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iPad Hardware and Accessories Discuss the iPad hardware and accessories

Compact Flash card reader for the iPad. A Mini-review


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Doug b

 
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Member Since: Jun 22, 2008
Location: Forest Hills, NYC
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Mac Specs: 15-inch Early 2008; Processor 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo; Memory 4 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM; 10.7.5

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A couple of days ago, I posted a thread Here, which of course now that I look at it, is in the wrong section of the forums. Sorrrreee! Anyway, the thread was created out of my being frustrated with the iPad camera connection kit, and its inability to be used with a card reader so that I may be able to use a compact flash card.

Some people might wonder why this would be a problem, when you can simply hook the camera up directly to the CCK's (camera connection kit) USB connector? Well, the answer is three fold:

1. This will drain the camera's battery. And if you're still away from a wall socket, this is obviously a problem. Especially if you shoot RAW.

2. Slow, slow, slow!

3. Increased risk of data corruption without recovery.

Unfortunately, after the iPad's 4.2 firmware update, Apple changed the power draw of the 30 pin port from 100mw to a ridiculous 20mw. This would ensure that hardly any third party device would be able to access this port. This also left a lot of people out in the cold, who previously were able to use pretty much any card reader out there.

Guess I didn't do enough research before getting the CCK, else I might not have purchased it. However, knowing what I know now, I still would have. Read on to find out why... (oooh suspense!)

Anyway, after finding out that my card reader was not going to work, I looked around for a different solution. And a better one than simply hooking the camera up to the CCK. Terry White, who is an Adobe evangalist, and Photoshop guru, was kind enough to tell me about a dedicated compact flash adapter for the iPad, from The MIC Store. He has personally used these and even did a review on them. It looked very promising indeed.

Too bad for me though, I needed an CF adapter ASAP, and the one from MIC likely wouldn't get to me for a couple of weeks. I figured of course, that there would have to be more than just that one version out there, even if it was a very niche product at this point. And that's where Amazon/IDS and HKtimes come in to play.

I searched Amazon for an iPad CF adapter, and found just a couple of them. Reviews were all a mixed bag, so I knew that I'd be taking a chance, and might have to use the CCK with my camera directly after all. So, I picked a manufacturer and an adapter (based on instinct and which ever reviews seemed most geared toward my positive logic) and three days later:


Minimilistic packaging, but not quite as minimal as the kings of this, Apple.



Looks and feels pretty good!









I certainly love the size of it, and it compliments the CCK very well. But does it work? That's probably fairly important, right?

BOOM:









So it would appear that my efforts have paid off, and I have a very slick CF adapter for my iPad 2! One thing did alarm me during my very brief testing, however... And that is this:



Each time I left the adapter in without a card, after about 5-10 minutes (I didn't time it) I'd get this message. Though when I put a card back in, it would automatically get its butt in gear and work absolutely brilliantly. Thus far, I'm not worried about this behavior, but will continue to watch for signs of any failure.

As for the photos that I imported, the first series are RAW files, which are about 14-15 MB each. Each photo took about 1.5 seconds to import. The second set, which are of the photos ON the iPad, were jpg's, set to large and fine. Those took 1 second each. Either way, I'm very pleased with the results thus far, considering that using the camera directly to the kit was way slower and much more clumsy.

I'll let you guys know how I get on with it in the next couple of weeks of course, and if anybody has any questions, please let me know!

Doug
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Dysfunction

 
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dude, that's awesome! Thanks for the update!

mike
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Doug b

 
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Another update:

Sent the CF adapter back to Amazon yesterday. After having used it for a week in California, it turned out to be a huge disappointment. The main problem with it is that it works, then doesn't work. Then it works, and then doesn't work again. All this in one session. In other words, you hook it up and start the transfer. At first, things seem to be going fine and then out of nowhere, it disconnects its self. After a few seconds, it reconnects and you then have the option to either import all and skip duplicates, or choose the ones which didn't import the first time.

The problem with the first method, is that you likely skipped over some from the first batch, and this leaves you with having to manually select photos from god knows how many. To make things more clear, the import all feature wouldn't be such a bad thing, if not for the lack of flexibility of iCloud. As you all know, you don't have a choice of what you can keep or save in Photostream, which makes things a bit complicated and also wastes time and cloud space.

Besides all of that, this problem happened on a constant basis with this CF card adapter, and I found myself resorting to using the original iPad camera connection kit, hooking up my camera directly. I really didn't want to resort to doing this, but I was in the hotel, so charging my camera battery wasn't a problem. Were I on the go however, I'd be reluctant to use that method.

Furthermore, I have a feeling that utilizing photostream with this card, had something to do with the iPad winding up with 6.4 gigs of unwanted "other" data, which pretty much forced me to keep all of the NEF files on my CF cards. Luckily, I was shooting mostly jpegs (as an experiment, since the iPad is only 16 gigs).

So I guess that my suggestion would be to stay away from this particular CF card adapter, at least for the D300, anyway. I'm going to be ordering a different model, from Here

To be honest, I can't wait until I purchase a new camera with SD card capabilities. I'll likely relegate the D300 to studio work only, and get a very good new mirrorless system for street shooting and vacations. But with so many new mirrorless cameras on the horizon, it will be a bit until one proves to be solid in the market.

TA!

Doug
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