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PictBridge is an industry standard that facilitates unlimited digital photo downloading and printing by allowing a printer to connect directly to a digital camera, mobile phone or PictBridge device without a PC. A USB connects the printer and camera device, allowing a user to bypass downloading the images a PC hard drive prior to printing. After the user selects photos, the device communicates with the printer, and the selected photos are printed.
Most digital and PictBridge cameras are built with direct photo printing capabilities, but photo quality varies by brand and image size. In addition, printer brands vary in terms of photo size and formatting options. Printers with built-in memory cards usually provide extra sizing options.
PictBridge's camera packaging and logo serve as visual tools to provide assistance to novice users. If a digital camera or printer user is not technologically savvy, manufacturer device specification verification is recommended.
The Camera and Imaging Products Association (CIPA) released PictBridge in 2003.