BetterPhoto Q&A
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Photography Question 
Diane Kim

How to Transfer Picture Files to a CD?

I recently purchased my first digital camera and is really excited about using it. I've taken my first full memory set today and want to take more pictures but don't know how to transfer the pictures to a CD. What cables do I need and what are the step by step instructions? Could I format the pics. after they're saved onto a CD? Thanks.=)

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7/21/2003 5:56:00 AM

doug Nelson   Use the instructions with the digital camera's software to transfer your images to your hard drive. Make a file beforehand for that purpose.
Now go the CD writing software (Roxio Easy CD is what many of us have) and find that file on the hard drive with your pictures. Drag and drop that file into the CD writing software and follow the prompts that they give you. The first time, they'll ask you if you want to test before you burn. Yes, you want to do that. Try burning at a 2x wite speed. Fix a cup of coffee and read the paper, as this will take a while. Later, you won't have to do the test phase, unless you want to try burning at a faster speed.

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7/21/2003 6:02:38 AM

Michael Carey   After reading you answer Doug, I have another question. Why do you recommend burning the CD at a 2X write speed. Do slower speeds copy the file more faithfully?

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7/24/2003 2:02:17 PM

doug Nelson   My resident computer head where I used to work told me to go with the slow speed. I never experimented wit faster speeds. My early generation CD burner has a max write speed of 6x. Maybe the better ones of today are capable of faster writes. My new Dell at work burns text and simple graphics accurately at 32x.

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7/25/2003 9:36:04 AM

Wayne Attridge   On burning speed. The slower the burn speed, the longer the laser has to melt the affected area. A burned CD is made up of areas that are dull or shiny. The burner melts the area to mark a 1 and it appears shiny to the reader. The unmelted or 0s appear dull to the reader. It's a little like filling in the boxes on a questionaire. The quicker you go, the less of the square you are able to colour in. And so, if you have a CD reader that is having trouble reading your sloppy (quick written) CDs, you may have to burn slower. Also, as you CD develops scratches on the reading surface, the laser may have considerably more trouble making out the data on the CD. For things I really want to keep, I burn at 1 speed. What's your hurry? That's why God invented beer!! Hope this helps.

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7/25/2003 5:09:53 PM

Michael Kaplan   I have one important thing to add. When ever you burn a CD that has important irreplaceable things like your photos, you should always do a ‘verify’ afterwards. That will verify that the file on the CD exactly matches your original. No matter what speed you write them at there could be defects in the CD and months after you have deleted the originals from both your camera card and your hard drive is way too late to discover you had a badly written or defective disk.

For those once in a lifetime pictures, it doesn't hurt to make a 2nd backup copy and maybe keep them in a banks safety deposit box or leave it with a friend or relative. That would help in case of a fire or other disaster.

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7/25/2003 8:57:31 PM

Diane Kim   Many thanks to everyone who responded to my question!!! =) All was great help. Now I can enjoy my digital camera to a larger extent. Thanks. =)

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7/25/2003 9:30:39 PM

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