Camera Howto

(Howo to operate a digital camera under Linux)

© (2004) Pablo Arés, pablo /at/ math.tifr.res.in


Saving files from a camera into your account

You need a digital camera (obvious) and a cable to connect it to the computer. The cable should be for a USB port, which is some small, flat sort of connection, silver in colour. You also need to know the model of the camera (obvious too!). Please inform me after you have the camera model so I can put the corresponding data in the system and add your name to those authorised to use the camera software.

About the software, right now (May 5, 2004), it is installed only in the machine called frobenius. I will install it in some machine in the computer room, but since this is not a priority job for me (no math related, as far as I can see), it might take time. Anyway, there are two programs, one called gphoto2 and the other gtkam. The first is a text-based program, that is, it looks like a terminal where you have to type the commands. The second is graphics-based, where you can click, but so far I have not managed to make it work with the cameras I have to test. So it might, or it might not, work with your camera; gphoto2 seems to work okay. The instructions below are for gphoto2.
Setting the camera with gphoto2

Give the following command to see the cameras supported:


   gphoto2 --list-cameras | less
(and quit by pressing the q key). See if your camera is supported and, as I wrote above, inform me about it so I can set up the system correctly for your camera. Connect the USB cable to your camera (which should be off), then to the computer (in the front part of the computer there is a door, under which you will find the USB ports) and switch on your camera. Then try to see if it is detected with the following command:

  gphoto2 --auto-detect

Saving files from a camera into your account

Enter the "shell mode" of gphoto2 (after setting your camera as explained above) with the command:


   gphoto2 --shell
Now the commands in this mode are as follows:
Command             Action
-------------------------------------------------------------
help                Display command usage
ls                  List contents of directory in the camera
cd DIR              Change to directory DIR in the camera
cd DIR              Change to directory DIR in the computer
get FILE            Copy FILE from camera to the computer
delete X            Delete directory or file X *in the camera*
exit, quit, q       Exit gphoto2