All iPads Photo import speed test: Mini 4, Mini 5, iPad Pro 11

Discussion in 'iPad' started by LibbyLA, Apr 2, 2019.

  1. LibbyLA macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2017
    The main reason I bought my Mini 4 was to have a smaller iPad that would be handy to import, view, and cull photos from trail cameras while I was riding in a bouncy pickup truck. The smaller size of the Mini is just handier than the iPP 9.7 that I had at the time.

    Unfortunately, some of the cameras may take 4-5K pictures and the Mini’s import is sluggishly slow so I quit using it for my photo imports.

    I am absolutely delighted with the photo import speed of the Mini 5!

    I did an unscientific comparison of photo import speed using an 8 G class 10 SD card with 1.35 G of black and white low res photos, 2,655 photos in all. Running iOS 12 on all three devices, used the clock timer app and Photos in split screen. Tapped Start when I tapped Import All, tapped Stop when the import counter hit 0. I used Apple brand SD card readers, same reader for both Minis.

    All times in min:sec.

    Mini 4 17:51
    Mini 5 3:37
    iPP 11 3:04

    I’m not concerned about a half minute difference between the iPP 11 and the M5. The difference between the M4 and M5 is HUGE! I’m so happy to have the small photo handling tablet that I’ve been wanting for a while.
  2. AutomaticApple macrumors 65816


    Nov 28, 2018
    The iPad Mini 5 is lightning fast!
  3. ericwn macrumors 68020

    Apr 24, 2016
  4. haruhiko macrumors 601


    Sep 29, 2009
    If you use a Gen 2 USB-C cable for the iPad Pro 11 inch you get 10Gbps speed. Should be much faster than the iPad mini. Try sending a video to a player app using iTunes file sharing and you’ll see the difference.
  5. LibbyLA thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2017
    You’ve missed my point. I’m not concerned about transferring videos or iTunes or anything like that. My main reason for buying the Mini 4 was to have a handy small iPad to import photos on the go, sometimes thousands at a time. For that purpose, the Mini was too slow when I had thousands rather than a couple or three hundred photos on an SD card.

    The Mini 5 is MUCH faster than the Mini 4 and not a whole lot slower than the iPP 11. I will be able to deal with my photos using the Mini 5, with the much more convenient size, instead of the iPP 11 when I’m riding in the truck.

    I’m not saying that the iPP and Mini 5 are close to the same speed for other I/O operations, just for this particular one that is important to ME.
  6. haruhiko macrumors 601


    Sep 29, 2009
    Are you using the Lightning to SD card reader (USB 3)?
  7. LibbyLA thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2017
    I said I used Apple card reader for both. It’s a Lightning reader, no idea what speed, but what difference does that make for this particular test? It’s the reader I have and use. That’s really all that matters, isn’t it?
  8. haruhiko macrumors 601


    Sep 29, 2009
    There was an old one which is limited to USB 2 speed. I have that one and it barely works now. :p Now I just use a third party USB-C card reader with the iPad Pro 11.
  9. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    It's useful to identify bottlenecks.

    1.35GB * 1024MB/GB / 217s = 6.4MB/s

    If the bottleneck is storage, then who knows, maybe the Lightning to SD card USB3 with a UHS-I SD card might be capable of doing the same import in just 1 minute when used with an iPad Pro 11.

    Mind, that is a very impressive improvement from Mini 4 to Mini 5. Course, I remember benching my iPhone 6 before and its storage was much slower compared to PCIe-based storage subsystem on the latest iPads.
  10. LibbyLA thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2017
    On the iPP 11, I’m using the USB C reader from Apple. The trail cameras require a class 10 card. I’m using what’s available from Apple and required by the trail cameras for tests of my real world use. It’s not about some theoretical combination of things to get the fastest possible speed.

    I don't care whether the difference is due to processors, storage, or internal hamsters. I only care that the Mini 5 is much faster than the Mini 4, which makes it usable for my task. It’s a bonus and nice surprise that the speed is somewhat close to that of the iPP 11.

    You, too, missed the point.
  11. Greenmeenie macrumors 65816


    Jan 14, 2013
    I have an 11” iPP and an old ipad mini 2 which i will replace with the mini 5. Love the mini form factor for traveling and transfering photos & videos to while on the road. I do wish the mini 5 had usb-c tho and apple pencil 2 support. Would have been nice to be able to share accessories with my 11” iPP. But it is what it is. I can’t wait another 4 yrs until the next update...if they ever update the mini again. Who knows? So, i will definitely get the mini 5. Just the speed difference alone compared to my mini 2 will be worth it.
  12. rui no onna macrumors 603

    rui no onna

    Oct 25, 2013
    You've shared a few data points (8GB Class 10, 1.35GB, 2655 files, import times on A8, A12, A12X) and now you've clarified on the equipment. Thank you for sharing that information.

    That is useful information to have (equipment and card class) as it could help others with similar usage make purchasing decisions. Should one get the iPad mini 5/Air 3/Pro 10.5 or iPad Pro 11? Is it worth it to pay a premium for UHS-3 card or would Class 10 or UHS-I suffice?

    Unfortunately, complete data usually isn't available from a single post and one often needs to collate from multiple resources so every bit of information helps.
  13. LibbyLA, Apr 3, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2019

    LibbyLA thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2017
    I could test my iPP 10.5 but I’m probably not going to.

    There aren’t many people using an iPad to import pics off trail cameras so the nitty gritty probably isn’t particularly useful. I do sometimes use class 4 cards in some cameras but the card I had for testing was class 10. My main concern was comparing the M4 and M5 for importing large numbers of pictures and

    I did mention using Apple card readers in the first post, didn’t think it was necessary to mention that one was Lightning and one was USB C, given the connectors on the devices. I will try to be clearer next time (if there is a next time).

