We talk about connectivity, at a digital camera, when we want to refer at the way that other devices can be connected, so that transfer, viewing or printing of images can take place. We also need connectivity to use the camera for remote capture.

Image transfer

To be able to transfer images to your computer, older digital cameras used slow RS232 (serial) connections. Most digital cameras now feature USB 1.1 connectivity, with higher end models offering USB 2.0 and FireWire (IEEE 1394) connectivity. Usually, such cameras are bundled by manufacturers with cables and driver software. The real transfer rates are always lower than the theoretical transfer rates. Your computer hardware and software configuration, the type of camera or reader, the type and quality of the storage card, whether you are reading or writing (reading is faster than writing), the average file size (a few large files transfer faster than many small ones), etc, are some elements that practical transfer speeds depend on. When you want to transfer something you have two options: you can connect the camera with a cable to your computer, or you can insert the storage card into the PC Card slot of your notebook or a dedicated card-reader.

A transfer rate of 1 Megabit per second (Mbps) equals 128 Kilobytes per second (KB/s) and is able to transfer 7.5 Megabytes of information per minute or about four 5 mega pixel JPEG images.

Remote capture

Remote capture and time lapse applications represents another way that a connection to transfer images can be used. Note that only some cameras allow this type of connection.

Video output

Video and sometimes audio output for connection to a TV or VCR can also be provided by most digital cameras. More flexible cameras allow you to switch output between the PAL and NTSC video standards. If you want to do slideshows for friends and family from the comfort of your armchair, note that cameras with infrared remote controls make it easy.

Print Output

If you want to print images directly from the camera to an enabled printer via a USB cable without a computer, cameras with PictBridge and USB Direct Print support, allow you to do so. Though, printing directly from a digital camera eliminates the ability to edit and optimize your images.

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