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IPad3/MacBook Air/Lightroom Question
Jack Kelley, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 9:59 PM on 01.19.13
->> Research has brought me up empty on finding a CF card reader that will reliably transfer RAW images to an iPad 3 (or later). A few months back, there was thread on it here. The M.I.C. store no longer stocks the recommended all-in-one reader that might have worked, and various Apple Forum posts says Apple crippled dock power after the iPad 2, rendering other CF readers inoperable with the iPad 3 and 4.

So unless somebody can recommend another solution, I'm thinking of picking up a MacBook Air for a coming trip. I don't really want one, and don't plan to keep it. But I want to be able to take a good look at images while traveling. I'd buy the lowest-spec model that would run Lightroom well enough to allow me to upload from CF cards, and check for dust, composition, sharpness, etc. I won't need to edit until I return home, and transfer the images to a Mac Pro. Then I'd sell the MacBook Air, and take the loss as rental.

I'd be grateful for recommendations on the minimum MacBook Air specs to check the images in Lightroom. Thanks.
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Andrew Villa, Photographer, Assistant
Campbell | CA | United States | Posted: 10:59 PM on 01.19.13
->> Why not just pick a used iPad 1 and use it for travel. I know it's redundant, but if it'll work then why not? Or is the problem that you can't get a card reader for it anymore?

I know my mom uses the camera connector on her iPad 3 without any troubles, she uses it with an all in one reader and a CF reader if she needs too.

Otherwise, I think a base model macbook Air will run lightroom wit no problems... especially if all you're doing is looking at images and not doing any hardcore editing.
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Jack Kurtz, Photographer
Bangkok | Bangkok | Thailand | Posted: 6:41 AM on 01.20.13
->> Any of the MBA models should run Lightroom just fine. The only problem with the lowest end configuration would be the 64gb of onboard storage. You could fill that in a couple of days shooting raw files.
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Ralph Mawyer, Photographer
San Antonio | TX | United States | Posted: 1:10 PM on 01.20.13
->> Jack, I just went through the same thing. I took my iPad to Mexico and intended to do some minimal review and editing, but found it really limited when I ended up shooting more local sports and portraits than planned. That said, importing via the camera connection kit and Kodak reader worked fine. Just may be hard to find the recommended card reader now.

I just picked up a MacBook Air. I really wanted to wait for the new ones in June or so, but needed it for a trip next week. I ended up going with a 11" Apple refurb. saved a bit, but paid sales tax. FWIW, shipped 3-day even though I didn't pay for it.

I'd suggest you start with a link from and check out MacMall for best new pricing. Would strongly suggest at least 128GB of storage. i5 processor will most likely meet your needs. I ended up with a 256GB/i7 and love it.

Given your location, I'd seriously consider Craigslist given your short term need and big market.
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Jeff Fusco, Photographer
Philadelphia | PA | USA | Posted: 2:31 PM on 01.20.13
->> Have you tried just hooking up your camera with a USB cord ?
Has worked on an Ipad 2 an 3 for me. Hook it up powered down and then turn it on.
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Jack Kelley, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 8:05 PM on 01.20.13
->> Thanks for all the good ideas. As I read these suggestions and think more about it, even a 64GB iPad would probably mean I'd have to keep deleting photos after looking at them. Maybe best to go MBAir at 128GB or more, if only to back up the CF cards. (I'm trying to travel light without any other portable storage. Bert's well-known travel advice will keep me under carry-on limits.)

Couple of questions:

Does the Kodak reader w/iPad 3 work with 16 & 32GB CF? Reviews of some readers that work w/iPad say they choke on anything bigger than 4GB.

Jeff, I did try USB straight from the camera, thanks; no luck.

Ralph, have you found a good CF reader for your MBAir? Looking at the Lexar Professional and the Hoodman, B&H reviews say neither one works with the 2012 Macs.

Jeez, this stuff should be easier, shouldn't it?
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Ralph Mawyer, Photographer
San Antonio | TX | United States | Posted: 12:26 AM on 01.21.13
->> MacBook Air 2012
- Sandisk Firewire Reader --> FW/Thunderbolt cable --> MacBook Air
- No problems with 16GB Lexar 1000x. I have a shrink-wrapped Lexar Pro FW reader as a backup, but would prefer not to open it, if someone else can confirm for you. ;-)

iPad Retina 30 pin
- Kodak reader --> Camera Connector -->iPad
- 2 & 4 GB SanDisk Extremes work fine. 16GB Lexar 1000x generates error message that it requires/uses too much power, so no-go.
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Jim Burgess, Photographer
Gainesville | FL | US | Posted: 6:03 AM on 01.21.13
->> Jack...Sandisk Extreme Pro 16GB cards work fine. It just takes a while to load a card full of RAW's ... about 4-5 sec/image for D3 NEF's. The Kodak A250 is available at Amazon. IMO the Macbook Air is a much better solution, though.
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Steven Mullensky, Photographer, Photo Editor
Port Townsend | WA. | USA | Posted: 12:54 PM on 01.21.13
->> Jack:
It should be easier.
I didn't want the weight of a laptop so on a recent trip to Peru I used an iPad to import images but I only imported some, not all, as I didn't want to use up all the memory on the iPad. I emailed some of those selects from whatever hotel I was in and I kept all of the images on the SD card until I got back to my desktop.
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Jack Kelley, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 2:06 PM on 01.21.13
->> Thanks, all. Your input is really helpful. The FW --> Thunderbolt solution for my existing CF reader pretty much seals it: basic Air with bumped capacity. Might also hunt down the recommended iPad reader as fallback. My wallet feels the pain, but stress will take a holiday.

Meantime, we need a law mandating that everything work with everything else. I'd fire off an angry letter to my Congressman if I thought he could read.
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Neil Turner, Photographer
Bournemouth | UK | United Kingdom | Posted: 6:01 AM on 01.22.13
->> I can confirm that the Apple Thunderbolt to firewire 800 adapter on a MacBook Air is a great solution. My MBA is a mid-2011 model without USB3 and I was using a Belkin USB2 reader until the adapter came out in the summer of 2012. Great mobile set-up.
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Ralph Mawyer, Photographer
San Antonio | TX | United States | Posted: 12:23 PM on 01.25.13
->> Jack, if you haven't pulled the trigger yet...
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Jack Kelley, Photographer
Los Angeles | CA | | Posted: 1:38 PM on 01.25.13
->> Aargh! I pulled the trigger a couple of days ago, Ralph. It's like they're keeping tabs on us, isn't it? They wait until we buy, then post the sale.

I went for the 11-inch Air. The trackpad was defective. After trying an OS reinstall to no avail, I took it to the Genius Bar yesterday. They quickly confirmed the problem, uninstalled Lightroom, and handed me a replacement.

So far, I'm really liking it. Perfect size and weight for travel. The FW --> Thunderbolt adaptor works great with my Lexar CF reader and 32GB Sandisk Extreme cards. Later today I'll test it with the Extreme Pro cards. And then I'll do a catalog export and import to the desktop just to iron out any nuance lapses on my part.

I should probably give the forum a heads-up when I leave town because the minute I board the plane, the airlines will slash fares.

Happy Friday.
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Thread Title: IPad3/MacBook Air/Lightroom Question
Thread Started By: Jack Kelley
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