I received a great gift from my wife today: a brand new iPad Camera Connection Kit.  I’ve wanted one for some time now, so I was geeking out when we went to the Apple store this afternoon. Now you may find me with a film camera more often but I do still shoot digital photos and videos. This will be good for when I’m traveling and I need quick storage. Here’s a quick look at what’s inside the box.

The kit contains two connection units. One is an SD card reader. The other is a “camera connector,” actually a USB interface. They both connect to the docking port at the bottom of an iPad. The card reader has a slightly bigger footprint when laid flat but is quite slim, while the camera connector is stubbier and a wee bit thicker. Build is pretty solid, in Apple’s trademark white curvilinear plastic.

Copying files onto an iPad is a painless process. Simply attach the connector and plug in the source. The iPad’s Photo app will boot up, display thumbnails and let you to select which photos or videos you want to copy. Press Done and let the transfer begin. After the files are copied, you’ll be asked whether you want the iPad to delete the files on the source. I’d prefer to do it in-camera, to minimize any future memory card formatting problems.

I am also quite keen at trying out the undocumented uses of the USB interface. It’s been widely reported on teh Interwebs that the USB interface allows you to use a USB keyboard with the iPad. Other devices such as MIDI controllers and USB headsets have also been known to work through the connector. This opens the iPad up to a bunch of useful tricks: recording podcasts, VoIP, basic music production, and, best of all, typing.

Means I need to go to the local bits shop and get myself some el cheapo USB peripherals. Post haste!