New camera choice and Linux
I am looking to upgrade our current camera - Olympus C3020. My wife just wants better photos to print so that she can scrapbook them. We also post some pics to the web. I am an indifferent photogapher but am willing to learn to take better pictures and use photo editing software..

The big hang up is that I run Linux on my home comps so I need a camera that will show up as a mass storage device - no manufacturer propriatary software for downloading..

After poking around some reviews I am looking at these cameras and was wondering what you might recommend - Canon A570IS or A710/720IS, Panasonic FZ8, or Olympus E-410. That's quite a specturm but I'm not sure what I need..

Thank you..

Comments (8)

If your PC has a USB slot you can plug in a card reader and that should do the trick.As far as I know all decent Linux versions now handle usb ports very nicely..

What camera to buy depends on what your priorities are and how you might rank tye various features of each camera you wanto to consider..

I suggest to list the features in order of must have, very useful and nice to have and than attribute values between 0 and 5 for each feature..

Once you've done that, your list of possible cameras should be getting fairly short and easy to sort...

Comment #1

You did not mention which distro you are using. If you tell us the Linux version you are using, someone who uses that version may be able to give you some specific advice..

As mentioned, most current Linux versions handle the USB port very well, so why not use a USB card reader..

The greatest of mankind's criminals are those who delude themselves into thinking they have done 'the right thing.'- Rayna Butler..

Comment #2

Of camera manufacturer's softwareand partly because it can be a headache if you are running cams from different companies. from what I know of linux, the only consideration ought to be what software you want to run on it to organize your photos and do whatever pp you need..

So i'd start with linux friendly pp software and go from there...

Comment #3

Seems like the only problem you might have is if you were wanting to shoot raw. In that case, a camera that saves to TIFF might be preferable so you would be able to open in Gimp - nope, take that back you might be able to use UFRaw or other such software - just verify that the raw software is available for the camera you choose if that's a concern. Like others have said, USB should work but every camera I've hooked up to a system is seen as a file system device, so you may not even need a card reader...

Comment #4

Thanks for the advice. I'm using Ubuntu 7.10 and my current camera is picked up as a mass storage device. I wasn't sure how new cameras are handled, and the reviews don't mention how they operate under different operating systems..

Now I just need to get into town and look at some of the different cameras...

Comment #5

With few exceptions Linux is not a problem..

First and foremost please stop using the camera to transfer photos. Get a card reader and plug it into your USB port ( on the computer ). Apart from anything else this is fast and saves batteries. Remember to 'eject' the media on the desktop before removing it !.

As far as software goes :.

For JPEG editing try the GIMP. It's commonly installed by default in Linux systems, but you can download and install it from

For RAW files you can use ShowFoto, which supports 16-bit TIFFs as well as most RAW formats. It also edits JPEGs. RAW support in Linux is almost all based on Dcraw, which is a command line tool. although you need never see it directly as the applications use it behind the scenes..

UFRaw can also be useful..

Occasionally I use a package called CinePaint..

ShowFoto and Cinepaint can all use 16-bits internally for colours ( 16-bits for each component R,G and B ), whereas Gimp is 8-bit only ( basically for JPEGs )..

For noise reduction I use NeatImage. This runs under Wine, which can run (some) MS Window's applications under Linux. NeatImage is flawless under it..

Alas Wine does not do as well with other photo editors. Ig you use Fuji RAW files s7raw works perfectly, but ( at present ) Abobe's offerings do not, nor does SilkyPix in my experience..

You might also want to check out AlbumShaper, an application for building simple photo websites..

If you are comfortable with the command line there are lots of things hiding there you can use. I am comfortable with the command line, but I have found no need to resort to them given the other tools..

I would say that I never print myself. In principle this ought to be fine, but it's cheaper and better quality from good photo outfits so I use them instead..


Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #6

Great tip on NeatImage. I've never run Wine before but this may cause me to take the plunge..

Do you know if ShowPhoto can handle the Raw images of the Panasonic FZ8? So far that is the camera I'm leaning towards. ShowPhoto is in the Ubuntu repositories for easy installation..

And I will definitely get a card reader - I've wanted one for years but never got around to getting one..

Thanks for the help..

Comment #7

I do not know for sure if ShowFoto will handle FZ8 raw files. I tried it against a sample FZ18 raw file and it did not like that, HOWEVER you can run Adobe's DNG converter ( under Wine ! ) and ShowFoto has no problem with DNG files. So the bottom line is that I think you should be OK, although I'd suggest a trial run before buying the camera - take a memory card to a shop, take a couple of RAW shots and try the various bits of software out to see what works..


Pentax K100DFuji S5200Fuji E900PCLinuxOS..

Comment #8

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