iPad camera connector kit
One of the accessories I have been waiting to get my hands on for the iPad is the camera connector kit. This adapter gives you the ability to plug in a SD card or a powered USB CF reader to your iPad and download the images. It’s $29.99 so not too bad to be able to transfer your images straight to your iPad to view, however does have some limitations. First i’ll review the process of transferring images over and then cover some of the limitations at the end.
The camera connection kit comes with 2 different adapters both which plug right into the 30-pin plug at the bottom of your iPad. One adapter is for SD cards and the other has a USB port so you can plug in any USB card reader. Once you plug in the adapter the photos app will open up with 3 new tabs at the top. On the left there is a delete all button. In the middle it adds a new camera button to show that you are connected to a “camera” and the right has a import all button. Each image on the card is shown below and you can tap on any image to select. Tap on multiples and tap import which will then give you the option to import selected or import all.
This adds the photos into a new Album in your Photo app on the iPad titled “Last Import” and also as a new Event with the title as the Date. From here you can treat them the same as any photos on your iPad, email them, do a slideshow, set one as wallpaper, etc…
Then when you sync your iPad with your computer iPhoto will show all of the images you have downloaded and give you the ability to transfer these images over to iPhoto.
A couple of limitation the adapter and iPad have right now that limit what you can do with it:
1) The ipad does not have enough power to power a card reader so you can only connect card readers to the USB port that have their own power. I have a reader that is powered by the USB and it turns on for a second but then shuts off and gives you a warning stating that “The attached accessory uses too much power”. This is really too bad since one of the best things about the iPad is how portable it is and plugging an adapter into the bottom, then a USB card reader into that which has to have another plug going into the wall is kind of a pain. It would be nice if they also had a CF card adapter as well.
2) If you shoot any video with your camera it will import the video clip but won’t play on the iPad. When you import these video clips to your computer they will play just fine in iPhoto however it would be really nice to be able to view the videos directly on the iPad. Maybe a software update for the photo app will come out that allows this?
3) There also isn’t many solid editing apps yet for the ipad so don’t expect to do anything major with the images once you download them. I am sure this will change with time. This really is a brand new type of device and has only been available to developers for a few months. Once companies start programming for the iPad I am sure some creative and useful apps will be coming out. The apps are one thing i think will really set this apart from other tablets out there, with such a nice display and multi-touch we are just seeing the start of a new way of interacting with your computer.
Although there are limitations to what the device can do right now if you shoot a lot in the field and need a way to quickly backup your images this is a great option. The iPad is so much more portable compared to a laptop and can really be a perfect portable solution for photographers. You can also use this as a way to quickly proof your images with your clients if needed. The screen has a very good resolution so if you have a client who needs to see a preview on location this would work great!