If the iPad is intended to be a travel-friendly device that goes places your laptop doesn’t, then a question regarding photos comes to mind: can you empty your camera’s memory card directly onto your iPad, without syncing up to an iPhoto library? Apparently it is possible.
The iPad Camera Connection Kit provides two ways to get photos onto your iPad. The kit contains two connectors, both of which plug into the dock connector on the bottom of your device. One connector works with a USB cable which connects directly to your digital camera. The other connector is able to read your photos from an SD card.
The iPad Camera Connection Kit operates in tandem with the Photos app. You can import all or just a few selected images and organize them into albums. When you return home, they can be copied to your computer when you sync up your iPad. JPEG and RAW file formats are supported.
The Fun Part
What’s nice about being able to do this is that you can immediately review and work with your photos on the road without carrying a laptop. Plus, you can then upload your images to any online service with an iPad upload app, or which accepts photos via e-mail such as Flickr and SmugMug. This adds a little security, increasing the likelihood that your photos make it home even if your iPad or camera do not.
When It’s Not Practical
Using the iPad Camera Connection kit is not going to be practical at all times nor for all people. I am one of those people — I shoot RAW images on a DSLR. Each image file is very large. And I shoot many, many frames. I’d undoubtedly fill up a 16 or 32 GB iPad, maybe even a 64 GB iPad, on any trip that’s longer than a few days. In this case I just carry a lot of memory cards.
The iPad Camera Connection Kit is also somewhat expensive at $29.
If you think you fall into the category of casual photographers for whom this might be a good idea, go ahead and pick one up. If I were in those shoes I would not buy this dongle as a way of offloading photos in order to make room on my camera’s memory card. If that were a concern, I would just buy extra memory cards. What I do see as potentially useful is being able to review and share photos on the road.
I do not have one of these at the moment. I don’t plan on it since I probably fall into the category of photographer who is not part of the device’s target market. Also, please don’t interpret this article as a review or endorsement, as I have not actually used this device. I am merely theorizing.