A basic definition of a Docking Station for a camera is that it is a cradle upon which the camera can securely sit. The docking station connects to a computer via a USB port and the camera is placed on it so that photographs can be downloaded. Using a docking station to download photographs from a camera removes the need to connect the camera to the computer by a USB cable or to have to remove the memory card from the camera in order to use a card reader. Downloading photographs becomes a simpler and a quicker process. It can even be programmed to start automatically with some docking stations as soon as the camera is in place. One of the other main advantages of using a camera with a docking station is that the camera will be charged by the computer at the same time as the photographs are being uploaded.
There are some clear benefits in using a docking station with a camera for downloading photographs and charging the camera, but it is worth taking some time to fully consider the various functions and features of a docking station before deciding whether to purchase a camera that uses a station.
A camera with a docking station will normally be connected to a computer through a USB port although there are some models which use an AC connection and which can also be plugged into the mains. The main advantage of connecting the camera to the computer in this way through a docking station is that the camera is held completely steady by the docking station throughout the whole downloading process. This reduces the possibility of the camera being knocked or the connection being broken by the leads being disconnected which could potentially cause a loss of data if it happened while photographs were being uploaded. The connection between the computer and the camera is easier to set up as the docking station is designed for the camera and it will fit in snugly without the need for connecting fiddly cables.
The majority of digital cameras are now powered by a rechargeable Lithium battery, which is normally recharged through a mains connection. It can be a nuisance having to wait for several hours while the camera recharges, and using a camera which has a docking station can help with this problem by reducing the total charging time that is needed. Once the camera has been placed on the docking station and this has been connected to the computer, the camera will automatically start to recharge. So while the last batch of photographs is uploading, the camera is already getting ready to take the next batch. It is also possible just to leave the camera connected on the docking station while it is not in use so that it will always be fully charged and ready to use. It is worth checking the specifications of a docking station as some will only recharge the camera when connected to a computer which is switched on with the operating system in use. This unfortunately means that this type of docking station will stop recharging the camera if the computer is left to go into hibernation or sleep mode.
Many camera manufacturers have seen an opportunity with the introduction of docking stations for cameras and have added some additional functions to the docking station. It is now common for a docking station for a camera to have the facility to print photographs. This can be a very useful feature as it enables the photographs to be printed out directly from the camera instead of having to wait for the photographs to be first downloaded to the computer. There are also a few models of camera docking stations available that have the ability to directly send photographs from the camera by email. This process can be as simple as just pushing a button on the docking station.
A Docking Station may also contain the software for the camera which would download automatically to the computer once connected. It may also give the user the opportunity to edit photographs while the camera is connected on the docking station instead of having to wait until the photographs have been fully downloaded to the computer.
It will even be possible with many models to connect the camera on the Docking Station to a TV so that the photographs can be viewed on a larger screen as a slideshow. This may require buying an additional lead to make the connection especially for a high definition TV and it is a facility that may not be available with all models of Docking Stations.
There are a few types of docking stations for cameras which are designed to be mobile so that the camera can be moved in order to take photographs while still attached to the docking station.
Before purchasing a Camera with docking station, it is important to ensure it is compatible with the computer's operating system. Many of the major manufacturers of cameras are now also producing docking stations for cameras. It is worth noting though that these docking stations are usually only compatible with each company's own brand of digital cameras. If in doubt, it is always recommended to contact the seller with these questions. Attempting to use a docking station which is not compatible with the operating system could be detrimental to the computer.
Buying a Camera which is used with a docking station has several clear advantages. Downloading photographs by using a docking station can be a more secure and safer process as the camera is firmly cradled. Downloading is quicker and will often start automatically as soon as the camera is in place on the dock. The docking station can also be used to charge the camera and it is possible to leave the camera connected to the computer through the docking station so that the camera remains fully charged at all times and ready to use. A docking station may also have the ability to perform other functions such as printing photographs and some models can be used to connect the camera to a TV in order to view a slideshow of photographs. Using a camera which has a docking station to connect the camera to the computer helps to simplify and speed up many of the processes such as downloading and it is a useful piece of equipment to possess.
Visit eBay and on the homepage select Cameras & Photography. From there, choose Camera & Photo Accessories. Here, select Chargers & Docks to view the latest listings with items to match a search for Camera Chargers. On the new page, check boxes to limit the search parameters closer to the desired item, for example a mains charger for a compatible brand of a named product. If already a visitor to the site, simply type a keyword, such as 'camera chargers'', into the search box on the top of any page and click Go for results of the day.