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Digital Cameras in Linux? No Problem

Novell Cool Solutions: Feature
By Jason Jones

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Posted: 7 Dec 2004

When I first converted to Linux, I wondered how it would handle peripherals like scanners, printers, digital cameras, etc... I thought I'd give Linux a try when I was thinking about buying a digital camera.

When I bought my new Canon S45 digital camera, I found all sorts of CDs in the box. I briefly looked through them. While doing so, I noticed there was nothing that said "Linux" on it so I began to get a bit anxious. I had just nuked my last Windows partition so if my camera didn't work in Linux, I'd have to re-partition the whole thing.

I have a SUSE Linux 9.2 Professional box, and even though I didn't know if my camera was supported, but I decided to take the plunge just see what SUSE did with it.

Now, on with the show...

I plugged one end of the usb cable to my camera, and the other to my usb port. As soon as I plugged it in, my camera turned on, and my computer started acting like it was thinking. After about 3 seconds, it stopped thinking, but nothing happened.

I started hunting around the menu for something that would lead me to a digital camera application. It wasn't long before I found a nice little application called "DigiKam"

location to DigiKam

When it opened, it gave me a nice little splash screen, and then gave me a pretty intuitive interface. I wanted to add my camera, so I clicked on the "Camera" Menu item, and sure enough, "add camera" was the only option.

Digcam's Interface -> add camera

I clicked it, and there weren't any cameras in the program. I easily saw the option "Auto-Detect" on the right-hand nav bar, and when I clicked it, my camera popped up in the interface! Lookin' good so far.

Successfully added Camera

Now that my camera was there, I wanted to download the images from it to my computer. I tried double-clicking my camera in the camera listing in the camera section, and it didn't do anything.

So, I clicked on the ok button at the bottom of the page and rummaged through the different main tool-bar items at the top. I didn't find much until I went back over the "camera" menu. Something new had appeared in there.

My camera had appeared in the menu

So, I clicked on the "Canon Powershot S45 (normal mode)" listing and voila! The images listing appeared in a neat little pop-up box which gave me even more options on what to do with the pictures listed.

New pop-up box listing my images

I clicked on the "download" option, which turned out to be a menu, and there was a "download all" option. I clicked it. and another box popped up asking me which album to store it in.

Where do you want to store your images?

I clicked on the "New Album" button at the bottom, put in "Computer Parts" as my new album, and the new folder appeared under "My Albums" at the top.

After this, I clicked "ok".

Unexpectedly, an error came up telling me that the download had failed. I looked down at my camera, and it had turned off. This happened because I took so long to download the pictures. It shouldn't happen to you if you plug it in, and download your images normally (without writing an article on how to do it, in the meantime).

So, I unplugged my camera, and plugged it in again. I tried downloading the pictures this time, and it worked wonderfully. It provided me with a progress bar telling me how the download was doing, and the name of the file it was currently downloading.

Downloading the images...

After they were downloaded, I closed the download window, and didn't immediately notice anything different. I looked a bit more and found a "Unknown" section under my albums. I clicked the arrow by it, and it dropped down to another menu called "Computer Parts" The lost album is found!

I clicked on the album, and it brought up all my images! I could then click on the images and bring them up in a larger independent window.

And that's how my first experience with SUSE 9.2 Pro. was with my digital camera!

Isn't it nice that I didn't need a single driver from my camera to make it work? Such is the greatness of Linux. :)

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