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Avoiding Loosing or Damaging your Photos

Be careful when transferring images from your camera to your computer
Do not delete files from the camera until you are sure they are downloaded to you computer. It is easy to make mistakes when copying files from the camera to the your computer. Make sure to check that the files are copied correctly before you clear the camera or memory card.

To ensure a successful transfer, follow these steps: First run the software to transfer your images to your computer. If no error messages are displayed then use Photo Explorer to visually check that all the images are there. You will need to look for the folder where the images were transferred. If you use Photo Explorer's Digital Camera Wizard you will be taken right there after the transfer is complete.

Be careful not to damage the original files
The files you download from your digital camera are the only copies of your photographs. Be careful to keep copies of the originals. Many editing operations can damage the original data, sometimes in subtle ways. Be organized in the way you file and backup data from your camera so you can keep your memories safe!

Be careful when editing JPG files
Most digital cameras store images as JPEG (.JPG) files. In these files the image data is highly compressed. It is easy to loose image quality even if you open and save a JPG file even if you do not do any editing, because the data will be recompressed when it is saved. Some loss of image quality occurs each time the image is saved whatever compression setting is used. To avoid overwriting your original files save them as copies in a different folder from the original photographs.

Use CD-R or DVD to backup your data
Many people store traditional photographic negatives for many years so that future generations can look back on family memories or historic events. They can also be used to create new prints if the original prints are lost or damaged. Negatives keep for a long time. Treat your digital photography the same way. Unlike traditional photographic materials the image quality will not degrade over time, but you must be careful to store the file safely. Digital storage devices have limited lifetimes and can fail. Do not keep all your photographs on your computers hard disc. Although it does not happen often hard discs can fail and when they do the data cannot usually be recovered. They can also be accidentally overwritten. Make regular backups! Tapes and floppy discs can be used but have rather limited life, only 5-10 years. CD-R (recordable CDs) on the other hand should last 100 years if stored carefully. CD-RW discs do not quite last so long, but should be okay for 10's of years. It is usually possible to store hundreds of digital camera pictures on one CD. Since it is easy and cheap you can easily make copies.

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