Several weeks ago, I saw a post on 9 to 5 Mac that listed two Camera Connection Kit all-in-one devices for $5.00 (shipping included). I couldn’t resist that bargain, so I bought a set.
The device features a USB connector on one side, and a multiple card reader on the other.
I actually tried the all-in-one kit the other day, and it didn’t work. I put a SD card with photos into the reader, plugged it into the iPad…and…nothing.
I looked online to see what the problem was, and it turns out there is a small switch (almost the size of one of the old mother board DIN switches) that moves the card from reading the USB connection to reading the card reader connection. I went back to the all-in-one kit, looked at the front of it, and realized that this was actually labeled. That’s a big “Oops” on my part, but I can tell you that a large number of buyers made the same mistake.
I flipped that switch, and then it worked. I did get one “this accessory does not work with the iPad warning,” but the all-in-one continued to work. There is some discussion that a powered card (e.g. a CF drive) requires power that this 5-in1 card reader cannot provide. At the same time, the only card option on the official Apple Camera Connection Kit is an SD card, so this is a moot point. It is nice to not have to bring two small iPad “plugs” which can be lost or misplaced in my “iPad Bag.” The larger all-in-one camera connection kit is significantly easier to keep track of.
You can find a number of these listed on Amazon (http://www.amazon.com/5-1-Card-Reader-iPad/dp/B004HT6TS2), as well as at the site where I bought mine (http://www.all4cellular.com/product/apple-ipad-5-in-1-camera-connection-kit-2-pack.html). Compared to the $29 kit at Apple, it might be a good alternative, particularly for 1-to-1 schools where external cameras are used and iPads are used for photo or video editing.