    I have seen several videos comparing M4 and M5 for web surfing, opening apps, etc. My intention was just to add another data point to that information and I just threw in the iPP 11 for the heck of it. That’s all.

    ”Gee. I’m pretty excited that the M5 is way faster for importing pics than my M4 and it’s pretty close to my iPP 11.” I only included the basic info because it provided background that some people are interested in.
  14. sparksd macrumors 68020

    Jun 7, 2015
    Seattle WA
    Regarding the 10.5 - that's what I have plus the newest Lightning card reader. From my own use, I'd be surprised if the results differed much from your tests - it is extremely fast compared to my older Air 2 used with the older card reader. Nice to see the new Mini perform well in this use case.
  15. dyt1983 macrumors 65816

    May 6, 2014
    Hey, thanks for posting the anecdotal evidence. Although I don't use any iPads in my photographic workflow, knowing this is an option might spark other connection ideas and usage cases for me.

    I gave up on the "regular size" iPad after the getting the OG iPP 12.9--the normal size screen looked "too big" and the extra space on the larger iPad was fine to use indoors, so I'm sticking with the latest large & small sizes. Your info gives me some assurance that I'm not missing out too much by using the Mini in the field.
  16. LibbyLA thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2017
    I don’t know what the performance would be with large color photos, but at least I can tell that the Mini 5 is significantly faster than the Mini 4 in something that I could measure. I have a lot fewer cards to view these days because we are using mostly cellular cameras that transmit pics so I don’t have to look at the cards very often.
  17. LibbyLA, Apr 7, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2019

    LibbyLA thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2017
    Ran the import test on my iPP 10.5 using the same Apple card reader that I used on the Mini 4 and 5.

    4:44 for the same photos, so the iPP 11 and Mini 5 are both faster than the iPP 10.5 for photo import.
  18. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    I recorded a 2 minute video on my iPhone - 4K HEVC - 338.5 MB according to Photos and 353.4 MB according to my Mac.

    Doing a direct transfer from my iPhone 7 Plus via USB 2 Lightning through the USB 3 Camera Adapter to my iPad Pro 10.5 took 23 seconds. That works out to about 15 MB/s.

    I then transferred the file to an old SanDisk Ultra 32 GB microSD card and used a small portable USB 3 Transcend USB 3 SD/microSD card reader hooked up to that camera adapter, and got 10 seconds, or about 35 MB/s. It was the same speed reading off the microSD natively, or through an SD card adapter. I tried a different bulkier USB 3 Kingston multi-card reader and got the same speed too, so it appears to be a speed limitation of the card itself.

    I then transferred the file to an old but faster Transcend 600X UDMA 16 GB CompactFlash card and used that Kingston USB 3 card reader hooked up to that camera adapter, and got 5 seconds, or about 70 MB/s.

    So... On my iPad Pro 10.5", depending upon the method used and the card used I got 15 MB/s, 35 MB/s, and 70 MB/s, all with the exact same 353.4 MB file.
  19. EugW macrumors 603


    Jun 18, 2017
    So, tried a CF card of JPEG photos from my Canon EOS 7D. Total of 114 photos, and according to my Mac they totalled 718 MB. Strangely enough, Photos said they totalled 908.4 MB for the same 114 photos.

    Anyhow, with my Apple Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter and my Kingston USB 3 CompactFlash reader, it took 18 seconds to load.

    So, depending up which total amount of MB you use above, that works out to between 40 to 50 MB/s on my 10.5" iPad Pro.


    I then tried this on my iPad Air 2. There seems to be some sort of issue doing this. The first time I tried it, it imported 39 out 114 photos in only 25 seconds. And then nothing else imported.

    The second time I tried this, it imported nothing at all. Every photo thumbnail on the import screen had a red (!) icon on each photo. I then rebooted and now it's importing them, but it's taking forever. 50 photos took 6:15 so I just gave up after that.

    I figured it must be some sort of incompatibility, so I then got one of my old Kingston USB 2 card readers out and tried the same test.

    With the old USB 2 card reader, the iPad Air 2 downloaded all 114 photos in 36 seconds, so somewhere between 20 to 25 MB/s.

    @LibbyLA, this might be a compatibility issue with your card reader and the iPad mini 4. Perhaps if you tried an older USB 2 card reader setup with your iPad mini 4, it would actually be faster.

    For those of you with old USB 2 iPads, don't throw away those old USB 2 card readers folks!
    --- Post Merged, Apr 7, 2019 ---
    This is what the old Lightning card reader (USB 2) looks like vs the current Lightning card reader (USB 3):


    For the iPad mini 4, the old USB 2 version may work better.
  20. 007p macrumors 6502a

    Mar 7, 2012
    So given the recent external storage support - do these findings suggest that the mini 5, at least via the camera connection kit, has usb 3 transfer speeds?
  21. LibbyLA thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jun 16, 2017
    That could have been the problem. I bought what was being sold at the Apple store when I bought my iPP 9.7. The Mini 4 went to a new home weeks ago so it’s a moot point for me but great info for the community. Thanks for posting it, especially the pic.
  22. sound4label macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2017
    I made some tests with my mini5 (ios13) and Apple lightning /usb3 adapter, using SD card or HDD it takes 1’20 min to import a single video file of 1,65go. Should be 20mo/s if I’m right ? Sounds like super slow for me. The same task on my iMac pro (copy file from hdd to iMac) is taking only 20 sec

    Ill be happy if someone could run a same test on IPP 11 and mini5 to compare
    I like the form factor of the mini but I need faster transfer. In usb3 it would be 70mo/s at least right ?
    Many thanks

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21 April 2, 2019