Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kodak can't remember numbers...

Just to set the record straight: I really love my Kodak M883 digital camera: it's lightweight, has great optics [sure, I'd like more than 3X zoom, but this is a relatively low-end consumer model], easy-to-use controls, and takes really great pictures.

However, this morning, I stumbled onto the dark side of the Kodak implementation: every time you offload your images from the camera SD memory stick, the camera starts renumbering at 1! Unbelievable... and tech support told me that this applies to most of their current cameras.

What this means is that you can't simply copy the images into the same folder (if, for example, you organize your images by month or by subject for easy retrieval)... that won't work because sooner or later you'll have have two images called "100_0001.jpg", "100-0002.jpg", etc. What a pain... and such a simple thing to have done right in the first place. My older Nikon and Kodak cameras don't have this problem.

Come on, Kodak... you can do better than this.

So here's the simple but irritating work-around. I found out by testing that the camera searches the SD card and finds the highest-numbered image in the image folder (that's "\DCIM\100KM883" for my model; yours will have a different model number but the '\DCIM\" part should be the same) and starts one higher than that. If there are no images in that folder, then it starts at 100_0001.jpg.

To solve this problem, make sure that there is one image left in the image folder that is at least equal to the highest number you have already saved. Easy way to do this is to simply delete all the images except the last one. That way, the camera will start numbering at the next higher number, which is just what you want. Or delete everything from the image folder (like many image managers such as Picasa do after offloading the images), and then copy/create a new file with the last image number that you have used.

If you're a *nix user, cygwin user, or Mac Terminal user, you know that the 'touch' command will do this for you quickly and easily. If you're on Windows, you can download a free version of the touch command and then say "touch :DCIM\100KM883\100_<4-digit number>.jpg" (substituting the correct drive letter and image number) and it will create an empty file and thus cause the camera to number as you would expect it to.