How to Print Directly From Your Digital Camera

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Being able to print directly from your digital camera can be a useful, time-saving convenience. To make this easier for consumers, all the major camera and printer manufacturers now support the PictBridge standard. With this built-in functionality, you can print single images, thumbnail contact sheets, multiple images, date-stamped images, selected areas of images, multiple copies, and more. Some features depend on your camera and printer, but PictBridge works well on a huge number of devices. Here's how to get started.

Step by Step: Printing From Your Camera

1. Make sure that both your digital camera and your printer are PictBridge-compatible. You can do this by visiting the CIPA Website, or by checking your user manuals for each device. You may also want to check your product boxes, if you have them--PictBridge-enabled products have the PictBridge logo on the manufacturer's box (see image).

2. PictBridge works automatically on most Nikon and Canon cameras, but some Sony, Panasonic, and Olympus cameras may first require you to change the camera's USB function to recognize a printer input. This is done in your camera's settings menu.

3. When you are ready, turn off your camera, and turn on your printer.

4. Connect the camera to the printer via a USB cable. Camera manufacturers usually include these cables with their cameras, but they are easily replaced if you have misplaced your original.

5. Turn on the camera.

6. At this point, your camera's LCD screen will start up, and you will be able to navigate through the print options available to you with your particular camera and printer combination. This interface varies slightly among camera manufacturers, but you will almost always navigate through your images with the camera's control pad, and select an image to print by pressing the OK button. More options are usually available by pressing the camera's menu button.

Only functions that are available on both devices will be available for you to use. So, while you may be able to print a date-stamped image on one printer, you may not be able to do so on another. Generally speaking, however, the newer your camera and printer, the more print functions the two devices are likely to support.

7. Once you are finished printing, simply turn off your camera and remove your USB cable from both devices.

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