Developer: Apple

Price: $29.00
App Reviewed on: iPad

iPad Integration Rating: ★★★★½
User Interface Rating: ★★★★½
Re-use Value Rating: ★★★★★

Overall Rating: ★★★★½

The advantages of working on an iPad are growing by leaps and bounds everyday. Photographers may like the idea of working on this sleek device, but they question how they might get their photos from their camera to the iPad. Like a good pal meeting you at the bar, the camera connection kit is here to buy you a round. The question is, do you take the drink or do you hail a cab and go home now?

The camera connection kit comes with two different ways for you to get your digital images to the iPad. The first is via an SD card reader. Just plug this card reader into the 30-pin dock connecter slot at the “bottom” of your iPad device, shove your camera’s SD card into the slot, and you’re off to the races.

The second option comes in the form of a USB connector, or “dongle,” if you will. Plug this USB connector into the same dock connector as above and attach the USB cable to your camera. The iPad and camera connection kit will do the rest.

Upon connecting your camera, or memory card, the photo app launches and takes you right to the photos on the attached device. You then have the option to import everything or select only those photos you want to bring in. A prompt to keep the photos on your camera or delete them will appear once the import has finished.

A big question is how well it works with raw files. I shoot with a Nikon D90. My average RAW file size is 11megs. My photos also surpass the 2304 x 1536 size restriction on the iPad. Surprisingly, the camera connection kit had no issue reading my RAW files from my D90. The photos are resized within the iPad photo application, letting me do my work with minimal stress.

*EDIT* A commenter pointed out that the files do import on their native sizes and file types. I tested this, and can verify that photos are stored on the iPad in their native formats and resolutions. The apps that you use are forced to work within the restrictions set by iOS and the iPad. *END EDIT*

The build quality of these little connection devices is pretty good. They are made of the classic Apple white plastic. A dust cover is included for the doc connector as well. These are small enough to fit in your pocket, yet sturdy enough to take daily abuse out in the field.

I really only found two issues with these magical connectors. The main issue for many professionals and skilled amateurs will be the above-mentioned resizing of photos. It is nice to work on photos on the iPad, but if you need to edit full resolution images, you are out of luck. Just remind yourself that this is a trade off for being able to work on photos from such a small and light device.

The second issue is a small one. There is a dust cover for the 30-pin dock connector, but nothing to protect the USB or SD card slot. It would have really upped the quality standard if Apple had included some way to keep these areas clean from debris as well.

Is the camera connection kit worth your hard earned $30? It most certainly is. Despite the image sizing issues, this quickly became my travel companion, beating out my laptop. I can work on photos easily and conveniently, without toting a big, heavy battery consuming monster. I just make sure to let clients know that higher resolution images will be available once I get home to my laptop. If you’re looking for a way to ditch the laptop and work on photos on your iPad, you’ve just found your solution!

Posted in: Blog, Hardware Reviews, Photography on iOS, Reviews

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