Nikon Coolpix 775 Review
Nikon View 4 / Image Transfer
There are two new elements of interest on the 775. First is the marking of images for transfer, this is visible in play mode as a new icon () which indicates the transfer flag. It is by default (though you can choose) assigned to every image shot. Second is the new TRANSFER button, this has two actions: In play mode it's used to toggle (enable / disable) the transfer flag, when the camera is connected by USB it will start a transfer of images from the camera's storage card to the connected computer (using the new Nikon View 4).
Installation was easy enough, minimal installation was the Nikon View 4 software, though the supplied CD-ROM includes various other tools (this varies by region). First connection of the 775 to to PC automatically installed it as a 'Mass Storage device' which required no additional drivers (this is true for Windows Me and Windows 2000, drivers for other operating systems are on the CD-ROM).
After installation (and a reboot) a small monitor application checks for connections of new devices or insert of a storage card into a card reader. Upon connecting the 775 (via USB) this small 'transfer tool' window is shown (which can be configured to show a thumbnail list instead):
Now you can decide where you want to transfer your images, you can choose to transfer them to just your local hard disk (Local) and/or the Web (NikonNet photo sharing / finishing service).
Clicking on the main icon (piece of film with an arrow) or pressing the TRANSFER button on the back of the 775 will initiate transfer. The transfer of images can follow one of five different rules: All images, marked / unmarked images or protected / unprotected images. You can also choose the download resolution, the Image Transfer tool can resize on download. Note that the tool does not delete images from the storage card. Files are transferred into a directory with the same name as the current date and time (yyyymmdd-hhmmss) and renamed according to the preferences set (see below). During transfer the following dialog is shown:
Lets go back a step. Assuming we've not transferred yet, clicking on the first bottom left icon on the Image Transfer window will open the thumbnail list window (this can take some time as it needs to retrieve thumbnails from the camera):
The window layout is: toolbar across the top (you can select from four different thumbnail sizes: 64, 96, 128, 192, 256), the folder list (these are folders created in-camera) and a detailed list of exposure settings, here's an example of that data:
|File name||DSCN0371.JPG||Exposure compensation||0 EV|
|File size||659.3KB(675098Bytes)||White Balance||Auto|
|Date taken||2001/08/01 19:36:12||Lens||Built-in|
|Image size||1600 x 1200||Flash sync mode||Normal|
|Resolution||300 x 300 dpi||Exposure difference||N/A|
|Number of bits||8bit/channel||Flexible program||N/A|
|Camera ID||N/A||Image Type||Color|
|Quality mode||FINE||Hue adjustment||N/A|
|Metering mode||Matrix||Saturation Control||N/A|
|Exposure mode||Programmed auto||Tone compensation||Normal|
|Speed light||No||Latitude(GPS) *||N/A|
|Focal length||5.8 mm||Longitude(GPS) *||N/A|
|Shutter speed||1/67.3second||Altitude(GPS) *||N/A|
* Left over for compatibility with Nikon D1x
From the thumbnail list you can transfer all, selectively transfer, print, erase, rotate or view the image in a larger window (obviously this initiates a transfer of the full image and can take some time):
Nikon View preferences allow you to change: Auto start options; pop up transfer tool window, contact sheet or nothing, destination directory, file naming, database integration, IPTC data and image viewer options.
Selecting the 'Web' checkbox before starting a transfer will add the selected images to the NikonNet upload queue. Below you can see we have selected five images:
Here you can see that we have both Web and Local selected, clearly you could do these two tasks separately, if for instance you wished to upload lower resolution copies of the images rather than the full 1600 x 1200 image. As soon as the images have been copied to the local hard disk the NikonNet uploader window will be displayed:
As you can see we've already configured ours with my account details, so simply click on 'Upload to NikonNet' to upload the images:
The amount of time this takes will vary depending on the speed of your connection, current level of traffic at your ISP, your distance from NikonNet etc. (It was pretty fast on our 2 MBit/s ADSL line - 256 Kbp/s upload). Once uploaded they will appear in your 'My Pictures' folder where you can enhance, rotate or just copy them to a public album. You can see the results of this upload on NikonNet by clicking here.
USB Transfer Performance
The camera was connected to the computer by the supplied USB cable (other USB devices were temporarily disabled so as not to skew results). Timings reported were carried out on a dual processor 933 Mhz Pentium III workstation with 1 GB of RAM and SCSI disk subsystem. The camera wsa using a 256 MB Kingston High Speed CF Type I card. Card contents were 22 images totalling 13.1 MB.
|Thumbnail list (64 x 64)||22 images||5.4 secs||n/a|
|Thumbnail list (128 x 128)||22 images||38.3 secs||n/a|
|Transfer from camera||22 images (13.1 MB)||35.3 secs||380 KB/sec|
|View single JPEG||579 KB||2.76 secs||n/a|