Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday – iPad OS 4.2 Upgrade – Just Say No!

Good Morning Everybody,

Turns out today is an easy day, at least studio-wise. Nearly everything is delivered and we are just tying up a few loose ends. Now I’ve got to move on and get my new programs written for the 2011 Photoshop World Handbook being held in Orlando, Florida in March [link].  Yes, I said April but the write ups are due on Monday – looks like that’s how I’ll be spending a good part of the weekend ;~)

PPOC Canada I also just completed an article for “The Gallery”, the Professional Photographers of Canada professional publication. I’m speaking at the next  PPOC in April [link] and I promised to do an article for their magazine.  I hope to see many Northerners there. The article is wrapped and on the way to them. Now back to the PSW articles.  When will I ever get my Christmas shopping done ;~)

How about we move on to today’s post.  If you are using your iPad for previewing images to your clients, you need to read this article!

iPad OS 4.2 Upgrade – Just Say No!

No to iOS4.2 And I mean, “Say NO!” loud and clear!  In Monday’s Quick Hit Monday post, I brought up the issue one of our DPT readers was having after she upgraded to the iPad’s new operating system – it neutered her Delkin flash card reader when trying to use it to import images into the iPad.

I blogged about how cool it was to upload a number of wedding images to the iPad on the wedding day and preview them for the bride, groom and guests [link] – WOW!  What a sizzle factor that brought to my wedding coverages!

Mystery Solved

It seems that when Apple issued the OS 4.2 upgrade, they neglected to tell anyone that they reduced power from 100mA to 20mA to the 30 pin connector plug where you attach your USB adapter for your card reader.  This move basically rendered ALL card readers USELESS for the iPad.  The iPad message says that there is not enough power to use the device.

Not only does the upgrade render the card readers USELESS, but now many folks are complaining that they are even having problems connecting their cameras directly to the iPad.

Wait, it doesn’t end there.  The upgrade even renders the iPad keyboard USELESS too!

Hit the “Read More…” link below for the rest of the story.

Why The Change Of Output Power?

Apple contends that is is to make the battery last longer in the iPad.  Make it last longer – I recharge my iPad every three days whether it needs it or not and it’s still usually hanging out with about 50% of the battery life left – and I use my iPad everyday with moderate use.  How much longer do the batteries need to last anyway?

I’ll give the Apple engineers credit for creating one of the most innovative and useful devices available to we consumers, but some one was asleep at the “upgrade switch” when the decision was made to downgrade the power output to the camera connector to 20ma.  With this upgrade they have simply downgraded the iPad, if you ask me.

Apple In Denial, At Least For Now

I checked in with my buddy who works at the Apple Store.  Lots of folks have experienced the problem, but Apple is contending that is seems not to be an issue – most camera use SDHC cards anyway.  Uh… most of the amateur cameras, that is. So much for the Pros who love the iPad for what it brings to our businesses.

A Solution, But Not An Elegant Solution

Cyber Power USB Hub What’s the solution? Go buy yourself a “powered” USB hub.  There are plenty available on the market. Think you can find a battery powered USB hub?  Not anymore Cyber Power used to make two versions – one powered  by 4-AA batteries and the latest version was powered by rechargeable batteries.  Now both are discontinued.

What’s all this mean to the professional photographer wanting to pull off a quick iPad image preview at a wedding?  Well, now you’ll have to find a place to plug in your powered USB port and then import as usual – what a “pain.”

More Discussion On The Topic

You can find a lot more discussion on the neutered iPad below

  • Over at [link]
  • 9TO5 MAC [link]

9-5 MAC This site has the best write up about the problem right here.  Here is how they end their post:

“It is unknown whether or not this is simply a bug in iOS 4.2 but we do hope that it is and that Apple will fix it in an upcoming software update. To summarize, the iPad Camera Connection Kit no longer works with non-self powered devices.”


I sure hope it is a “bug” too.  The functionality of the iPad with the flash card import capability was “golden” to wedding, high school senior, and family portrait photographers.  I sure hope Apple considers the negative impact this "power mod” has had on the pro photographer and will reconsider returning the 30 pin power output back up to 100mA.

Who knows, maybe we will see a manufacturer come out with a portable battery powered USB hub again but I’m not crossing my fingers based on Cyber Power’s discontinuance of both of their portable units.

Maybe I’m missing something here but when something goes from “great to good” instead of visa-versa it just gives pause to wonder.  C’mon Apple “Power to the People” – at least 100mA worth of power anyway.

Am I planning to upgrade? Nope, not at this time.  I sure would like to try out the new iOS features but, as a professional photographer, not at the expense of losing the ability to easily and portably import images from my flash cards at weddings.

p.s. My thanks to all who helped research these answers, including Jason Lykins, who helps out with Terry White’s BestApp site and who posted some of this pertinent info to my Facebook page – THANKS Jason.


Hey gang, that’s it for me today.  I’m stepping down from my “soap box” and planning to enjoy the weekend.  Hope you get a chance to do the same.

How about I see you on the flip side next Monday.  Remember, get your Pixels something special for the holidays too.  They sure have been good, haven’t they ;~)

See ya’ Monday,  David


  1. Hi David

    Thanks you very much for your feedback here, I now have stopped the family from getting me an iPad, pending this being fixed. I had been looking forward to getting one, but as it's now more cumbersome than my small MacBook Pro, that's what'll be travelling with me.

  2. I am a PC guy but use iTunes/iPod out of necessity. My limited exposure to all things Apple leads me to believe that Apple is even more arrogant than Microsoft when it comes to designing things for anyone but their own narrow focus. And don't get me started about Apple software modified for use on Windows!

  3. Delkin makes an SDHC to UDMA CF Card adapter. I use it when I want an EyeFi in my 5D MK II to send images straight to my MacBook.

  4. Good tip Dennis, but does the Delkin adapter require the installation of drivers in order to work?

  5. Hi David,
    I'm not experiencing any problems with downloading images to my iPad and I've upgraded to the latest update. I'm using a regular old WalMart card reader with not problems at all. I'm still waiting on your verdict in the EyeFi cards.

    Happy Holidays,
    Frank Wilson

  6. Bob,

    No drivers needed for the Delkin, in camera and in computer it's seen as a removable drive.


  7. Delkin adapter info:

  8. If I go out and buy an iPad this week, will it necessarily have the new OS? If so, is there a way to "downgrade" to an older OS? If so, which one should I use?

  9. I can't load the "live Wedding shoot: From start to finish" either. It says that they can't be played on my touch, so it will not trasfer them.

  10. I tried downloading raw photos directly from my Canon 5d mk2 to my iPad and it worked perfectly. My iPad has the latest os version.
    I think most DSLR cameras will work the same way.

  11. I tried downloading directly from my 5d mk2 to my iPad and it worked perfectly. I have the latest version of iOS 4.2.1

  12. I'm glad I read your post. I depend heavily on a CF card reader so I will not be getting an iPad unless the issue is resolved.

  13. I'm using a Ritz Camera $25 multi reader from Quantaray and I've had no trouble connecting it to the iPad. Only problem I had was not having enough space for images on it.

  14. Has this issue been resolved with the latest OS 4.3?

  15. I would like to know the answer to this question too.