How to Convert a Digital Camera Memory Card to DVD

By Scott Shpak

A standard DVD hold approximately 400 raw photo files from a 10-megapixel camera.
i Casanowe/iStock/Getty Images

No matter how big a memory card seems when it's empty, start photographing your favorite subjects and you'll need more space in not much more time than it takes to say "cheese." Even when you're prepared with more memory cards, archiving your photos to DVD frees your cards and builds a compact library of your best photos. Transfer photos from your camera's memory card to DVD discs using your computer, a DVD recorder or a memory card-to-DVD converter.

Computer Go-Between

Involve your computer in the camera-to-DVD journey if you wiant to avoid purchasing additional equipment to make DVDs. Many contemporary computers, both desktop and notebook, have optical drives capable of burning DVDs, but first you have to transfer the photos to the computer's hard drive. If your computer doesn't have a memory card reader, use a USB adapter cable to transfer photos from your card while it's in the camera or purchase an adapter that accepts your photo memory card and plugs into a free USB port.

DVD Recorders

Most stand-alone DVD recorders are made with burning video in mind, but they can copy your photos from a computer the same way internal optical drives can. Some DVD drives permit a variety of data transfers directly to the drive. The Plextor PlexEasy has a memory card slot that accepts memory cards in Secure Digital, SD High Capacity and Multimedia Card formats, as well as a USB port that accepts direct camera input or adapters for other memory card formats.

Dedicated Devices

At least one manufacturer makes a memory card-to-DVD converter designed for photo transfers. Hammacher Schlemmer offers the appropriately named Memory Card to DVD Photo Converter. The device includes a USB port and two card slots, with an incorporated LCD screen to aid the transfer process. The unit is light and small, designed to travel unobtrusively with a photographer, expressly for backing up photos and freeing up photo memory cards for taking additional photos.

Software for Photo DVDs

For photo backup and archiving, you can burn data DVDs directly from File Explorer or Windows Media Player, in either disc-at-once mode or a multisession disc so you have the option to add more files later. However, note that data discs can't play as slide shows on standard DVD players. Free DVD authoring software can do this and is widely available on the Internet. Programs such as DVD Styler, Freemake Video Converter and Nero MediaHome produce photo slide shows for playback on any DVD player.