Camera to Smartphone Transfer - How to?

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by richard_hall|10, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. I have a question, and I hope that I posted this in the right forum. I do some freelance photography for our local paper, mostly sports. The paper is now working with one of the local tv stations to coordinate resources on Friday night high school football games. The opportunity is there, and the tv station is requesting, that the freelance photographers email game shots to them for use on the local evening news program. The shots could that way be used by the media minutes after the shot was taken. This will require the shots to be sent from the field because the news is broadcast usually during the 4th quarter of the game.
    Now for the question. None of us have quiet figured out how (and even if), the photos can be transferred to a phone capable of sending them to the tv station via email. None of the phones (including mine) have the capability to take decent action shots in stadium lights at night. So, the idea here is, take the shots with my normal camera which is a Canon digital rebel xt using a 70/200 f2.8 lens, transfer the picture to the phone email account, and then send it to the media outlets. My phone is a Motorola Droid X. I've only had it for about 3 weeks.
    Do you folks know of a way to link the camera directly to the phone, thereby using the camera basically as an external drive, while using the phone to attach the photo to an email? Just simply texting it won't work, the phone will automatically reduce the size/quality of the photo.
    I thought this would be easy to do until I realized that both the phone and the camera have the same female connection ports. So a typical USB cable won't do it. I'm working on the sidelines, so it's not going to be practical to carry a laptop with me, there's no where to leave one on the side lines, and it's not at all practical to run back to my truck every time I need to upload a shot.
    Sorry to go long on this, but I was trying to express the question as best I could. So far, I'm coming up blank. Any of you smart folks out there know how to do this? I thought it would be a simple cable link, but now I'm not so sure if it's even possible. Thanks for any help you can offer.
  2. Wow, I was told the Droid X could make a bagel with cream cheese and a double shot of espresso.
  3. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    The reason they have the same ports is that they are both intended to function as slaves in the USB environment. In other words, both are seen as drives on USB and need to connect to a master.

    The usual way this is done in the sports/pj world is to have a netbook/laptop with a wireless internet (3G) card. If you have access to wi-fi, you don't need a card. With this setup you download to the computer and then upload via the card.
  4. I agree with Jeff. You should be able to stow a small netbook in your bag/pack easily enough. Whether or not you can
    tether your Droid so that your netbook can piggyback on it for Internet access, you'll have to research. You can probably
    use Bluetooth to xfer to the phone, and then send.

    In the field, I use a Verizon MiFi device to create a mobile hotspot. My laptop (or, increasingly these days, my iPad) just
    hops online from there. Stopping off at the laptop or netbook gives you a chance to provide the EXIF/IPTC data you want to pass along, too.
  5. Thanks for the responses. I was afraid a laptop was going to be a required "middle man" component. But as I said, because of the way this stadium is set up, it's not going to be practical for me to carry my laptop. It's a 17" screen high def job thats too big to put in my pack. I don't have a netbook, wish I did, but I don't see this project being one that would justify the expense of buying one at this point.
    I first thought that you could hook the camera directly to the phone, but apparently that's not how it will work. The Droid is a great phone, and it does have the hotspot/tethering capability. But if I have to have a computer of some sort as a part of this, I'll have to do some additional planning to make this work, or not participate in it which is probably the choice I'll make. It wouldn't pay for the equipment purchase so it really wouldn't make sense to pursue it.
    Thanks again for the help. I read this site almost daily but this is the first time I've made a post. I knew if anyone would know, someone here would.
  6. Remember: you can find a decent used HP netbook for about $100 these days. Something to consider.
  7. Thanks Matt. I might do that if the media outlets decide that they want to do this for longer than just a trial run.
  8. Though it did not work for me, but for iPhone, iPad, iTouch, there is an USB camera adapter from Apple.
    However, Apple want you to route your pictures through iTunes on your connectable computer. Some day soon Apple could just give up part of controlling contents on their/yours devices.
    I would love to hear success stories with Apple and camera direct picture transfers. It works for some people if proper application is used, ... that is what I hear...
    The problem could be more complicated due to the need to scale down and prepare photos for hand held device viewing, on devices that do not have full computer capabilities.
  9. Frank,
    I'm very curious to what your problem was with the ipad and the camera connection kit?
    I have been able to attach the kit to the ipad, whether it be the USB piece and a CF reader or the SD piece, then view my photos and download the keepers. I can then email the photo to whoever.
    Is there something you are trying to do that it just simply wont? Or does it just not do what Im doing?
  10. Don't forget that something as simple as e-mailing the file (never mind how you get it onto the smartphone in the first place) can be killed by the fact that many mail servers and relays will refuse to handle files over a certain size. Certainly a 10+MB RAW file is going to die on the way to many or even most mail servers. Under these sorts of circumstances, be thinking about more compressed JPGs. Even 5MB might be too much. Of course, if it's for use in a broadcast or newsprint, that's way more than enough data. Shoot RAW+JPG, and have the camera render small JPGs to keep things moving along.
  11. Thats kinda what I was hoping was available for the Driod, some type of cable or adapter that would allow me to just connect the camera to the phone and email the specific picture to the tv station, without having to use a computer in between.
    Matt, good point about the file size. I actually hadn't thought about that factor yet. I think yahoo limits the total file size (either single or multiples) to 5 mp. I'm not sure about other services. Most of the pictures I shoot, as long as I'm using jpeg, are in the 3.5 to 4.5 mp range.
  12. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator Staff Member

