What is PictBridge?
PictBridge is a new open industry standard that makes it easy to print a photo directly from, say, Brand X digital camera to, say, Brand Y printer. Prior to PictBridge, each manufacturer had its own proprietary standard for outputting photos directly from their own digital cameras and printers, bypassing the PC in the printing process.
The Camera and Imaging Products Association (CIPA), a Japan-based standard body that establishes guidelines for various industry specifications of still image files, is promoting the technology. Among its stalwarts is Canon, which announced the new imaging standard in December 2002 together with a few other manufacturers. Since then, more than 20 vendors have applied for their products to be PictBridge-compatible.
With the previous proprietary direct printing standards on the market, users had no way to output a photo using, say, a Canon printer digital camera with another brand’s peripheral. As PictBridge becomes adopted by more vendors, it will resolve this compatibility problem with its standardized direct print system. In other words, digital camera users can now connect directly to a wider range of printers for printing photos. The only condition is that both the digital camera and printer have to be PictBridge-compliant.
Less wasted time, ease of use
PictBridge lets you output images from a digital camera to a printer quickly and easily in a plug-and-play process. Thus it is not necessary now to transfer pictures to the PC.
Offers versatile and attractive printing options
The primary function of PictBridge is to allow the user to print the images captured on the digital camera. Users can, however, also specify various print settings such as the size, type and number of prints for each picture. Additionally, the PictBridge system allows for:
* Printing on index sheets (small thumbnails of the images)
* Cropping an image before print
* Date stamping
* Image optimization
* Automatic printing using DPOF (Direct Print Order Format)
Do note that some manufacturers may offer additional proprietary features that are available only if both the digital camera and printer are of the same brand.
What PictBridge can’t do
If a digital camera or printer is not PictBridge-compatible, there is no way the user can have a direct connection solution between image input and output devices of different brands.