Before digital cameras came along, you had to set your "F stop" to the proper setting to have the right exposure for your photos. There was a saying among photojournalists: "F8 and be there."--set your camera to F8, and get to the scene ready to go. Not that much has changed, really.

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Truth be told, I wanted to be a photojournalist when I grew up.


"If your pictures aren't good enough, you aren't close enough."

"The pictures are there, and you just take them."

WW II photographer Robert Capa

Friday, July 30, 2010

Managing the Cell Phone Camera

I love having a camera with me at all times--that's my cell phone camera, a three megapixel camera in my BlackBerry Pearl Flip phone. It's my second camera phone--I had an LG before. A question came up in a comment as to how pictures from the cell phone are transferred and stored. So this a very quick entry on that topic--and not all that complete. I am going to work on the assumption that there is already in place a photo management program such as Windows Photo Gallery. So not all the questions will be answered completely. If you have a question, pose it in the comments and I'll see if I can at least point you in the right direction.

As you can see from the picture, the BB has a slot for a media or storage card (upper right hand side of the phone in this picture). It's a tiny little thing, but comes in capacities as large as 4 MB. The phone itself can hold a few pictures, but capacity on the phone is limited. I use the card exclusively now, and set the phone so that pictures are automatically stored on the media card.

When I want to move the pictures from the card to my computer, an adapter is required. The tiny microSD card is put in the adapter which is the same size as a standard SD card. The second photo shows the card out of the phone, with the adapter. A standard SD card, the one my point-and-shoot uses, is in the photo for illustration purposes.

After the microSD is securely in the adapter, it can be used as any standard SD card is used. I have printed off pictures at Kinko's using it. The next step for computer down load is to open up your photo managing program and use the down load function. Slip the adapter with the micro into the appropriate slot on your computer and away you go. Now, I'll admit that if you have stored your photos on your phone's memory, I really wouldn't know how to proceed. I would just put them on a memory card and move them from there! My guess is that you would need a cable to connect the phone to your computer. The other option if you have a smart phone like a BlackBerry, iPhone, or Droid is to email the photos to yourself. That just seems complicated to me.

Your computer will offer the option of deleting the photos from the memory card when you are done moving them onto the hard drive. I have never done this. The full memory card is a good back up in case of computer failure. They're little though, so put them someplace safe.

Now, there are phones that use other types of memory cards. Consult your owner's manual, or the manufacturer's website for information. These new highfalutin' phones like the iPhone et al might be different altogether. Never be too proud to read the directions!

And that is a short lesson on managing the photos from your cell phone camera.


  1. Dear The Observer,
    Oh, THANK YOU! This is very helpful. Now I see that I am in need of more EQUIPMENT.

    That'll go on the back burner but not very far back! I may get a better phone first!

    Muchas gracias,
    Ann T.

  2. Ann T:
    The cards are not too expensive in the smaller sizes. I just bought a 2 MB card and adapter for $10.00 at Wal-Mart. The larger sizes--4 MB--will set you back 30 bucks. 2 MB stores over 1000 photos so that's more than enough.

    What's amazing is that I have filled one 1 MB card and mostly filled a 2 MB card in about 3 years of having a camera phone!

    The Observer



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How much to reveal? There are some nutty people out there! Leave it to say right now that I am well educated, a person of the Christian faith, and never without an opinion.