Import photos using Apple camera adapters

Learn how to import photos and videos from a digital camera or SD Card to your iPhone or iPad using Apple camera adapters.

You can import photos and videos from an SD card, digital camera, or other supported accessory to your iPhone or iPad using one of these:

  • Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader
  • Lightning to USB Camera Adapter
  • iPad Camera Connection Kit (iPads with Dock Connector only), which contains both iPad Camera connector and iPad SD card reader

If you use an iPhone, you need iOS 9.2 or later.

Import photos and videos

To import from your SD card or digital camera, follow these steps:

  1. Connect the adapter to your iPad or iPhone.
  2. Connect your digital camera to the adapter by USB or insert an SD card.
  3. Photos should automatically open to the Import tab. If it doesn't, open Photos and tap Import.
  4. Tap Import All to import your content, or tap specific items, then tap Import.
  5. When the import is complete, you might be asked to Keep or Delete the media on the camera or SD card.

You can only import content to your iPhone or iPad. You can't export content to an SD card or digital camera.

If you don’t see the import option

If you don't see the Import tab, follow these steps:

  1. Make sure that your digital camera is on and in the correct mode to export images.
  2. Disconnect the adapter, wait 30 seconds, then reconnect it.
  3. Unplug the digital camera or SD card, wait 30 seconds, then reconnect.
  4. Restart your iPhone or iPad and turn your camera off and back on.
  5. If one is available, test with a different digital camera or SD card. 

If you can import media with a different digital camera or SD card, there might be an issue with the data on the other camera or SD card. You might need to import the data to your computer, then initialize—or reset—the media on the digital camera or SD card. Check the manual for your digital camera for more help.

If you can’t import some content

Apple camera adapters can import multiple types of media files from your camera or SD card. If the format isn't compatible with iOS, you won’t be able to view them on your device, but can import them to your computer. If you can't view certain images or videos, make sure that they're compatible with your device.

Supported SD cards and image-transfer protocols

Apple camera adapters can only import content that was captured by digital cameras. You might not be able to import photos or videos that were copied from a computer, renamed, or edited on the digital camera or SD card.

Supported SD cards and image-transfer protocols include:

  • Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP)
  • Mass Storage Device protocol
  • SDSC
  • SDHC
  • miniSD
  • microSD
  • MMC
  • SDXC

Flash or USB thumb drives aren't supported.

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