One of the questions I’ve fielded often since the first edition of The iPad for Photographers is: How can I use an EyeFi card with a camera that takes only CF (Compact Flash) cards? All EyeFi cards are the smaller SD (Secure Digital) format, but some cameras—mostly professional bodies—use the larger CF size.
SD to CF adapters are available on Amazon and other outlets, but the reviews I’ve seen have always been spotty. Most adapters limit the range that the EyeFi’s Wi-Fi network creates.
Now, EyeFi has created its own adapter with a case made entirely of plastic to not blunt the Wi-Fi signal. EyeFi has more information and a list of supported cameras at its site: Eyefi certified CF Type II Adapter for Eyefi Mobi. The adapter costs $20.
Harry McCracken at Time has been using an iPad as his primary computer for a couple of years now, and he still gets guff about it. But that’s nothing compared to the general consensus that taking photos with an iPad is worthy of ridicule. When Apple added cameras to the iPad 2, it was pretty amusing to see people taking photos with the tablet. Don’t they realize they look like dorks? was a common refrain. (I thought so, too. Although my bigger complaint was with the image quality of those first cameras.)
But since then, I’ve changed my mind because in the real world, people are using iPads as cameras all the time. I linked to Shawn Blanc’s post last week about how the iPad has given his legally-blind grandfather a way to capture photos. And that’s just one example.
Now McCracken is putting a flag in the ground: “Resolved: There’s Nothing Stupid about Using the iPad as a Camera.
With all due respect to such people, they seem to have some form of cognitive disorder that leaves them believing that what’s right for them is right for everybody. But if somebody is doing something with a computer and is happy doing so, it’s usually a good sign that the person in question has found something that works. Not for you, not for me — for that person.
But the thing is, none of this matters. If a meaningful number of people choose to use an iPad as a camera, those people have found something that works for them. Why any of them should care about what anybody else thinks, I don’t know.
It’s getting hard to escape it. This weekend, I visited the Ballard Locks and in the below-ground viewing area for the fish ladder (a series of “gates” the Army Corps of Engineers created to enable salmon to safely pass through the locks and spawn in fresh water) a tourist was taking photos of the fish…using an iPad. What used to be a weird anomaly is now turning into a regular occurrence.
At first, I ridiculed the idea—mostly because the camera-equipped iPad at the time was the iPad 2, which had a ridiculously bad camera. Fortunately, the cameras in later models have improved dramatically, and the form factor of the iPad mini makes it feel less like you’re holding a lunch tray in front of your face.
All this is to mention that I wrote a short article for Peachpit’s Web site that looks at the possibilities for using your iPad as a camera, including other software that improves the results: Take Great Photos with Your iPad.