These are some of the methods of connecting:
* Early in production they used a PC (personal computer) serial port.
* USB is the most widely used method now; a universal serial bus is now a standard interface device.
* FireWire ports; this is a copyrighted name of Apple Inc for the IEEE 1394 interface.
* USB PTP (picture transfer protocol) may be used as a mode of connection rather than the USB MSC (mass storage device); some computers offer both methods.
* Some cameras use wireless connections.
* A card reader is a standard alternative. It is capable of reading many different types of storage media, and it allows high speed transfer of data.
A card reader also eliminates draining the battery in the camera during the process of downloading data. The power is taken from the USB port, not the camera. This can be inconvenient if only one reader card is used to directly access the images to several storage media, which requires moving the card back and forth between media.
Many cameras are now set up to transfer data directly to the printer without the use of a computer. There are several devices that have digital cameras built in, due to limited storage and with the emphasis on convenience; the quality of the images is usually poor, cell phones are the most common of these items. PDAs, laptops and Blackberries are others in this class; even some camcorders have digital cameras built in.