How to import photos from a DSLR to an iPhone, iPad and Android device

SD Card Reader

Smartphone cameras are impressive. The iPhone X and Galaxy S9 are top of the pack in terms of photo quality. I rock a Samsung Galaxy S8 and while that guy is no slouch, I still enjoy breaking out my DSLR camera.

The reason you might want to upload files from your camera’s SD card is to easily share pictures and videos on various social media profiles. Specifically, those that are phone-only like Instagram or Snapchat. After importing the files, you can edit your pictures in a program like Affinity Photo or edit your videos in a program like iMovie or LumaFusion.

If your camera does not have WiFi capabilities, like my Canon EOS Rebel T5i, in order to be able to transfer your footage from the SD card to the phone or tablet you will need to use an adapter. The easiest and lightest way to do this is through an SD card reader. The best reason to go the adapter route is it doesn’t add much weight or bulk to your kit. Apple’s official Lightning to SD card reader will run you $29 directly from Apple. Luckily, there are much cheaper options on Amazon.

SD Card Reader Adapters for iOS:

SD Card ReadersThe adapter I decided on is the Lightning Adapter SD Card Reader by FA-Star. This adapter had good reviews, minimal branding for that clean look and came with a free micro SD card adapter. Don’t feel like any person dabbling in photo or video could ever have enough of these.

If you need more options, the 3 in 1 Camera Connection kit by RayCue is for you. This kit allows you to connect an SD card, a micro SD card or even directly to your camera through the use of a USB cable. The footprint isn’t much larger than the Lighting Adapter SD Card Reader by FA-Star and the branding remains minimal.

SD Card Reader Adapters for Android:

On the Android side, my favorite adapter is a USB-C 2-slot memory card reader by ChoeTech. This card reader has slots for SD and micro SD cards. The reader is made of hard plastic. The branding is strong, but it kinda fades away since its grey lettering on black. The unit is lightweight and solidly built. It comes with a cover to protect the USB-C port, which is a nice touch.

If you have an Android phone that still uses micro USB for charging and transfer, the Leef Access SD Card Reader might fit the bill for you. Understated design and lightweight it can read SD and micro SD cards and has a micro USB connector.

The Transfer Process:

The transfer process is rather simple. On iOS, whether it be an iPhone or iPad, the Photos app should launch automatically. Tap the Import tab and select the photos you want to import.

Android File TransferFor Android, it depends on your phone and the version of Android your running. I currently use a Samsung Galaxy S8 running Android 8.0 Oreo. When I plug the adapter in with an SD card mounted I am given a prompt in the notification shade altering of a USB drive being attached. The user would tap on that alert in order to begin the file transfer process.

Utilizing these tools not only enables you to upload higher quality photos to your mobile-only social media platforms but can increase your productivity while on the go.

What a time to be alive! You can edit photos in a Photoshop level mobile application like Affinity Photo and edit an entire video project in a Final Cut Pro X level mobile application like LumaFusion all during your morning bus commute right from your phone or tablet.