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PCs: The Missing Manual by David A. Karp, Andy Rathbone

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Chapter 5. Digital Cameras, Camcorders, and Webcams

Before Windows XP’s arrival, nobody but hard-core geeks enjoyed connecting digital cameras or video cameras to their PCs. The cameras came packaged with clumsy software, often thrown in as an afterthought. And most older PCs just couldn’t handle video’s obsessive, 15-pictures-per-second demands for attention.

With Windows XP at the helm, today’s fast PCs work almost seamlessly with digital picture and video gear. Microsoft realized both these technologies were moving from geek to consumer, so they built Windows XP to recognize most digital cameras and camcorders as soon as you plug them into your PC.

This chapter explains how to perform the following tasks on your PC:

  • Copy a digital camera’s photos onto your computer, where you can view and edit them.

  • Copy a flash card’s photos directly onto your computer, bypassing the camera’s cable to speed up transfers.

  • View photos on your computer, rotating or editing them, if necessary.

  • Email photos to friends, letting them see how they really behaved at last night’s party.

  • Share photos with friends by posting the pictures to a Web site.

  • Copy movie footage from your camcorder to your PC for viewing.

  • Edit camcorder footage into a complete movie.

  • Connect a Webcam to your PC for video chats or to enhance your Web site.

Digital Camera Basics

Digital cameras first outsold film cameras in 2003; now they’ve nearly pushed film cameras off the shelves entirely. Some people fondly recall pawing through the little ...

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