What it should do:
Give you a possibility to upload pictures from your digital camera directly on to your iPod. Fantastic! For the people that take large amounts of pictures, maybe with a high resolution camera the cost of memory cards will be huge if you want to bring enough of them to keep you going for a whole vacation.
Having the possibility to transfer them to your iPod and even review them on the iPod screen is a very good idea.
Unfortunately, the iPod Photo Connector fails to help you out…
The first quick test
I have a Sony DSC-P150 digital camera. It’s 7.2 megapixels. Pictures that I take are around 3 MB and I also use it to record quick video clips.
I didn’t find any information about people that had connected this particular camera to the iPod, but according to the information on Apple’s website it should work.
So, I snap a couple of pictures and a short video clip and connect my camera to the iPod with my original Sony USB cable. Great! The iPod recognize the camera connector and the camera and automatically shows information about what’s on the memory card in the camera. 5 items, 23 MB.
I choose to transfer them to the iPod. Great, a nice screen showing progress and the pictures as they are transfered. It takes quite a bit of time to transfer this small amount of pictures, but everything works out fine.
I can then look at the pictures on the iPod and it shows a small icon for the video clips as well. Kindly telling me that the iPod can not play this video clip but it will play when I transfer it to my computer.
Great. This looks like a useful little device. At $24 it wasn’t even very expensive.
Then the real test
I shoot pictures for one day, and have now a 1 GIG memory stick that is filled with 472 MB worth of pictures and video clips. Not even half way full, but I decide to test the transfer anyway.
This is when I realize that the Apple iPod Photo Connector is completely useless.
I start the transfer. Wow, it is really slow. It takes about 15 minutes and half the battery of the iPod to transfer these 472 MB. And, because the camera connector don’t let you charge the iPod while you transfer I guess transfering 1 GIG or more would be impossible.
The iPod is USB 2.0, my camera is USB 2.0, the cable is USB 2.0. What is this camera connector doing?
OK. It might be useful if I am traveling and has charge possibilities for the iPod and never fill my 1 GB cards.
Well, no. As mentioned. It is completely useless. Why? After the 15 minutes of transfer the iPod tells me that it has transfered the 143 pictures and 472 MB. But this time it won’t let me review the pictures. When I connect the iPod to my computer and check the folder with the pictures it has only trensfered 120 pictures and 350 MB. I try again with my wife’s iPod and now it only transfers 56 pictures! In other words it’s not only a huge battery drain but it is unstable as well. Transfering the same pictures directly from my camera to my computer and directly from a memory card reader both work out fine.
So now you have been warned. An iPod, a camera connector and a Sony DSC-P150 is a completely useless combination. Feel free to try with other cameras. I will keep the connector, and I hope that Apple can solve parts of these issues with new firmware for the iPod. Time will show.
So what do I do while I wait? I keep using my 80GIG combined memory card reader and battery powered portable hard drive. The eMagic USB 2.0 Data Storage Bank. Yes, crappy web page, crappy design. Not very well built.
But it is cheap, it empties my full 1 GIG card in a couple of minues and has enough battery power to empty several full 1 GIG cards.
Can’t watch the pictures on it, but it has not let me down one single time. Fast, reliable transfers.