I own an Apple iPad 2 for more than a year before I picked up a Samsung Galaxy S III which is to say, quite recent. As most of you know by now, the iPad offers very limited functionality when it comes to interacting with external devices. Using a Camera Connection Kit, you can hook up an externally powered digital camera to download images and videos. That’s pretty much it as far as how the iPad adds value to my photography business besides the obvious — a good digital album. For more than a year I had hope there would some way the iPad could be more useful – perhaps satisfy my need or the needs of every other professional photographers for it to to double as an external viewing monitor when tethered to my Canon EOS 5D Mark II. The days, months trickled by with absolutely no promise of this to happen. There are a number of wireless tethering methods that either involved costly equipment investment or when it’s affordable such as the Eye-Fi way, it’s often unreliable. Tethering via USB cable is the only way I know that’s reliable and fast as I often do in my shoots.
Motivated by my repeated disappointment of the iPad, I look at the possibility at a competing platform — Android on the Samsung Galaxy S III — and it didn’t take long to see the light. With a micro USB male to female On-The-Go adapter cable, I discovered much to my delight that the S III has no problem accessing the contents of my, wait for it, 64GB SanDisk. Yes that’s a pretty big flash drive and I was under the impression that the bigger the capacity the least likely it’ll work. Never have I been this enthusiastic to be proven wrong!
Not content with this discovery, I went further and plugged in an Apacer memory card reader with one 16GB SD and a 16GB Compact Flash card inserted. This is like attempting to power two flash drives and it worked flawlessly evidenced in the picture below identified as UsbDriveA and UsbDrive B. Pretty incredible if you ask me — a night and day comparison between the iPad and the S3 when it comes to freedom of choice.