I was one of the many photographers who anxiously read the initial reviews of the iPod photo Camera Connector — the $29 device that enables you to connect your digital camera directly to the iPod photo and transfer pictures to it. The reviews have been lukewarm, primarily because of the length of time it takes to move images from point A to point B.
I wanted to test this for myself, so I loaded up a Sandisk Ultra II SD card with 122 images that totaled 229 MBs. I then transfered those pictures to an iPod photo using the camera connector.
My test devices were a Casio EX-P505 that has a USB 2.0 connection, a Contax SL 300 RT* with a USB 1.1 connector, and a Belkin Hi-Speed USB 2.0 15-in-1 Media Reader & Writer. I used the same Sandisk card with the same images in all of the devices.
The first thing I want to comment on is that the iPod photo camera connector did recognize the Belkin card reader and imported from it. Some reports I’ve read stated that the camera connector only reads from cameras, not card readers. This wasn’t true in my case.
The next thing I noticed is that it took 8:54 to upload the 229 MBs worth of images from the Casio (USB 2.0), and 8:56 to transfer them from the Contax (USB 1.1). The USB 2.0 card reader was in the same ballpark at 7:57. This leads me to believe that the camera connector itself is only USB 1.1, even though the iPod photo has USB 2.0 connectivity. Odd.
Just for comparison numbers, the Belkin card reader transferred the same images to my PowerBook 17″ 1.33 GHz in 4:20. This of course is USB 2.0 to USB 2.0 connectivity.
So even though I like the small size of the iPod photo camera connector, the way it integrates with the iPod itself, and the convenience of being able to transfer photos directly to an iPod, I’m a little mystified at what appears to be a USB 1.1 connector for a USB 2.0 device.
Any thoughts on this are greatly appreciated.