    Matt's right, email is the wrong transfer mechanism. You don't shoot sports and then email a couple megabytes at a time. You need ftp capability.
  13. Richard,
    Do not confuse MP (megapixels) with MB (megabtyes). The two are not directly related. A large MP image can be small in file size (MB) if the image is not complex.
  14. Or if not FTP, a browser-based file "post" mechanism that lets you upload to a transfer server/service/app not unlike adding an image to your gallery here. If that server/service is run by the people who want the image, then you're done. Otherwise, you upload the images, and then e-mail a simple text link, which makes everyone happy.
  15. Thanks Kevin,
    I will try harder, since people reported success. I did not try a card reader, but just direct connection to camera via the Apple camera cable. I thought this was the simplest and intended use of this cable.
    iPad did not recognize any of my digital cameras (surprised), and did not recognize any USB storage device (did not really expect this to work, but I tried)... perhaps a card reader will work, or I may have a faulty cable.
  16. @Frank,
    You said the Apple adapter is for the "iPhone, iPad, iTouch"; however, my understanding is that the adapter only works with the iPad (not the iPhone or iPod Touch). Are you sure it works with an iPhone or iPod Touch.
  17. Transfer the files from your camera to the laptop.
    Tether your Droid to the laptop. Google "tether droid" to find out how to do this. It works great. It will cost you $30 in software (PDANet).
    Download WinSCP to FTP your files to a server. It's a free app.
  18. "Are you sure it works with an iPhone or iPod Touch." - no. While the interfacse seems to be the same, there is no software support yet, but possibly Apple could provide an upgrade. They prefer users to go through iTunes.
    I was trying to make it work with iPad...not much luck yet, and I resist to purchase another cable of the same type from Apple.
  19. Thanks, Frank, for clarifying that. For a minute there, you had my hopes up that I would be able to transfer photos from my Canon 7D via my iPhone and an iPad Camera Connection Kit.
  20. What resolution images do they want/need for this purpose? I imagine some downsizing (not to mention RAW->JPEG conversion if necessary) might be in order before transmitting. I'm not an android user so don't know what on-phone apps are available for this purpose.
    Not sure why all the discussion on cables/adapters for iPhone/iPad when the OP has a Motorola phone. The Droid X can take microSD memory, correct? Conceivably you could shoot directly to microSD in your camera using a CF->microSD adapter, then move that card to your phone. Most likely this is relatively low-performance flash memory so you might want to determine whether this is likely to reduce shooting performance enough to be a problem (probably is relatively slow to clear the continuous shooting buffer when writing to card) but your older camera with its relatively slow rate and smaller files may not strain this technology as much. I think the phone came with 16GB card (right?) so conceivably all you would need would be an adapter to try this. I imagine you may already have an microSD->SDHC adapter but you'd probably want a dedicated CF->microSD adapter instead of CF->SDHC->microSD...stacking adapters doesn't seem like such a great idea though it *might* work.
  21. Honestly, the micro SD card with adapter option seems the most likely solution. And if you are converting to jpeg in camera, it could work. As Andrew said though, those micro cards could simply be too slow.
    Another possible solution would be to use those eye-fi cards. The problem there is to have the software on the phone that would transfer the photos. If you know any programmers versed in linux, ask them to download the Android SDK and look at the possibility. Bit of work involved, but may actually find a small market, especialy as small netbooks and tablets are coming out that run Android.
  22. Thanks Andrew and Wane. Thats actually the closest answer to what I'm looking for that I've had so far. Perhaps its my fault that the conversation veered to cables and iphones and such. I went long in the original question. But to re-emphasize what I need to know, can my canon camera some how be directly connected/linked to my Droid phone, WITHOUT the use of a computer in the middle.
