Camera Connection Kit

We’ve had a few requests to double check and see whether the iPad’s original camera connection kit works, and sure enough it still does. We put together a simple yet representative benchmark comparing how fast it took an iPad 1 and iPad 2 to import 40 NEF (Nikon RAW, lossless compression enabled) photos shot using a Nikon D300s.

Photo Import

The iPad 2 bests the iPad 1 by a considerable margin at import speed, it's 47 percent faster. Subjectively, initial image previews also rendered much, much quicker on the iPad 2.

I always felt like speed was honestly what kept me from using the camera connection kit more than once in a blue moon on the original iPad, coupled with the relatively limited 16 GB of storage on the WiFi model I opted for. Though this time around I still went with 16 GB, it’s now fast enough to import a substantial number of photos even from the most competent of cameras very quickly. 

The other gems that are enabled by the USB Host port bundled with the camera connector kit also still work. You can still connect a keyboard and use it as an input device wherever text fields are, mice still don’t work (not a huge surprise there), and 16-bit USB audio class devices work. 

I connected my Logitech USB headset and microphone combo to the iPad through the camera connector kit. Audio played back through the headsets from all applications. In apps that use recording, the microphone also worked. 

The interesting caveat is that you apparently can’t use both at the same time, at least not this pair. I fired up FaceTime in the hopes that I’d be able to use the headsets in their entirety - callers could hear me through the microphone (and noted I sounded excellent), however audio played back through the iPad’s internal speaker instead of the headphones. I connected through a powered hub and experienced the same thing. There are anecdotal accounts that other devices which support simultaneous audio input and output do work, but I lack more hardware to test with. Additionally, I can’t test whether devices with higher power budgets (like the Blue Yeti microphone for example) work. 

There’s definitely potential for the iPad 2 to be a shockingly competent mobile podcasting platform, especially coupled with some built-in Garage Band editing.

You can already record audio through a USB source natively in Garage Band with the camera connector kit. We tested it and it sounds excellent. 

On the Strength of Glass The UI & Honeycomb Comparison


View All Comments

  • claytontullos - Saturday, March 19, 2011 - link kind of fun? Reply
  • vol7ron - Saturday, March 19, 2011 - link

    This just goes back to what I've said since the iPad was introduced. It'll be the +1 device that's best for laying around your house. This goes into my review as why it needs to hit the $200-250 price point.

    Sure it's a nice e-Reader and can entertain with some games and even allow for some production work, but it is still clunky and uncomfortable and to be efficient and productive you need the additional hardware, which are going to bring you in a nice laptop range anyhow.

    The 3GS is hitting the $50-100 price point w/ a 2 year contract, which I suggested a year ago. Personally, I still think that should be the price w/o the contract (to be available after-market for gifts/presents), but as long it's available at that point, that's where it needs to be.

    I still think the iPad needs to drop to that $200-250 point. It's the coffee table device, which people should consider having 2-3 spread-out in the home [ maybe one in the bathroom ;) ] - if only they could also self-sync wirelessly. I'm not too sure who buys the base model, but the specs alone would keep me from considering it and when you look at the higher spec'd models, it's not as justified when looking at laptops, or other eReaders.
  • solipsism - Sunday, March 20, 2011 - link

    $200 to $250 for a newly released 10” Tablet with an IPS panel? WTF are you smoking? How can you have such an odd mental disconnect between writing that and then writing "The 3GS is hitting the $50-100 price point w/ a 2 year contract”? What part of 2-year contract aren’t you understanding? Do you not realize the carrier is paying Apple more than $200-250 for that 3GS, and you are paying the carrier a lot more than that over 2 years?

    Pray tell, how would this device be $200-250 when the competition with a 2 decade head start still hasn’t been able to compete on price?
  • synaesthetic - Sunday, March 20, 2011 - link

    I don't get how they sell so many when they're so useless and clunky... and cost so much.

    Lot of hipsters I guess.
  • michael2k - Sunday, March 20, 2011 - link

    The weight, battery life, and cost (altogether) are unparalleled in the computing world.

    Smartphones with similar performance characteristics have far smaller screens and lower battery life.

    PCs with similar battery life cost far more and weigh far more.

    PCs with similar weight (and still double at that) cost far more and have only fraction of the battery life.

    PCs with similar cost weigh far more and have drastically lower battery life.
  • Meaker10 - Sunday, March 20, 2011 - link

    A dual core sandy bridge 13" device is going to be far more useful for work and far more powerful. Reply
  • michael2k - Sunday, March 20, 2011 - link

    Who said anything about work? For things like reading Anandtech it would be far heavier, bulkier, and with less battery life. Reply
  • bigboxes - Sunday, March 20, 2011 - link

    Just admit that it's a toy. The authors laid it out for you on how they prefer to use other devices instead of the iPad. It too bulky for portability and underpowered for any productivity tasks.

    So, you're telling me (and everyone else here) that you paid $500+ just to surf AnandTech on your couch? Just wondering.
  • Stas - Monday, March 21, 2011 - link

    That's exactly why it cannot cost this much to be a reasonable buy. No, the following purchases are not reasonable: fa- sheep base, soccer moms that buy the latest gadget with most hype for their kids/husbands not even knowing wtf it does, or PR boost in form of including, again, the most hyped device with cars, hotel rooms, air travel, etc (3 categories right there probably account for 90% of all sales). I mean people that understand exactly what the device is, what it's not, and have a clear idea of how they are going to use it. And it doesn't matter how much it costs to make it, how advanced the hardware is, or how "revolutionary" the design is. Given the limited usability of a slim, touchscreen device, I think asking $600+ for one is ballsy. Reply
  • MScrip - Monday, March 21, 2011 - link

    -- "Given the limited usability of a slim, touchscreen device, I think asking $600+ for one is ballsy." --

    That's true about any tablet.

    As great as Honeycomb tablets are... they're still not gonna provide a true computing experience.

    A $600 laptop will always provide far more functionality than a $600 tablet...

    Yet... all these manufacturers are pumping out tablets at an alarming rate.

    Apple took the risk and added a new product to their lineup.

    If tablets were destined to fail... we wouldn't see Motorola, Samsung and even RIM jumping into the tablet game...

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