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A Picture is No Longer Worth a Thousand Posts!

The Movie Maker support forums are filled with posts from users who need help connecting external devices to a Windows based PC. This frustrating struggle between device and PC has been an issue for a long time, but this struggle is about to end thanks to Microsoft’s Certified for Windows Vista Program.

In the past, connecting a new device to a PC typically required installing additional software or drivers that allowed it to function with Windows.  On occasion the device’s installation software or drivers would fail to install correctly or were incompatible with various Windows applications. Resolving these issues usually required downloading an updated driver from the device maker’s website. Many people, however, found this to be troublesome and would end up on support forums seeking help.Certified for Windows Vista

To alleviate these compatibility problems, Microsoft has established the Certified for Windows Vista program. Any device or software application that carries the Certified for Windows Vista logo has been tested and verified to work with the premium features of Windows Vista.

Microsoft sent two Certified for Windows Vista digital cameras, the Nikon D40x SLR and the Canon PowerShot SD750 digital ELPH, for me to test and evaluate.


Nikon D40x 10.2MP Digital SLR Camera with 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor Lens

NIKON D40x
*
The Nikon D40x is the first Digital SLR to be Certified for Windows Vista.
10.2 Megapixel CCD
2.5 – inch LCD Monitor
3x Optical Zoom
18-55mm f/3.5-5.6G ED II AF-S DX Zoom-Nikkor lens
View the full specs and reviews


Canon PowerShot SD750
7.1 Megapixel CCDCanon PowerShot SD750
3x Optical Zoom
3.0 –inch PureColor LCD
Face Detection AF/AE
DIGIC III Image Processor
View the full specs and reviews


The focus of my evaluation will not be on the cameras themselves, but rather how they (certified devices within the Windows Vista Program) work with Windows Vista. I’ve given brief reviews below, but if you’re interested in full reviews for each camera please visit http://www.dpreview.com.

The Nikon is pleasantly small for a Digital SLR and very lightweight. It’s easy to handle and I especially enjoyed the large backlight LCD for viewing images.

The Canon is very small and compact with a huge LCD screen. Taking pictures was breeze. This is a great pocket-sized alternative to carrying around the larger SLR camera.

Both cameras are packed with features, but the one that stood out was the Canon’s ability to take video at 640x480. The maximum video length is limited to 1 hour or 4GBs, but that would also depend on the size of your SD Card.

Now that the pictures have been taken it’s time to transfer the photos and short video from the cameras to my Windows Vista PC.


Canon PowerShot SD750
Using a USB cable, I connected the Canon to my PC and powered on the camera. Windows instantly detected the camera and started installing the drivers.

Canon SD750 Ready for use

After a short installation period I was presented with this message. ”The software for this device has been successfully installed”. Without any installation disks Windows Vista detected the SD750, installed the drivers and prompted me for import action.

 Canon SD750 options

I continued through the import wizard and transferred the photos and video to my pc. After completion, the Windows Photo Gallery opened and displayed the imported files. From here I could either edit my files, or send them to my friends and family.

Canon SD750 Import Pictures


Nikon D40x
I connected the Nikon D40x using a USB cable. In seconds Windows Vista detected the device, installed the driver, and prompted me for import options. Once again the device worked without having to install any software or drivers.

Nikon D40x ready for use

Nikon D40x Import Pictures

After the import finished I was able to view the photos from Windows Photo Gallery. If you have ever wrestled with an incompatible device in the past, I’m sure you can appreciate the ease of using a device that has been certified for Windows Vista.

Certified for Windows VistaBoth of these cameras take amazing photos and it’s nice knowing that manufactures are looking beyond their own product to help improve the overall end-user experience.  My brief examples demonstrate how easy it is to use a Certified for Windows Vista camera with your PC, but there are many other Certified for Windows Vista devices. When shopping for computer peripherals, make sure to look for the Windows Vista Certified Logo. Any product with this logo takes advantage of features in Windows Vista to deliver excellent performance, ease of use, and the best experience possible, whether you are enjoying music, photos, videos, or communicating with friends.

Here’s to not seeing you in the support forums!

- Rob Morris

 

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