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Main / Articles: Digital camera card full up? No problem

They say you never run out of film with a digital camera. But a memory card that's full is just as bad. In the past you had two options:

  • Connect the camera to a computer, dump the pictures onto the hard drive, then erase the memory card.
  • Swap the full memory card for an empty one.
    If you didn't have a notebook computer or additional memory card handy, you were done shooting until you found one or the other.

Not anymore. Last year Belkin introduced the Media Reader for iPod, a handy little device that transfers photos from most memory cards onto any iPod.

I loved the concept because I take my iPod everywhere. But while the Belkin product worked as advertised, it was an imperfect solution. It is bigger and heavier than my iPod, expensive at $99, requires 4 AAA batteries, and provides user feedback via an incomprehensible array of colored LED status lights.

Also, you can't display the imported pictures on an iPod Photo. You have to transfer them to iPhoto on your Mac, then transfer them back to the iPod before you can view them.

Apple recently introduced the iPod Camera Connector, and it's everything the Belkin product was not for me. It's tiny, inexpensive, requires no batteries and couldn't be easier to use.

Merely connect your camera's USB cable to your iPod Photo and transfer your pictures from camera to iPod. When the pictures are on your iPod Photo, you can erase the memory card and shoot more pictures. And unlike the Belkin, you can view your imported pictures immediately on the iPod Photo.

Two things you should know: First, if you want to display pictures on a TV or video display, you have to transfer them from the iPod Photo to your computer, and then transfer them back. It's a minor quibble for me because I rarely show pictures on a TV with my iPod Photo. Second, it only works with the iPod Photo, not other iPod models.

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