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By: Danette Mckay
Direct photo printing is an exciting technology. The idea is to cut the middle man or in this case the middle hardware needed in order to print digital photos.

Most digital photo printing is done by first transferring the digital photos from the digital camera to a personal computer and then transferring the digital photos from the personal computer to some other printing mechanism. Sometimes there is more than one transfer involved for example digital photos can be transferred to a CD-ROM and then the CD-ROM taken to a digital photo printing service that loads the digital photos off of the CD-ROM for digital printing.

There are advantages to using a personal computer as a middle medium between the digital camera and the photo printing process. For example powerful photo processing running on the personal computer can allow for some pre digital photo processing achieving such tasks as red eye elimination. Using a personal computer is also easier when browsing a large number of photos and deciding which ones to keep which ones to delete and which ones to print.

But sometimes using a personal computer is a nuisance. For example assume that you have taken just a few digital photos and you are now at your friend house. Your friend owns a digital photo printer and you would like to print the digital photos that you took. Your friends has a personal computer but the computer is currently turned off. It would be much simpler if you could somehow connect the digital camera directly to the printer and have the digital photos printed instead of needing to turn on and go through the personal computer.

The main problem that prevents such direct connection is a lack of one communication standard between digital cameras and digital photo printers. Digital cameras store the digital photo files on memory devices. There are a few types of such memory devices for example compact flash and SD cards. Each memory card has a different size and a bit different electronics and software needed in order to access it. Some digital printers sport digital memory card slots right on the printer. You simply remove the digital camera memory card and plug it into the printer and print. But not all digital printers support all memory cards and in many case manufacturers choose not to support such a large number of slots since it increases the cost of the digital printer.

Another way to get digital photos off of the digital camera and directly to the printer is by using a wire. Some digital cameras use a proprietary wire technology although most use the standard USB. Adding a USB port to a digital photo printer is cheap and easy and provides a better solution than implementing memory card slots. The problem is however that you would need a USB wire. Since digital cameras are small devices that would like use a special USB cable since they would use a smaller connector on their side. How likely are you to carry that cable with you at all times? Or how likely are you to even have that cable instead of losing it somewhere?

To eliminate the wire problem some new high end digital cameras included wireless wi-fi networking technology in the camera. If the digital photo printer supports wi-fi then you could simple connect the two and print your digital photos. There are a few problems with wireless. Security is one problem how to you allow only authorized digital cameras to connect to the digital photo printer and use it?
This article and more are from Danette Mckay who is an expert in his field. digital photo printing provides more in depth information.
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