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Viewing a user manual on camera's LCD?

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Viewing a user manual on camera's LCD?
« on: 08 / July / 2009, 16:13:04 »

Sorry if this is already asked but I couldn't find help although searching and "googling" around.

My problem is that I wouldn't like to carry printed manuals of my equipment around as they are seldom needed on the field. Many products don't even have printed manuals anymore. But there can be some vital information in those manuals I would like to check from time to time as my memory ain't perfect.

Most printed manuals can be obtained in pdf format to your computer but I don't know any camera that supports reading pdf files. And my old Nokia cell phone (6630) doesn't have enough memory/processing power to view pdf files. (I don't have laptop either and that would bring even more weight than some manuals.)

So I thought maybe I could convert a pdf file into jpg files (1 page = 1 jpg file) with a free tool like PDFill PDF Tools ( Then I could tranfer these jpg files onto my camera's SD card and view them when really needed. I know reading these kind of manuals from a tiny LCD (or viewfinder) could be a real pain but better than nothing!

My camera's is Canon Powershot SX10 IS (with a 16 GB Verbatim SD card). It has a Canon firmware 1.01A and a CHDK firmware for that.

I would like to transfer my user guide pictures to a separate folder on my SD card. It would be named logically like "User Guide".  Other folder "Flash Manual" could contain the pictures of my flash manual and so on...

So can my SX10 show these pictures that are not taken by it, have some different properties like pixel count and are not located in the normal folder (DCIM/100CANON/)?

I know CHDK firmaware has a file browser but I haven't been able to open any pictures with it. And those picture files I tried to open were native Canon SX10 pictures in the original images folder. When I select some jpg file with the file browser --> push left button (macro) --> pop up dialog opens with NO "view this picture" -option.

So is there any easy way I can view these jpg files that are not native SX10 pictures and are not located in DCIM/100CANON/ -folder?

It would be nice if this can be done (with CHDK). Thanks for your time and help. I hope I was clear enough with my post.



Offline reyalp

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Re: Viewing a user manual on camera's LCD?
« Reply #1 on: 08 / July / 2009, 20:14:17 »
So is there any easy way I can view these jpg files that are not native SX10 pictures and are not located in DCIM/100CANON/ -folder?


Canon cameras generally only display JPEGs that are quite close to their native layout, and they won't look outside the DCIM/nnnCANON folders. The cameras follow the JEITA specification.

CHDK doesn't support displaying jpegs at all, as you have noticed.

If you can convert your files to ASCII text, you could view them with the text reader. I can't image wanting to spend much time doing this however. A decent smartphone or PDA with existing PDF capability is probably a better option.
Don't forget what the H stands for.

Re: Viewing a user manual on camera's LCD?
« Reply #2 on: 09 / July / 2009, 13:17:48 »
Okay, thanks for your help Reyalp.

A better smartphone is then probably the best option to have the manuals in electronic form with me when abroad.



Offline Anaglyphic

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Re: Viewing a user manual on camera's LCD?
« Reply #3 on: 09 / July / 2009, 14:24:27 »
You can, actually... the cameras expect to read things the way they wrote them, so as long as you force your converted file to conform with this (which means all EXIF fields, thumbnail offset, image data offset, etc.) it will display the image just fine, instead of that question mark for unidentified images. The usefulness of it is another thing. Your zoom levels are quite limited, and if you (for example) convert a 8.5"x11" PDF page into a huge 1200dpi image, and paste it... you can only zoom in so far, and the usability / readability is a real PITA.  Don't take my word for it, here's a way to try it:

I'll suggest grabbing XnView by Pierre E. Gougelet... it's freeware. Grab the full version, as it has all the plugins pre-installed and ready to go.

Fire it up, go to any image that you want to put on your camera in the Browser, and double-click it, do Ctrl-A, Ctrl-C (Select all & copy, or use the mouse and menus) Go to a disposable image that your camera took, and Ctrl-V, Ctrl-S (paste & save)... now just move it to your SD card and put it in the camera.

I sure you want a programmatic way of automating it, so you could say 'convert4camera some.pdf myimages*.jpg' - well you've got a lot ahead as I don't think any work has been done like this. But as you can see, it is possible.

If you decide to go this route, good luck! :)
Since we cannot know all that there is to be known about anything,
 we ought to know a little about everything.
-- Blaise Pascal

Re: Viewing a user manual on camera's LCD?
« Reply #4 on: 09 / July / 2009, 18:27:21 »
This might sound.. dull but. Why don't you try printing the pages and then taking a photo with your camera?

Re: Viewing a user manual on camera's LCD?
« Reply #5 on: 10 / July / 2009, 13:05:50 »
Thanks for the tips again.

Well I would like to be able to put the pictures of "Camera manual", "Flash manual" etc. in separate folders named logically. Then when using the card reader to move the actual pictures taken by the camera onto my computer I don't always have to differentiate between the user manual pictures an my holiday pictures.

When the camera manual pictures are in a separate folder a userfriendly camera would browse through these pictures only, and not show other pictures in DCIM/###CANON -folders. Just the way Irfanview or ACDSee image browsers (as default) show just the pictures of the Windows Explorer folder that you double click a picture in.

But the whole process seems now for most part impossible so I will forget the whole thing until some more sophisticated / userfriendly camera models appear on the market.



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