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I've noticed that files from my digital camera are always saved on the SD card as DSCN####.JPG. Some other cameras also save with this naming scheme, but others yet save with the prefix DSC, and sometimes even other strings. Is there any significance to these prefixes? Does it mean anything to the computer when importing the photos? And why do different cameras use different prefixes?

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To anyone itching to migrate this to photography or close it as off-topic: this question is about how the camera interfaces with the computer and saves its files for the computer to use; therefore, it is on-topic per the SU FAQ. – nhinkle Mar 10 '11 at 6:01
) is it a nikon camera ? all cameras use some prefix naming for all image files , i believe only nikon uses this one – Shekhar Mar 10 '11 at 6:06
very good question, +1 - I've always wondered this myself... – studiohack Mar 31 '11 at 17:41
up vote 5 down vote accepted

Wikipedia says, DSC stands for Digital Still Camera. Would make sense then.

Your camera is a Nikon, and DSCN stands for Digital Still Capture - Nikon.

So the C is either Camera or Capture.

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Ah, there we go. Thanks Daniel! – nhinkle Mar 10 '11 at 19:24

Most cameras follow the Design rule for Camera File systems, a specification that defines the directory structure, file format and naming pattern (among other things) of camera storage.

From the linked Wikipedia article:

The filesystem in a digital camera contains a DCIM (Digital Camera IMages) directory which can contain multiple subdirectories with names such as "123ABCDE", which consist of a unique directory number (in the range 100…999) and five alphanumeric characters, which may be freely chosen and often refer to a camera maker. These directories contain files with names such as "ABCD1234.JPG", which consist of four alphanumeric characters (often "DSC_", "DSC0" or "IMG_"), followed by a number.

As stated, manufacturers can chose to customize the first four characters of image files' names; Canon cameras, for example, prefix their files with IMG_, while Nikon cameras have the DSC_ or DSCN prefix.

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