iPad Camera Kit + CameraBag

As I mentioned previously, I’ve been playing with the extremely hard to find iPad Camera Connection Kit and photos taken with my various cameras.

iPad SD card reader

It’s a simple set of two dock connecting devices, one for SD cards and the other for USB, not unlike a USB SD card reader I have (in the middle):
iPad Camera Kit

When you first connect one of the adapters to the iPad, it automatically launches the Photos app and displays a new tab called ‘Camera’ and begins to load image thumbnail previews:
iPad Camera Kit

You’ll also notice that it there is also a ‘Places’ tab – I didn’t have this tab before connecting the camera kit and it plots all the geotagged photos on the iPad on a map:
iPad Camera Kit

Once the previews are loaded, you can select which photos to import or import all of them:
iPad Camera Kit

Once the import is done, you can then choose to keep or delete the photos:
iPad Camera Kit

The photos are now available in your camera roll in the ‘All imported’ album with the most recently imported batch in a ‘last import’ album. Any videos in your imports will also now be playable, as long as they are in the correct codec/format that the iPad can understand. I found that videos shot with my cameras varied but the files, while not playable, would be playable when I synced the iPad back to a computer, on the computer.

A side benefit of the video support, especially when travelling, is that you can load up a huge SD card with iPad playable movies and just import the ones you want. Once you watch them, delete and load more. It saves the steps of loading them into iTunes (assuming you made/ripped them yourself – DRM’d/rented movies won’t work this way) and having to allocate space for them during syncing. This also means you may not really need that 64GB iPad since you can literally just save a gig or two for movies and add/remove as necessary. This would have been handy during my trip to Hawaii but I didn’t have the camera kit yet.

From here, you can simply view and email your photos like normal. That’s pretty much all there is to it. But I’d like to be able to apply some post processing to some of the photos and have found that CameraBag for iPad is the most interesting app currently out. I first wrote about CameraBag for iPhone two years ago and have been very impressed with the new version for the iPad.

Once CameraBag is launched, you can select your camera roll to import photos via the top left icon:
CameraBag iPad

CameraBag iPad

Using the options on the bottom right, you can process the original photo in any of the preset modes:
CameraBag iPad

as well, you can mix and match the borders and crops as you’d like or choose ‘Vary’ for a random effect combination:
CameraBag iPad

The settings popup lets you choose the size of the saved image as well as modify the list of filter options:
CameraBag iPad

I’m pretty happy with the results of this super portable combination:

Hawaii 2010

Forensic Tweetup

Forensic Tweetup

Forensic Tweetup

Hawaii 2010

Hawaii 2010 (processed)

If you’re into photography and have an iPad, you’ll definitely want to pick up a camera kit…it even supports RAW files. Too bad it doesn’t work with the current iPhone 3GS – it would be pretty awesome to be able to upload straight off the camera to the internet via just the iPhone.

Maybe the next OS update (or hardware revision expected to be announced next week) will allow this.


  1. Tyler says:

    I want an iPad now! lol
    How is the Camera Connecting kit with the usb option? How does that portion work? For those who have cameras that don’t have SD compatible bodies.

  2. John says:

    It works exactly the same, Tyler…I’ve plugged a bunch of different cameras in directly to the USB adapter and it behaved the same.

    I’ve also tried RAW, JPG and RAW JPG with no difference. As I understand it, when you deal in RAW only, the files may not be easily emailed since it tries to send the actual RAW file, not the JPG preview it creates for the camera roll. Worse case, you can simply screenshot the JPG preview full screen and send that.

    Unfortunately, due to the iPad’s capacity (and my penchant for shooting a ton of photos per session), I’m not likely to only use this setup for publishing exclusively but it’s a great way to view photos without a laptop and publish a few keepers on the go.

  3. Noah says:

    Why wouldn’t this work with an iPhone — is the connection not recognized, or there’s no app (yet) that can interact with it, or does it seem shut off for some mysterious Apple reason? That would be absolutely killer for lightweight travel.

    • John says:

      Noah: It’s unrecognized on the iPhone…the iPad has newer OS which supports it…hence my comment about the next iPhone and/or the 4.0 OS may support it. But the previous camera connector for iPods never worked for the iPhone, I’m not sure why they don’t support it…perhaps it’s a graphics processing issue?

  4. Noah says:

    Sigh. Mobile device compatibility used to be so simple and lightweight travel friendly — 6 years ago I’d take photos on a miniSD with SD adapter, then pop the miniSD card alone into my Nokia Series 60 phone and upload via WiFi (a MB was ~$10 back then over GPRS). Ah, things were so simple before Apple. Steve, you better have good things to say this week, otherwise Android, you win.

  5. Jeremy Lim says:

    Colour me impressed!

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