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How do I email photographs from a digital camera?

How do I email photographs from a digital camera?

Below are step by step detailed instructions on how to email photographs you’ve taken through a digital camera to friends and family. This is a beginner’s help and advice article so I assume very basic computer knowledge.

Though it may be a routine and simple process for many of us, the greenhorn can get struck at many places. A sincere effort has been made to thoroughly troubleshoot each step; and if you go face problems, please do not hesitate to ask a question using the form at the end. You would only be making this article better for others in future.

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This article will also point you to other pages on this site depending on the service you want to use to send the email with photographs.

What you have and what you need to email photographs from your digital camera

I assume you already have a digital camera with which you’ve taken some splendid pictures. Now to email these photographs, all you need is:

  • to transfer them on to your computer and,
  • forward to your friends and family via your email account.

Steps for emailing the photographs from a digital camera

Digital cameras, as their name suggests, take photographs in digital format… there is no film roll. The pictures are stored in either the camera’s inbuilt memory or an external memory chip (also called a Flash memory card). We will now attempt to connect the camera to your computer and copy the images from it on to your machine. Outlined below are the steps which are common to most (if not all) digital cameras.

How to connect digital to the computer

Please read the instructions manual

If you don’t have this, or have misplaced it, I suggest you go to the web site of the company and get a copy from there. Large manufacturers usually have ample information on their web site help pages including complete copies of instruction manuals.

Make sure you have all the necessary hardware

This typically means the cable that will connect your camera to the computer. Are you missing this cable? Hmmm. You can try finding this at the company web site or search for it on ebay.com. If it’s a common sort of connector, you can probably get it at the local electronics shop.

I advise against connecting the camera to your computer at this stage.

Load the CD/DVD that came with the digital camera to install the required software

The most important software you need are the “device drivers” – the programs that will help identify and connect the digital camera to your computer. To install the software, insert the CD and follow the instructions on the screen. Most CDs that come with digital cameras run automatically when they are inserted. Though, you can always refer the instructions manual if you face problems be sure to install the camera device drivers first and then any additional software (you don’t need the latter at this stage).

Is the installation CD missing, broken, faulty…? Please read the paragraph towards the end.

Connect the camera and switch it on

Once the software drivers have been installed on your computer, you can now connect the camera to the computer using the cable. Make sure that the camera is switched off and you connect the correct ends! The USB port is where the cable goes into the computer for modern digital cameras (and other devices).

It’s time to switch on the camera and after a few moments, the new device would be recognized and be ready for use. On Windows operating system, you shall be informed of the proceedings via message balloons at the bottom right.

A pop-up will appear which will have many options. Select “copy pictures from the camera” or “view/explore the camera through the Windows Explorer”. The first option is probably the easier one and it copies all the photographs and video that you have from the camera to the hard disk of your computer.

Open the folder in which the pictures are stored and get ready to send email these photographs.

Cannot find the directory or folder to which the photographs were copied

The directory to which the photographs have been copied would be mentioned at the time of installing the software. If you cannot find this folder, I suggest to first look in the “My Pictures” directory on Windows system. This is the usual place where the pictures would be transferred. Still no luck? Use the built-in search utility on your computer – (tip) search using the date criterion.

Digital camera CD missing or is faulty and cannot be read

No fear! You can get the required software drivers from the company web site. Make sure the drivers you download and install are the ones for your computer’s operating system. Also, doubly check if the drivers are for your digital camera. Having said that, modern operating systems like Windows Vista, will automatically hunt the drivers for you when you connect the camera to the computer. So if you don’t want to go through the process of downloading and installing the required drivers, simply connect your camera to the machine and switch it on. When you see a pop-up message balloon at the bottom left of the screen on the Windows operating system that mentions the “new hardware” (your camera) has been identified and “is ready to use“… hurray! Celebrate your success.

Email the digital camera photographs

Now that you have the pictures from the digital camera on your computer, you can prepare the stage for sending these photographs over email to friends and family. So what do you need?

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