Transferring Photos to iPad or MacBook While Traveling

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by sir42, Apr 11, 2017.

  1. sir42 macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2003
    NY, NY
    I will be going on a two week trip and I could use some advice on the best workflow for syncing my photos while traveling. This is my current gear:

    • iPad Air 2 - 64 GB
    • MacBook Air circa 2011 - 256 GB HD
    • Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX85K
    • will be shooting in JPG
    I am trying to figure out the best workflow for getting my photos off of my camera/SD card and onto iCloud Photos while preserving full image quality.

    So my questions are:
    • Should I transfer my photos onto my iPad or my MacBook Air? I have a slight preference for transferring to my iPad, but will my iPad accept full resolution photos without downgrading them and then sync (via iCloud Photos) those full res photos to my MacBook Air?
    • Is there a difference in transfer speed between hooking up my camera directly to my MacBook Air (using the camera's USB cable) or iPad (using Apple's Lightning to SD Camera reader)?
    • I was planning on using Photos, which has worked well for me to date, but is there another service I should consider for transferring, backing up and syncing these photos?
    • Anything else I should consider?

    thanks so much!
  2. sobers3 macrumors newbie

    May 14, 2016
    I have the same set up, MacBook Pro 2011, IPad, iPhone and Olympus m4/3 camera. I never remove my SD card from the camera and upload directly to my MacBook using the USB cord, my photos sync over all my devices via the cloud. I pay for 1T of storage. I am also curious if when stored and transferred via the cloud am I losing resolution? I also wonder if there is an easier way to achieve this?
  3. mofunk macrumors 68020


    Aug 26, 2009
    I would buy more SD cards. If you are shooting Jpegs, you can get a lot of photos on them. When I'm traveling I'm using my camera and my phone. I'm shooting RAW images which is roughly 200 images per card. Cards are cheap. I use 3 32GB cards.

    Or if you must download them to your Mac, then simply use the MBA. You could also use either Flickr or Dropbox but that would require wifi connection.
  4. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Jun 6, 2015
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    Photos are always uploaded and stored in iCloud Photo Library at full resolution.

    For a mobile workflow, I would leave the MacBook at home.
  5. dirkske macrumors newbie


    Apr 12, 2017
    Install the Panasonic Image App on your iPad to transfer your photos wirelessly. Your photos will appear in the Photos app and thus will be uploaded to your iCloud Photo library in full resolution.
    With an extra step you can add the location data as well (if your camera doesn't have that built in).

    I have a Fujifilm camera and work like this:
    - on my iPhone I have the "Geotag Photos Pro 2" app ( installed and running to log GPS data because my camera does not have GPS capabilities. The GPS data is then automatically synced with iCloud or any other cloud service you want (like Dropbox,...)
    - on my iPad there's the "Geotag Photos Tagger" app ( that wil sync the GPS data via iCloud (or other service)
    - after shooting photo's I transfer the photos wirelessly from my camera to my iPad using the Fujifilm app (the Panasonic app seems to do the same thing)
    - after transferring all photos, I use the "Geotag Photos Tagger" app to add the location data to all the photos. The location data is synced to iCloud Photo library as well so you can see on all your devices where the photo was taken.

    Been using this workflow for about 18 months. No cables, no adaptors, no worries.
  6. sir42 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 16, 2003
    NY, NY
    I assume for this I would need the Apple SD Card to Lighting cable?

    Also, I'm not sure if I'll have enough GB on my iPad to transfer everything from my camera to my iPad. I'll have a 32 GB SD card but probably only 5 GB free on my iPad.

    As my iPad starts to fill up, will it automatically optimize storage on my iPad by deleting local copies of photos and files that it knows are backed up in iCloud?

  7. M. Gustave macrumors 68000

    M. Gustave

    Jun 6, 2015
    Grand Budapest Hotel
    Yes, or the USB-->Lightning camera connector. Or if your camera has wifi and an app, do it wirelessly.

    Correct. That's what Optimize Storage does. Although I've never tried importing more photos than I have immediate free space for on the device.
  8. tcphoto1 macrumors regular


    Aug 21, 2008
    Madison, GA
    I always think of the phrase, it's not backed up until it's on two drives. The 1Ds3 allows you to write to both cards in camera which I take advantage of at all times. I've ditched my old FireWire card reader and simply tether to the MBP and use Image Capture to download. I will copy the images to an external drive and only format cards if I absolutely need them.
  9. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Why do you need a special workflow to use while traveling? What workflow do you use at or near home? What changed when you are away?

    My answer to the above is that typically when I am away I don't have access to WiFi or the Internet and many times no cellular connection.

    So I ask what do you do now while at home and why change when you are away? Will you have access ti iCloud when you are away?
  10. Frosties macrumors 6502a


    Jun 12, 2009
    For transfer of photos from dslr to iPad on travel I use a wi-fi sd card like Eye-Fi. My sd card version transfers jpeg but leave the raw on card.
  11. E3BK macrumors 68020


    Mar 15, 2008
    *At least two ;)

    * I usually use my WiFi card to xfer .jpeg to my iPhone or iPad (using ShutterSnitch) while in the field.
    * When I get back to base, I import new photos (RAW/.jpg pairs) from the day from SD Card into Lightroom library on my MacBook Air. This way I can do work on the photos as I go.
    - this is a standalone library for this specific trip/project
    * I make a back up of the card on a separate USB flash that stays in a waterproof case at home base because I'm paranoid. haha
    * All original photos remain on SD card until I get home if possible. I usually travel w/ 3x32gb cards and it's been fine unless it was heading into multiple weeks on the road.
    *When I get home I import the standalone library into my master library and all work is in tact.
    * Once I verify everything is good and updated master has been back up, I archive the standalone then I delete photos from the cards & USB.
  12. tgara macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2012
    Connecticut, USA
    I had a similar MacBook -- 11 inch Air, 2011, 256 GB -- I used for travel, until one Christmas, I could not tell if the pictures I took were sharp. I guess I had been looking at the iPad with a Retina display for long enough that I could see the difference on the scratchy conventional display. Besides the battery not holding a charge, I knew it was time to retire it for travel photo duty.

    What I do now is what someone above suggested: Take extra cards and simply leave the photos on the cards. That said, I will often transfer the JPGs to my iPad Pro using Apple's SD card connector, then cull for the best shots, do some light cropping and editing on the iPad, and then make a Photostream to share the best shots with friends so they get real-time updates as we travel. With this workflow, I know I will have at least two copies of the best photos.

    After 10 years of digital photography, I've found that people make backups way too complicated. Unless you are a pro doing photography to feed your kids, having 3-5 backups is just nuts. I've tried this and I cannot keep track of all of them. Keep the photos on your cards (and of course keep the cards in a safe place), and do a transfer of your best shots to your iPad, and you should be fine.
  13. Stefan johansson macrumors 65816

    Stefan johansson

    Apr 13, 2017
    No need for the MacBook,you can use iPad camera adapter cable,and even edit your photos with pixelmator for iPad,then,all you need is an internet connection to upload to iCloud,I do this all the time,shooting jpeg with both Sony nex and canon SX-60.

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