What are the MSC and PTP transfer protocols used for in Nikon digital cameras?

What are the MSC and PTP transfer protocols used for in Nikon digital cameras?

Nikon digital cameras using USB offer the user a choice of several image transfer protocols, MSC (mass storage class), PTP (Picture Transfer protocol),  and MTP/PTP (Media Transfer Protocol/ Picture Transfer Protocol) which are selectable through the camera's menu system.

With USB Mass Storage Class, when USB-compatible equipment is connected, it is recognised as a removable drive like an floppy or hard disk drive. This means that images can be read, not only with the supplied software, but also with Internet browsing software such as Internet Explorer, etc., for added versatility.

PTP (Picture Transfer Protocol) is a newer protocol for image transfer that can be used with Windows XP (Home/Professional) and Mac OS X. Most recent COOLPIX cameras and the D100 / D200 / D300/ D300S / D700 / D3/ D3S and D3X offer PTP compatibility, the PTP system will become the future standard protocol and will offer camera control capability from a PC. No drive letter is created for such a connection.

MTP / PTP is the newest transfer protocol, adding a revised set of instructions to the PTP standard, allowing transfer of audio and video files. Windows Vista has built in support for MTP/PTP, and Windows XP (Home or Professional) requires the installation of Windows Media Player 10 or later to add support. No drive letter is created.

See the tables below for the protocols used in each camera and their Operating System compatibility.

Table 1. below shows the image transfer method used by each digital camera. The COOLPIX 5000 and 885 require firmware upgrades for compatibility with the PTP protocol.

Image transfer issues due to protocol incompatibilities can usually be bypassed through the use of a memory card reader.

Table 1

MTP/PTP type devices

PTP type devices

MSC type devices 

Proprietary (Nikon Own)

D4

D100 

D100

D1

D800 / D800E 

D200 

D200

D1H

D3 - series

P - series Coolpix

D300
(uses PTP as well)

D1X

D700

S - series Coolpix

D40X

COOLPIX 880

D300S, D300
(uses MSC as well)

L - series Coolpix

D40

COOLPIX 990

D7000

COOLPIX 5700

COOLPIX 3500

 

D5100

COOLPIX 8700

COOLPIX 4300

 

D5000

COOLPIX 8800

COOLPIX 5700

 

D3200

COOLPIX 4500

COOLPIX 8400

 

D3100

COOLPIX 2000

COOLPIX 8700

 

D3000

COOLPIX 2500

COOLPIX 8800

 

D90

COOLPIX 5000
(v.1.70 firmware)

COOLPIX 4500

 

D80

COOLPIX 3500

COOLPIX 2000

 

D60

COOLPIX 4300

COOLPIX 775

 

D40X
(and MSC)

COOLPIX 885
(v.1.20 firmware)

COOLPIX 885

 

D40
(and MSC)

COOLPIX 2100

COOLPIX 995

 

 

COOLPIX 3100

COOLPIX 5000

 

 

COOLPIX SQ

COOLPIX 2100

 

 

COOLPIX 8400

COOLPIX 3100

 

 

 

COOLPIX SQ


Table 2. below shows which USB protocols can be used with each operating system (USB cameras only)

Table 2

Operating System

Camera USB setting
(selectable via camera menu)

Windows 7

MTP or PTP

Windows Vista

MTP or PTP

Windows XP

MSC, MTP*, and PTP* 
(with installation of Windows Media Player 10 or later)

Windows 2000

MSC

Windows ME

MSC, PTP

Windows 98SE

MSC, PTP
(with Service Pack 2)

Operating System

Camera USB setting
(selectable via camera menu)

Mac OS X

MSC or PTP, "MTP" type devices supported differently on Mac OS X

Mac OS 9.x

MSC

Mac OS 8.x

MSC


 

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