19 February 2007

Digital Camera Woes

My work requires photographs, and digital photographs have totally replaced film here. Like so many other new technologies, digital cameras seem easy to use, and so the demand for the shared cameras is impossibly high. As a result, the cameras are frequently broken or missing. Simply bringing a digital camera from home does not solve the problem. The Windows machines at work cannot mount the foreign camera without administrative access (which I lack). Can Linux save the day? My Ubuntu 6.10 box at home mounts my borrowed Kodak EasyShare V530 without a problem--the camera plugs into a charging pedestal (whatever this thing is called), and the pedestal plugs into the wall and the USB port. After physical connection, a button on the pedestal puts the camera and computer in virtual connection. The OpenSuSE 10.1 box at work did not detect the camera, even with the F-Spot program. According to the website, OpenSuSE supports this camera with gphoto2, so I installed gphoto2 and libgphoto2. Installation went fine, but I could not get the CLI to do what I wanted. The key program was gtkam (and libexif), both available from the repository. I could only access the camera through F-Spot (Ubuntu treated the camera as a disk drive), but all is working now. What I would really like is an easy way to use old CCD cameras with any of my Linux computers at work--then I could take endless pictures through microscopes and dissection-scopes.


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