Saturday, 1 December 2007

Sony DSC-V3, Olympus mju 795 SW, and Linux

The support for digital cameras in Linux seems to be getting better and better. Either that, or the camera manufacturers are standardizing the way PCs connect to their hardware. I own a Sony DSC-V3, and I just purchased an Olympus 795 SW for my wife. The Sony is an older model. I think I purchased that in 2005, and the Olympus was a recent purchase.

The Sony connects to my Gentoo Linux machine via a USB cable, and uses the PTP protocol to interface with the gtkam application. This uses the gphoto set of libraries. It was a little bit of mucking around, with both my machine, and the camera before it was able to transfer images. It was a different situation on my wife's Ubuntu Linux PC. Just plug in the Sony, ensure it is using PTP, and Ubuntu will do the rest. This is an ideal situation for my wife, who unlike me does not have the patience to tinker around with a PC to make it work. She wants it to just work "out of the box". The only thing that doesn't work is that I cannot delete images off the memory card within the Sony from the gtkam GUI. No major hassle. Once I transfer the images, I can just delete them using menus within the camera.

With the Olympus, the story is even easier. It too connects to the PC via a USB cable (but not the same one as the Sony). The Olympus declares itself as a USB storage device. There is no additional work to do. A folder will pop up on the desktop, and you will be able to manipulate its contents like you would do to a USB storage key / dongle. Since the difference between the 795 SW and the 790 SW is its "toughness", I assume the 790 SW would also connect just as easily to a Linux PC. I am yet to confirm if Ubuntu will just read it, but seeing how it is does with every other device, I'm assuming it will. I will confirm this.

To summarize this, unlike some other operating system, there is no additional drivers to load to get these two cameras working under Linux. So if you need assistance in getting either of these cameras working under Linux, do feel free to contact me. If you're using a distribution like Ubuntu, then you probably find that these cameras and many others will just work.

Lastly, here are two pictures from both cameras.

Picture from SonyPicture from Olympus

The first one is from the Sony, and the second one is from the Olympus. Do click on them to look at them in proper size. Both are great cameras - but I still prefer my Sony...

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