Using the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit with iPad

Learn about the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit, the Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader, and the Lightning to USB Camera Adapter. 

The Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader and the Lightning to USB Camera Adapter are available for the iPad (4th generation) and later and iPad mini and later. For iPad (3rd generation) and earlier, the iPad Camera Connection Kit includes both the camera connector and an SD card reader for importing photos and videos.

  • Using its USB cable, you can connect your digital camera to the USB port on the camera connector in the Camera Connection Kit or the Lightning to USB Camera Adapter.
  • You can put your SD card into the SD card reader in the Camera Connection Kit or Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader.

Using the Camera Connector, you can import photos and videos from digital cameras and SD cards, as well as from your iPhone, iPod touch, iPad, and iPod nano (5th generation).

Import photos and videos

Use the following steps to import media from your digital camera or SD card:

  1. Connect the iPad Camera Connector or SD Card Reader to the iPad dock connector.
  2. Depending on the connector you're using, connect your digital camera by USB or insert an SD card.
  3. The photos on your iPad will open in the Import tab, displaying your media and the option to Import All.
  4. Tap Import All to import your content, or tap specific items and tap Import.
  5. When the import is complete, you can Keep or Delete the media on the camera or SD card.
    When you use certain digital cameras or SD cards, you can't delete images from the device and the Delete option won't appear.

iPad should identify previously imported content with a green checkmark on the thumbnail. When using some cameras or SD cards, some items may not be correctly marked as previously imported. If this occurs, you can either specify which images to import or delete the duplicate images after import.

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

  • Make sure your digital camera is on and in the correct mode to export images.
  • Disconnect, wait 30 seconds, then reconnect the iPad Camera Connector or SD Card Reader.
  • Unplug the digital camera or SD card, wait 30 seconds, then reconnect.
  • Restart your iPad and turn your camera off and back on.
  • 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, you may need to initialize, or reset, the media on the digital camera or SD card. Consult the digital camera's manual for instructions.
    Initializing will remove existing pictures from the digital camera or SD card. Before you initialize the media, import the content on the digital camera or SD card to a computer.

You can use the iPad Camera Connection Kit to import most media files on your camera or SD card, regardless of whether the format is compatible with iPad. If you can't view certain images or videos, verify that they are a compatible format in the technical specifications for your device. You may need to import them to your computer for viewing. If you try to play content that your iPad doesn't support, the content may not appear correctly, or the Photos app may close.

Only device-created files are supported. If you copy files from another device or manually edit or rename files on the digital camera or SD card, the iPad may be unable to detect and import these images or videos.

Improve performance

For best results and performance, follow these guidelines:

  • Connect the iPad Camera Connector or SD Card Reader directly to the iPad and digital camera.
  • iPad Camera Connector only supports digital cameras and some USB audio/MIDI devices. Learn about using the iPad Camera Connector with unsupported USB devices.
  • If your device isn't recognized, verify that it's configured correctly. See the user manual for your device for more information.
    • Certain devices may be recognized only when used with a powered USB hub.
    • Here are the supported SD cards and image-transfer protocols:
      • Picture Transfer Protocol (PTP)
      • Mass Storage Device protocol
      • SDSC
      • SDHC
      • miniSD
      • microSD
      • MMC
      • SDXC
  • If your camera supports both PTP and Mass Storage Device modes, you may need to use both modes to import all media content. If some files don't import as expected using one mode, try switching to the other mode and importing again. 
    Some cameras may refer to PTP as Pictbridge or PTP/Pictbridge.
  • If you see a message that the "Attached volume appears to be invalid," make sure the SD card or digital media in the camera is correctly formatted.

In rare cases, your iPad may not charge after you use the Camera Connection Kit. To resolve the issue, disconnect and reconnect the iPad from the charger.

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