    So far, the answer you gave about the micro SD card comes closer to answering this than any I think. I hadn't even thought about that. The photos can easily be reduced to 2 or 3 megabytes and still retain enough detail to use for what they are wanting. Jpeg is actually their preferred format.
    I did make the mistake earlier of referring to megapixels when I meant megabytes, but yes I do know the difference. This is something that I want to keep simple and easy. I don't have the luxury of using a computer on the sidelines during a football game.
    So, unless someone knows of another simple and effective way to connect these 2 devices, I will try the micro SD adapter. The Droid does come with a 16 mb card and I have a couple of them laying around.
    I will have to get a CF adapter for the card though. Thanks Andrew for that answer. I never even thought about that.
  23. The Sandisk 'Mobile Ultra' Micro SDHC is rated Class 4. I would think that would be fast enough for an older D-SLR. (The 'non-ultra' variant is Class 2, which also may be fast enough). I don't think a CF adapter would make this any slower, but I don't know for sure.
    For anyone thinking of trying something similar with an iPhone (like me), there's a zoomIt SD cardreader though as others mentioned this isn't the only solution.
  24. I realize you have a Droid, but if other people are in the same boat and have an iPhone they may want to look into the ZoomMediaPlus SD card reader for the iPhone/Touch. It reads SD cards and has custom software to handle reading any file type off the reader...
    The only downside is that reading something like a 14MB RAW file off an SD card is SLOW. But it can email a RAW file to elsewhere (assuming as noted the email server will accept a file of the size you are sending). I will say I tried to email an 18MB RAW file, and it never finished loading from the card...
  25. [[I went long in the original question. But to re-emphasize what I need to know, can my canon camera some how be directly connected/linked to my Droid phone, WITHOUT the use of a computer in the middle.]]
    Your question was answered by Jeff Spirer in the second response in this thread. The answer is, and will continue to be, no. The Droid will not act as a master device to the camera or any other device. Both devices require a computer to act as master.
  26. Yep, I got that Rob. And yes, Jeff is right. I read all the posts. My reference to the original post was a response to a statement further down. It had nothing to do with me not understanding the responses. Thanks to everyone who answered. I think this thread has served it's purpose. :)
  27. Certainly a 10+MB RAW file is going to die on the way to many or even most mail servers.​
    Gmail to gmail does 20 meg. If the recipient doesn't have gmail, you can up-load the file to your g-documents (100 mb limit. cool.) and then share the file with anyone with any email address. Gmail rules.
    Richard, a simple net book and then pdanet for your phone, would do what you need; tether your netbook to your droid. I do it all the time.
  28. Sorry Richard this doesn't answer your question ... but I've been beating my head against the wall for several hours and scouring google for the same kind of answer for the iPhone (very similar circumstances too). I shoot freelance for a local paper and I now have an iPhone and Mac laptop that I need to be able to use to transfer 400 - 600K image files to the paper for printing the next day. Since iTunes normal photo transfer method likes to resize pictures that option was out. But FileApp on the iPhone will do the trick.
    Install it from the App Store, then open iTunes and select it in the file sharing list that appears on the bottom of the Apps page. Drop the file there (pictures, spreadsheets, word documents whatever), then open FileApp on the iPhone and you can email the files (pictures as small, med, large, or Full size with 900K limit).
    Thought I'd leave this note for the next person to go looking.

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