Update for the 2018 iPad Pro below
iPad Pro with Lightning
So, two months ago I got a shiny new iPad Pro for work on the road, and I still love it! I can do a lot of things, including editing of photos. With the great Lightning To SD Card adapter, I can capture images on the go from my Nikon D800 and Nikon Df, my two main cameras. Until last week. You see, I got a brand new Nikon D5. The flagship camera from Nikon isn’t just a great camera, it’s insanely fast and becomes an extension of my arm, made purely to get the shot, no matter what. With my other cameras, you sometimes had to compromise, but with this, I haven’t missed a single shot yet.
But, with all that professionalism comes a price. No more SD Cards. What if I’m on the road and I want to edit an image? Well, good news, there is a way to capture those great images from the XQD cards the Nikon D4, D4s, D5 and D500.
It isn’t as simple as just a small dongle, but since you’re packing a pro camera, an extra cable won’t change that.
Enter the Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter. With a male Lightning on one end, it has a female USB and Lightning port on the other hand. It connects USB accessories like hubs, Ethernet adapters, MIDI interfaces, flash readers, and more. The female Lightning port is there for powering power-hungry accessories, and there lies the difference. You see, if you just plug in the XQD card reader, you get this lovely message.
So, all you need to do, is power the adapter to a lightning cable. But I can already hear you thinking: ‘But, I’m on the road, I don’t have access to a power outlet’!
The bad news, power banks, like the excellent Mophie packs, will not give enough power to power the Sony card reader supplied with the Nikon D5.
This means that with accessories that will probably will be in your bag anyhow, you can capture and edit those images on your device. And with iOS 10 coming this fall, it will ship with native RAW support, enabling you tap in the full power of your images while still working on an iPhone or iPad.
The Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter retails for 39 USD or 45 euro.
2018 iPad Pro with USB-C
With a brand new design, Apple also decided to bring the USB-C standard to their iPad Pro range. The bus is powered, so connecting to an iPad Pro is easier than ever. Using my SONY MRWE90 XQD/SD CARD USB 3.0 Reader with a USB 3 Micro to USB-C cable, I can plug in SD and XQD, with the iPad recognising the card, and ready to import.
Even better, with iOS 13 you can import images in the background, and apps will be able to connect with a card reader and external volume, bringing an end to the double import. We will update this guide when apps like Lightroom are updated to take advantage of this new technology.