GPhoto the Digital Camera Tool

gPhoto, the GNOME digital camera tool, lets you copy pictures from a digital camera onto your hard drive, organize them, and turn them into prebuilt web page galleries.

gPhoto does take some setting up, and the process will vary depending on the camera you are using. The first time you run gPhoto, it will ask you what model of camera you are using, and what port to use to access it. If you have run gPhoto before and want to set that information now, select Configure, Select Port, and then Camera Model.

Some systems may identify your camera automatically, and you will be able to use /dev/camera for your port name. Some may even have /mnt/camera set up as a standard directory, and you will be able to point gPhoto there as though it were a directory (do this by selecting File, Open, and then Directory).

Otherwise, you're in for just a little bit of tinkering. If you're using a serial cable (the kind of cable with visible pins on the end), you have probably plugged your camera into /dev/ttyS0 or /dev/ttySl. If you have a USB cable, you have probably plugged the camera into /dev/usb. For FireWire (also known as iLink or IEEE-1394), it may be /dev/sga0 or /dev/sga1.

If none of these works, make sure that you have read and write permissions on the camera device — you can do this with Nautilus or with the chmod command at the command line. You may also try mounting the camera device as though it were a hard disk (do so according to your operating system's instructions). Some cameras will require this; others will not.

Once you have the setup complete, you're ready to go. To download a "thumbnail index" of all the images on your camera, press Ctrl+I or Camera, Download Index, and then Thumbnails. From there, you can decide which ones to keep and which to throw away. Select as many as you like (or choose Select, and then All to select them all), then press Ctrl+G or choose Camera, Download Selected, Images, and then Save to Disk to save them to a location on your hard disk.

To put your photos into a web gallery, start by selecting the items you want to include from the index. Then choose File, Export, and then HTML Gallery, or press Ctrl-M. You'll be prompted to choose a style for your pages, and a location to save the results. Make sure you choose a new and empty directory, and not your home directory, or you'll end up with a small web site scattered about your home directory.

gPhoto also lets you rotate, scale, and adjust the colors for individual images. However, it is not a dedicated image processing program — it's better to use the GIMP for serious editing tasks. For information about how to use the image alteration tools, or on other gPhoto features, select Help, and then User's Manual, or press Ctrl-H.

A significant set of changes is planned for gPhoto during the 2002-2003 development schedule. With gPhoto2, you will be able to install the "GnoCam" tool as well as gPhoto, use the GNOME Control Center to manage camera connections, and handle your camera's contents using the image thumbnail views of Nautilus. gPhoto2 promises to simplify the process of connecting to your camera and to let you use other graphical interfaces, depending on your choice of desktop environment. Visit for details.

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