You can use the iPad Camera Connection Kit to import photos directly from your camera or an SD card. You can also connect USB headsets and some keyboards.
Hi this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today’s episode let’s take a look at the iPad Camera Connection Kit. So the camera connection kit consists of two dock connectors for your iPad. So the first is the SD card adapter. On one end here we’ve got a slot for an SD card and on the other end is the connector that you use to hook up to the dock at the bottom of your iPad. The other one looks similar, but on the one end we have a USB input and on the other end the same dock connector. There actually both pretty similar in size you can see the SD connector’s a little flatter and wider than USB. So let’s try the USB connection. Here I’ve got my Panasonic camera. It has a USB cable hooked up to it. It’s the one that came with the camera and it’s what I would use to hook it up to my Mac. I’m going to take the USB dock connector and I’m going to put it in the dock there. I’m going to take this USB cable. The camera’s already on. I’m going to insert in. As you can see it’s going to launch the Photos app immediately and it’ll come up. And here I’ve got actually all of the stuff at the top is the same except I have a camera button now at the top and it shows me what’s in the camera and I can select or de-select items. I’ve already imported these which is why the checkmarks are already there and I can delete them or import them. So if I hadn’t imported these already, there would be no checkmarks at all. I could check off the ones I wanted and hit Import and they would then appear under Albums. You can see I’ve got Last Import and All Imported in Albums. Now let’s try the SD card adapter. Plug that in here. And I’ve got the SD card, it’s actually the same camera. I took this SD card out of the camera and I can insert it in and it will launch the Photos app just like before and show me basically the same thing. Now once you have put the pictures on your iPad the great thing is that when you sync it with your Mac those images will then transfer over to iPhoto on your Mac as well. So basically you can use your iPad as an intermediate step. So you’re traveling somewhere, you take some pictures with your camera, you transfer them to the iPad, and then when you get back home you can transfer them from the iPad back to your Mac. So here’s the interesting thing. This also works with video, so if your camera takes video which most do right now you can get the videos on to your iPad. Now the only playback on your iPad if they’re already H.264 format. Some cameras do it, some cameras don’t. So I was able to hook up some interesting cameras, like say my Flip camera, and transfer the AVI video files from the Flip camera onto the iPad. They wouldn’t play on the iPad, but they would live there until I transfered them to my Mac in which time I was able to play them on the Mac and also convert them so I can use them back on the iPad if I wanted to. Now I tried several different cameras, both the SD cards in the cameras and the USB connector. And I found some interesting results with the USB connector. For instance I was able as I said to hook up the Flip camera to it. I also was able to hook up my iPod Nano and get the video from it onto my iPad and it would play. And I was able to hook up my iPhone to it, so I was able to hook the iPhone up to the iPad, get pictures from my iPhone and get video from my iPhone and both would look fine and play on the iPad. But you can use this handy USB connector for other things as well. Like for instance it works great with headsets so if you have a USB headset like this one, its got a microphone and its got two earphones, then you are able to actually listen to music on it and use the microphone for microphone-enabled apps. At least a few of them. Not all of them seem to work with the microphone. In addition people are reporting you can actually hook up a keyboard, a USB keyboard, using the USB adapter. Now it doesn’t work with the Mac Aluminum USB keyboards, the ones that most people have now if you have wired keyboards. The reason for that is because these are high-powered USB keyboards. They’re done that way so that you can hook up your iPhone to them and it will charge off of the keyboard. But then the drawback is that you can’t use this because your iPad isn’t generating enough power out of the USB port for you to be able to power that large keyboard. But I have heard that lower power USB keyboards will work with the iPad in the same way that the keyboard dock or bluetooth keyboard does. The fact that some keyboards and headsets work with this tells me that we’ll probably see more uses for the USB adapter in the future. Hope you like this look at the iPad Camera Connection Kit. ‘Til next time, this is Gary Rosenzweig with MacMost Now.