The Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit or commonly referred to as the CCK for short in online forums consists of two dongles. It was launched shortly after the 1st iPad was introduced by Steve Jobs in 2010. It originally retailed for USD 29.
The box is quite small and as it was just purchased shortly after the iPad 3 or “new iPad” as officially named by Apple was launched, the box still lists this product as compatible with iPad 1 and iPad 2. However, the iPad Camera Connection Kit does work with the iPad 3.
Inside the box are the two dongles, instructions and a warranty booklet. One dongle has a USB port for connecting to cameras through a USB cable. The other dongle accepts SD memory cards otherwise known as Secured Digital. It is one of the most commonly used type of memory cards in digital cameras.
However, do note that although it supports the higher capacity SDHC (Secured Digital High Capacity) standard, it does not work with the latest SDXC memory cards. If your memory card is 32 gb or less than it should be up to SDHC. Once the capacity is more than 32 gb it will not work with the iPad Camera Connection Kit.
So why would anyone buy this product? Well, the iPad Camera Connection Kit means traveling with less weight on short holidays. Instead of lugging around a laptop weighing around 3kg excluding the other accessories like the power supply, all that is needed is an iPad and the SD card dongle.
Some would say there are lighter notebooks like the MacBook Air which for the 13 inch models even comes built in with an SD card reader reducing the need for additional cables or adaptors which may be easily lost. It is not that much heavier at 1.35 kg but is a lot more powerful and capable than the iPad. But it also runs on flash memory which comes with only 128gb as standard for the base 13 inch model. Sure it has double the storage of a 64gb iPad but it’s also double the weight and bigger in size. If you consider the MacBook Air 11 inch, it also requires an additional USB SD card reader and comes with only 64gb of storage for the base model.
Just for interest, the iPad Camera Connection Kit originally allowed users to plug in many external USB devices such as keyboards and microphones although it was all unofficial and not supported by Apple. It also allowed external drives for storage through jailbreaking the device. They stopped all this from happening with the introduction of iOS 4.2 by limiting the power output to work with high power devices.
Overall I think it’s a useful accessory for short trips to backup photos. The process is quite seamless as the photo app launches once the dongle is plugged in with the SD card. There is the ability to import all photos or tap to select specific photos to import.