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Canon 7D, CCK and the iPad

The iPad, the Canon 7D and the Camera Connection Kit.[Edit: Since the iOS 4.2.1 update, the Canon 7D connects to the iPad using the CCK USB adapter. Thanks to Duane Baker for pointing this out.]

I wanted to connect my Canon 7D to the iPad with the Camera Connection Kit (CCK) and a USB cable but no dice. And the 7D’s Compact Flash card wont fit in the CCK’s reader unit. I read a couple of threads on the internet (MacRumors and Terry White’s tech blog) which stated that it’s possible if you use a USB card reader in between. I already have a nice card reader from SanDisk but it’s a fast FireWire 800 model which won’t connect to the CCK. So I bought a cheap USB multiple card reader from Plexgear at Kjell & Co for 199 SEK. I brought the camera and the iPad to the store and they didn’t have any problem with me trying the card reader before buying it. It worked great. After some further testing I noticed:

  • The iPad reads Jpeg + RAW but of course it can only display the Jpeg version. Both Jpeg and RAW can be transfered to a computer.
  • It reads the video files from the Canon 7D but it can’t display them on the iPad. That’s a bummer since they are stored in the h264 codec which is compatible with the iPad. The files transfers back to a computer however. I read at Mike’s blog that the iPad can only handle h264 files in 720p but you can get around that if you are prepared to jailbreak your iPad.
  • I tried filming in 720p (50fps). The movie transfered to the iPad but would not play. Then i tried filming in 640×480 (25fps). It also transfered but would not play so I don’t know about that 720p rule.
  • The iPad claims from time to time that “The attached accessory uses too much power.” (my iPad battery is at 93%) and it will break the import. It’s happens kind of random. It could be a good idea to get a powered card reader or just importing a few images at the time to be on the safe side. I wonder if it’s just this card reader or if other readers have the same problem?
  • All the photo and video files that you can view on the iPad can also be sent to your Dropbox. The problem is with video files that you have transfered but can’t watch. They won’t transfer to your Dropbox.
  • I keep my iPad in a nice Incase book jacket but it’s pretty tricky getting the CCK in the socket and keeping it there when the jacket is on. I recommend taking your iPad jacket off before connecting the CCK to be on the safe side.

It’s very possible that the Canon 5D mk II works the exact the same way as the 7D. The Canon 550D had SD cards instead of Compact Flash so they will fit in the CCK reader unit hence making it a lot easier.

A little side note: I was buying a HDMI cable too and was appalled how much money Elgiganten charges for extra equipment like cables. They wanted over 400 SEK for a simple Mini HDMI to HDMI cable. I laughed in the salesman’s face and went to Kjell & Co to buy my card reader and HDMI cable (2m cable for 207 SEK). Clas Ohlson is also good with cheap cables. Both these places are btw called “Vuxendagis”= day care for grownups. My wife states that I can’t leave those places without buying at least one cable. I can’t say she’s wrong.


  1. Duane Baker Duane Baker

    “I wanted to connect my Canon 7D to the iPad with the Camera Connection Kit (CCK) and a USB cable but no dice.”

    I don’t understand this. I have a Canon 7D that I connect to the CCK with a USB cable to the Ipad and it works fine. I can import from the camera directly into the iPad. I don’t understand your comment. You don’t need a card reader at all.

  2. The Midi Thief The Midi Thief

    Hi Duane!

    I’m glad you are pointing this out. This post was written before the iOS 4.2.1 update and I haven’t had a reason to transfer images from the 7D to the iPad after that . The good news is that the Canon 7D now is compatible with the CCK USB adapter which makes things a lot easier. Thank you!

  3. Tom Tom

    Now if we could just come up with a way to move the raw files from the iPad to an external HD for backup, then we wouldn’t have to take the laptop in the field at all and with a decent way to display the jpegs it would be a big advantage on trips.
    thank you

  4. Well Tom, it seems like this thing is coming pretty soon: The HyperDrive Hard Drive for iPad. The problem has been the 32GB restriction of memory devices that can be connected to the iPad. This company overcomes this by making 32GB virtual directories. This looks interesting, it covers jpg, raw and movies but I wonder if you can make it store other file types too? You can also copy your memory cards straight to the device which is probably better, especially if you can browse the images from the iPad (I’m not sure about the browsing part however).

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