Typically I don't review the software side of digital cameras. Mostly because different people use the camera in different ways, some never use the supplied software, some have different operating systems and more importantly the software bundle always varies by region (and the Internet is a global thing ;)
However the 990 is an important camera so I'll cover the USB Driver and Nikon View 3.0 on this page, the software bundles by region are:
(All screenshots below are 50% sized)
The 990 is the first of the 9xx family to support USB allowing high speed transfer of images directly from the camera to your USB enabled computer (PC Windows 98 / Windows 2000, Mac). The examples in this review were carried out on a Sony Vaio notebook running Windows 2000 Professional.
Upon connecting the 990 and switching to Play mode the computer will detect the 990 and display the "Found New Hardware" box. Select the drivers supplied on the CD-ROM, so much for plug-and-play the drivers required a reboot...
After this you'll have a new device under the Device Manager will show the new device "Nikon COOLPIX990".
Nikon View 3.0
The supplied CD-ROM contains Nikon View 3.0 and whatever software came with your particular bundle. Installing Nikon View is straightforward enough and a reboot will be required after installation. After the reboot a new special folder will exist under "My Computer" called Nikon View, entering this icon allows you to choose from the connected computer, a card in a card reader or images on the hard disk.
Opening the "Digtal Camera" folder actually connects to the camera and retrieves the folder list, open a folder and you'll get a thumbnail display of images on the camera (CF card):
To retrieve the properties of an image simply right click on it and select Properties (example here) double-clicking on the image retrieves it and displays it larger sized in a window:
You can of course rotate and zoom in and out of the displayed image. Copying from the 990 to the hard disk is as simple as dragging and dropping from the Nikon View window in exactly the same manner you would for any other folder.
Timings for transfers (compared to a standard parallel port CF card reader):
|Method||Test images total size||Time taken||Speed KB/s|
|990 USB||13.5 MB||41.75 sec||330 KB/s|
|Parallel Card Reader||13.5 MB||33.12 sec||417 KB/s|