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Customer Review

TOP 1000 REVIEWERon June 18, 2010
The first thing that came to mind with the iPad was "perfect photo device!" so a big selling point of it was the ability to download my photos to the iPad on-location, edit them and upload them - something I usually can't do while out taking photos or on vacation.

In order to do that, you need the iPad Camera Kit (a currently very-hard-to-find item (I waited 4 weeks to receive mine as all the local stores sold out instantly after receiving shipments).

Right off the bat, I love that they give you 2 adapters (1 for SD cards, 1 for USB). I had no use for the SD adapter as all my cameras are compact flash. I would have happily bought a separate CF card reader if one were available, but no luck on that. If your camera uses something other than SD, you need to "tether" it to the iPad (meaning you plug the USB piece from the camera kit into the iPads dock port, plug your USB cable from your camera into your camera and the other end into the USB piece on the iPad). Not the most convenient method, especially when on-the-go, but its workable.

Plugging in my camera (a Canon 40D), the previews started to appear on the iPad. It took 36 seconds to load the first 35 previews (this is using a short USB cable and a high speed CF card (30MB/Sec). A big downside here is that you cant view the photos larger than a thumbnail without importing them, going to your photo albums, finding the folder it went to and then scrolling to find it. Importing photos (10MP RAW Files) took 6 seconds each. After importing you get the option to "Keep" or "Delete" them from the camera - this is a bit scary as if you're click-happy on the popup, you can end up deleting the photos from your camera (not a huge deal as theyre on the iPad, but definitely a bit of a scare). You can either select individual photos or choose to import everything from the card.

Imported photos go into a new folder in you Photos app - "All Imported" - it also creates a secondary folder: "Last Import" - I would have really liked a way to create a specific folder for each import rather than lumping it all into 1 folder.

The USB adapter is a bit picky as far as what it will accept, I hear some USB Card Readers will work with it (eliminating the need to tether your camera), but it's all a matter of trial and error. USB Keyboards work (again, not all - ones with USB ports on them will not work). You can also not import video files if you have something like a Flip HD camera. This was disappointing as the iPad would make a GREAT video playback screen (especially 720p video like the flip) - especially compared to the 1" screen most of these cameras have.

A big plus to apple for including RAW support on imports (instead of just JPEG).

With the many photo editing apps out there, you can easily take some photos on your camera, import them into the iPad, edit them however you'd like and upload them your photo sharing sites from just about anywhere. For that, it's worth it. It has all sorts of problems (no CF, requires tethering, slow import, no video, etc..) but it's the only option you have, and for that I have to recommend it.
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