iPad Mini to external harddrive

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by nickthetasmaniac, Feb 27, 2013.

  1. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    Hi people, I'm trying to organise my kit for this year's travelling.

    My ideal workflow when travelling would be the following:
    - Shoot RAW + jpeg (small)
    - Import jpeg to iPhoto or similar for basic editing, upload to travel blog/facebook and delete original.
    - Export RAW files to external harddrive for use back home and archiving.

    I've settled on an iPad Mini for an assortment of reasons - I very familiar with Apple products, I like the interface, I really like the size and it fits perfectly in the front pocket of my Domke F10... I'm pretty happy with how the Mini would deal with the jpeg side of things. However, by dilemma is that I can't seem to find a way to use the Mini to get RAW files off my SD cards and onto a storage device... I'm not the most tech-literate of people and I'm seriously struggling here.

    So, any advice?

    *note* I'll be traveling in some quite remote areas so Cloud-based solutions aren't ideal.
  2. nickthetasmaniac

    nickthetasmaniac Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2011
    Thanks for the link. I'm aware of those products and I know how to get files from the camera/SD card to the Mini. However, as I said in the OP what I'm struggling with is below - how to then get them to a storage device...

  3. aldus

    aldus Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 24, 2012
    Fairbanks, Alaska
    Real Name:
    Dennis Moser
    At the present time, you're basically out of luck. There is a 500 GB Seagate product that may eventually allow wireless transfer in both directions; right now it's only one-way.
  4. Jesse_S

    Jesse_S Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 7, 2013
    Seattle, WA
    When I went to India last year I wanted to import my photos to my iPad and also have them backed up to another device for safety. It can be done, but it's far from perfect because of the unfortunate limits that Apple imposes on iPads.

    Basically, you'll need some kind of wireless hardrive or flashdrive since Apple won't let you plug one in directly. There are a bunch out there now. I ended up using the Patriot Gauntlet Node because it was fairly cheap and I could use a harddrive I already had. I think they all work pretty much the same.

    The Node creates it's own wireless network (so it doesn't require any actual internet connection to work), you connect the iPad to it via WiFi and then use an app to transfer the files over to the harddrive after you've imported them to the iPad using the Camera Connector Kit. I used an app called FileBrowser because it will transfer the actual RAW files and not just a jpg copy.

    It works, but the neither the Node or the iPad have the fastest WiFi in the world so a lot of RAW files (or videos) will take a long time. I have a new iPad now and it transfers much faster, but it's still quite slow compared to reading off an SD card.

    If you've got the funds, it would probably be easier and quicker to buy one of those portable harddrives that has an SD slot and screen specifically for backing up photos in the field.
  5. jloden

    jloden Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 15, 2012
    Hunterdon County, NJ
    Real Name:
    I'm pretty sure the only way would be with a wireless enabled hard drive, like the ones listed here:


    The iPad just doesn't connect to external drives except the card reader, so you'd need to download the card contents to the iPad, then copy to the remote drive.

    The other option would be to do what I did for this scenario, and buy an external hard drive that has an SD card slot and hardware/software built in so you can back up the card to the drive directly (no iPad in between). I got a Wolverine PicPac II myself, but I've only used it once so can't really recommend it wholeheartedly yet.

    I discovered the hard way after I left on the trip that it would not charge using the USB slot so it eventually ran out of power on my trip. Up to that point, I simply swapped in a new SD card each day, backed the photos up to the PicPac II device, and kept the SD card as backup. That way I achieved my preference for two copies of everything as backup.
  6. flash

    flash Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Apr 29, 2010
    1 hour from Sydney Australia.
    Real Name:
    Ssave yourself the hassle. Get a hyperdrive. It works like a normal drive except it has a card reader built in as well as its own power. Tyen make a second copy to the ipad. Ive been doing this for a fewyears and it works well when travelling.

  7. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    Note - you can't separate the RAW and JPG on the iPad - it's going to get both, and eat up a lot of space.

    I have been using iPad since they came out, and I copy the images from the card to the iPad each day and cull out the losers, leaving the keepers on the card. When I get home, I just copy from the card to the "real" computer only the keepers, saves quite a bit of time. I carry a couple of cards instead of a HDD.
  8. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    I think it's a better idea to use an external hard drive that reads SD cards for backup in the field. I haven't found a workflow on the iPad that I like yet. It's a great consumption device but I'm not completely sold on it yet for production.

