CF Card Reader - For Writing too?

Discussion in 'Digital Cameras' started by Jerold Pearson, Aug 10, 2003.

  1. I've read the articles on the web that I can find about Compact Flash card
    reader/writers, but none of them seem to address this question: Is it okay
    to use the reader/writer to copy a photo from my computer onto the CF card?

    (I don't take many photos, and just use the camera for snapshots. I'm not
    an artist, but I do wind up editing the photos on my computer. I want to
    put the edited photos on a card so I can take just the card to the shop
    where I can get prints made.)

    A salesman at a camera store told me NEVER to do this -- he said weird files
    get written onto the card doing this, and the card could stop working. He
    said I should only use the card reader to download photos from the card to
    the computer, not the other way around. A few minutes later, a salesman at a
    computer and peripherals store told me the exact opposite -- he said it was
    perfectly fine to use the reader/writer to copy files from my computer onto
    the card. That sounds right to me: I mean, isn't that why it's called a
    reader/writer, and not called just a reader?

    Anyway, I would appreciate any thoughts about this. Thanks.

    Jerold Pearson, Aug 10, 2003
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  2. Jerold Pearson

    Don Coon Guest

    The first salesman is ignorant. You can read/write any kind of file from/to
    a CF card. The only caveat to be aware of is that most cameras are only
    able to read and display image files that meet the specifications set by the
    camera maker. IOW, don't necessarily expect to edit an image file in SW,
    write it back to the card and have you camera recognize and display it.
    Things like the EXIF header format and file name structure must satisfy the
    camera's expectations.

    But if you want to write a Word document to the card and read it back --- no
    Don Coon, Aug 10, 2003
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  3. Jerold Pearson

    Rafe B. Guest

    AFAIK, with appropriate reader ($20 or so), a CF card
    looks and acts just like a removable drive, and uses
    a FAT-compatible file system. That's assuming you
    have a reasonably up to date OS, like Win 2K or XP.

    I'm not exactly sure how any given camera would react
    to files on the card that it doesn't recognize. Most likely
    there would be no problem. Why not try it and see?

    You can't possibly "hurt" the card by writing to it.

    rafe b.
    Rafe B., Aug 10, 2003
  4. Jerold Pearson

    Ron Hunter Guest

    Suggest you find a shop where the salesmen know what they are talking
    about. This one doesn't. I routinely use my flash cards for
    transporting data between home and work, and for storage of MP3 files,
    and for pictures, and for... Well, anything darn thing that I think of
    to do with them. As long as they aren't reformatted to some other
    format than FAT16, or the directory structure messed up, they should
    present no problem for a camera that is programmed according to standards.
    Ron Hunter, Aug 10, 2003
  5. I've read the articles on the web that I can find about Compact Flash

    Yes, that is no problem. What you might find a problem is that if you
    edit the pictures prior to copying them back to the card, the camera may
    not recognise them - for example if you want to use the camera for a
    slide-show. I have written software called TVwriter that will fixup image
    files so that they will once again replay correctly in the camera. You
    can try this software from: => Image Utilties, TVwriter

    David J Taylor, Aug 10, 2003
  6. Dear David:
    Machine translation by:
    The problem of which exists if flocks one fotografia from the computer
    with the card in a reader, this no longer works but in the maquina.
    Because you do not write a program to formatear these SmartMedia cards?


    My program is completely independant of the type of card - Compact Flash,
    Smart Media or whatever. You can use it with any card. TVwriter converts
    the image to a camera-readable format, leaving the output as a JPEG image
    on your computer.

    I would suggest that you format your Smart Media card in your camera, and
    then use Explorer to copy the files from your computer to the Smart Media
    card. It may be important to use the same file-naming and folder naming
    convention that you camera expects. If the files are named DSCN0001.jpg,
    then files named IMGP0001.jpg may not be recognised by the camera.

    I hope this helps.

    David J Taylor, Aug 10, 2003
  7. I do this all the time... if I'm in a particular need of a print of
    one of the images from my 10D, I'll usually start with a blank CF
    card, copy it from my hard drive back onto the CF card with any other
    pictures I want to print, and take it Walmart. The camera doesn't
    care if there is other data on the card (if it's not in one of the
    directories that it expects pictures to be in, it'll just ignore it).
    Richard Kaszeta, Aug 10, 2003
  8. card?

    Sure. I just did this over the weekend, with very good

    I have a Pentax Optio S (fantastic camera, IMHO), and it has
    a video output and a slide show function. I had a bunch of
    photos on my computer from the Optio S and from my older
    Fuji FinePix 1400. I renamed all the Fuji photos to the
    same naming scheme used by the Pentax camera, downsized
    all the pictures to 640x480 (so I could get all 350 photos
    onto my 64MB SD card), rotated the portrait-mode photos into
    the correct orientation, and copied them all into the
    appropriate directory on the flash card. I then used the
    Optio S's microphone to add audio commentary to a number of
    the photos. Finally, I plugged the camera into the VCR and
    ran the slide show. Voila, a videotape I can send to my
    computer-illiterate father in Texas. It worked great!

    -- William M. Miller
    William M. Miller, Aug 11, 2003
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