To start using digiKam, plug your camera in a free USB slot, turn it on in “play” mode  (if available), and choose → from the main menu to launch digiKam. The 1st time you do this operation, you must provide a folder to store pictures into: you can accept the default.
Detecting The Camera. If your camera is not listed in the+ menu, then choose + + and click on . If detection fails, click on and look for your camera in the list, or fill the parameters corresponding to your camera, and accept your settings.
Check GPhoto2's supported cameras list for more information on camera support. If your camera uses the Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP), it may be supported even if it's not in the Gphoto2 list. You can also consult the very complete Digital Camera Support for UNIX, Linux and BSD web page.
If your digital camera
is not recognized, you can still try to use a “card reader”
which lets you plug in the camera's memory. They usually appear mounted
/media folder, so you can access them as
you would any other storage device. Many card readers support multiple
memory card types: Compact Flash, Secure Digital, etc.
If you have a laptop computer with a PCMCIA slot, you can use the ATA photo memory PCMCIA card adapters in order to access your pictures. They are mounted just like any other ATA device (CD-ROM, hard disk, etc.). This is the fastest method to access photo cards. It also means the camera's batteries could last longer.
Selected pictures are transferred to that album .
All transformations on pictures are made on the on-disk file, digiKam doesn't make a backup of the transformed pictures. Transformations are, when possible, loss-less, but may affect the quality of the picture's on-disk file.
Select a picture and click on this button to open the image edit window. Bear in mind that on-screen rendering is quite different from printing your digital pictures on photographic paper. So if you intend to both print and publish your pictures for online viewing, it might be wise to treat both copies differently from the beginning.
We will overview a few tools in this introduction, feel free to experiment with all the available menus and tools.
Resize (Change Resolution). Multi-megapixel images are excellent for photographic paper print-ups, but are far from adequate for e-mailing or publishing on the Web. Choose → from the menu, then select the desired size, either in pixels or in percentage, and whether or not to keep (recommended) the aspect ratio.
Crop. You can also crop an image to a desired size while keeping aspect ratio. Choose → from the menu, drag the rectangle to frame the part of the image you are interested on, and select the aspect ratio, orientation, width and height.
Most digital cameras produce EXIF (Exchangeable Image File Format) files. EXIF provides extra tags containing information about the image such as the date, camera model, exposure time, ISO speed setting, aperture, etc. Select the picture, open the Metadata tab, and select the EXIF tab.
To add a comment to a picture, open the Caption/Tags tab, then enter your Comments(see Figure 5.9, “Adding a Comment and a Tag to a Picture”). Using the same tab you can also add tags to your pictures, for example, to organize them. Click on once you are satisfied with your settings.
Those tags and comments can then be used to search your photos and be used as captions when exporting your albums on the Web.
create a Web publishable version of your album (HTML, Flash, etc.),
or automatically publish your photos to a public sharing website like Picasa or Flickr.
Each export option needs its own parameters.