    This is coming from someone who lives in a 100% Apple household, we have a MacBook Air, Pro, iPad 2, 3, iPhone 4S and 5.
  9. fsuscotphoto

    fsuscotphoto Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 15, 2013
    St. Cloud, FL
    Real Name:
    This is the exact reason that, as soon as I can, I'm dumping my iPad and going with the MS Surface Pro.
  10. rklepper

    rklepper Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Dec 19, 2012
    Iowa, USA
    Real Name:
    I use google drive all the time on my ipad, but not sure if you can write to it. Handy as heck, but usually write from my computer and access from the iPad.
  11. dav1dz

    dav1dz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    Wait on a Haswell model that is for sure in the pipeline? My buddy just picked up a Surface Pro, the battery life could be a lot better. It's still a 1st generation device.

    Personally I would rather get something in the Ultrabook form factor, ceteris paribus.
  12. phrenic

    phrenic Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 13, 2010
    The nice thing about going with a non-apple option is that there will be some clearance deals to be had. I might be tempted by a surface pro if it dropped down to 300ish when the next gen comes out.
  13. robbie36

    robbie36 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Sep 25, 2010
    Real Name:
    rob collins
    This simply isnt true. I have been shooting RAW + jpeg since I have had the OMD and have been downloading just jpeg to my ipad. I have done this with an eye-fi card that automatically just downloads my latest jpegs to my ipad when it is switched on.

    What I find confusing in this thread is this. Given that the Op has downloaded his jpegs to his ipad mini why does his ipad mini really need access to the RAWs at all. The ipad mini is pretty hopeless for editing RAWs and he doesnt need to preview the RAWs as he can preview the jpegs. He can even sort and select the RAWs by sorting and selecting the jpegs and then syncing the metadata over wifi.

    It seems to me that if you are going the wifi hard disk route - and the hyperdrive is great - then you might as well cut out the jpeg part of the jpeg + RAW shoot. And if you go the Airstash route you can shoot RAW only and download jpeg via wifi to the ipad mini from SD card and so simply use SD cards as your storage of RAW.
  14. Richella

    Richella The Wandering Scotsman

    Aug 21, 2011
    Kuala Lumpur
    Have a look at a product from EcomTech called Toaster Pro. Seems to be a wifi trafer device that supports 2 way transfer of all different file types between memory cards or memory sticks and ipad. Also is backup battery and wifi hub.
  15. lenshoarder

    lenshoarder Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 7, 2010
  16. mattia

    mattia Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 3, 2012
    The Netherlands
    My solution for this has been to simply carry around a portable USB drive and UMDA USB card reader. There are computers everywhere you go (hostels, hotels, net cafes, so forth) so I just back the cards up to the external HDD.

    More importantly, however, I just have a fairly ridiculous number of memory cards, so I can avoid formatting any of them while on the road wherever possible. I still need to add a few more for the E-M5 ('only' have one 8, one 16 and 32gb SD card), but I have about 112 gigs of compact flash cards kicking around...
  17. kadamnation

    kadamnation Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 13, 2013
    Boston, MA
    My solution on my last trip (to southwest India, where available computers were less prevalent) was a variant of some of the ones mentioned above: I actually brought a cheap old netbook with a built-in SD reader, and backed my photos up to the internal drive and to an external each night. The "keepers" I transferred onto my iPad mini as JPG's, and spent the flight home preparing them for upload to flickr. It ended up being a pretty lightweight setup, and was very flexible!
  18. dornblaser

    dornblaser Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 13, 2012
    Real Name:
    David Dornblaser
    Why don't just upload to the cloud with programs like Dropbox, PhotoStream, etc? That's what I do when I am traveling, plus and never erase a SD card until I return. It is simple and your not carrying around another device.
  19. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 25, 2012
    I guess this really depends sometimes on where your going and availability of quality internet connection.

    I've tossed up the whole idea of taking a ipad only along in my travels, but in the end I've just decided to take an ultrabook and external hard drive.