this feature, otherwise everyone could have seen evidence of
    what you claim very easily. But it would not be the first manual to leave
    out important information (or the last).

    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 5, 2006
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