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Dynax/Maxxum 5D/7D and Linux

A very workable combination

 

Translated article in French Anonymous surf,incognito, proxy list

Some people asked themselves (or asked me) whether it is possible to use a Konica-Minolta Dynax/Maxxum 5D (or Konica-Minolta Dynax/Maxxum 7D) while forgetting about Microsoft and going the GNU/Linux way. This is a very important question that could have been asked for other digital Single Lens Reflex (D-SLR) cameras, but I started by answering this apprently difficult question for the Konica-Minolta Dynax or Maxxum series of cameras.

Image manipulation - The GIMP

The GIMPThe GIMP is a software program that can also be tested under Windows or MacOS. That would allow users to get a good idea of what this application can do without even leaving their initial software environment.

The first issue is to be able to read, write, manipulate, modify and print images taken with the digital camera. The answer to this need is quite simple because there is a significant choice of grpahic software available under GNU/Linux.

The more commonly cited tool in this category is certainly The GIMP (the GNU image manipulation system) as some may be tempted to tell you that this is the Photoshop of Linux. Even if I do not share this nice leap of faith in open source software (the Adobe program is still unchallenged in terms of features and ease of use in this class), The GIMP is the tool you must be considering to handle your images and photographs on a GNU/Linux system (Debian, Red Hat, Unbutu, Knoppix or other).

Direct access to USB

All recent GNU/Linux easily recognize USB peripherals.

First, you will be willing to read your image files stored on the phoot camera memory. Just connect your Dynax/Maxxum 5D or 7D to a USB port (like on Windows or MacOS). Then, the contents of the camera device will be visible on /mnt/sda (or /mnt/sdb or /mnt/sdc according to your exact configuration of Linux).

On the image above, you can see my own Dynax 7D recognized on a GNU/Linux (Kanotix 2005-03 distribution, but any other would essentially be the same) as /mnt/sdc/ (the image files are in each of the directories shown here).

On some configurations, the photo camera is not immediately recognized; you just have to "mount" it with the usual mount /mnt/sdc command. After that, the files are accessible in the directories like 100KM023.

JPEG files

The programs able to read and write JPEG files produced by Konica-Minolta Dynax/Maxxum 5D (or its equivalents - Canon 350D, Canon 20D, Nikon D70 or D70s) are so numerous that I could not start to count them. The JPEG is merely a real image file format standard. No problem here.

RAW files - dcraw.c

Concerning RAW files, as on all Operating Systems, the choice is very limited (even on Windows or MacOS). Most users would be prepared not to find any available solution under Linux, but an excellent tool become a Linux amateur photo user dream when you want to use open source software: Dave Coffin wrote dcraw.c (I easily admit that the name is not really a great one - No marketing team tried to improve it, I guess). This small tool is one of the best RAW converters around (I personally use the Windows version of dcraw.c to convert my Dynax 7D RAW files into a nice TIFF format). It is able to convert RAW files of more than 200 cameras (including the Dynax/Maxxum 5D) into TIFF or into PPM (a very common image file format under GNU/Linux).

But, looking around, I even found a few more tools that are of interest:

More than enough to allow all kinds of uses for your digital single lens reflex camera.

A need still not filled

On the other hand, I was not able to find a solution to allow controlling the camera (on a tripod) directly from a PC application under GNU/Linux. If you identified such a software solution, thanks to tell me. Then, I would include the information here.


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Latest update: 30-oct-08

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