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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Cool Gear: iPod And Photography

Apple's iPod is more than just the stylish jukebox you can’t live without

Labels: GearCool Gear

A similar product is Belkin's Digital Camera Link (www.belkin.com). Like the Apple offering, the Digital Camera Link tethers your iPod to your camera via the camera's USB cable. A button on the Digital Camera Link triggers the download, and LEDs signal connection and transfer status. Although it requires two AA batteries to operate and is bulkier than Apple's connector, one advantage of the Digital Camera Link is its compatibility with the iPod Mini and monochrome-screen iPods in addition to the newer color-screen models. You won't be able to view your photos with these older iPods, but the storage functionality is the same. The Belkin Digital Camera Link sells for around $30.

Another alternative, also from Belkin, is the iPod Media Reader. Unlike the other adapters, which require you to power on your digital camera and connect it via a USB cable, this device is a card reader similar to the one you may have for fast downloads to your home computer. It connects to the iPod dock port and has slots for CompactFlash, SmartMedia, SD and Memory Stick cards. It might be the best choice for you if you carry multiple cameras that use different card types, but it's somewhat bulky and requires four AA batteries. It's also compatible with older monochrome-screen iPods. You can pick up the Media Reader for about $40.

Have iPod, Will Travel
With an iPod and one of these accessories, you have a convenient way to back up images and free space on your digital camera's memory cards. It's a terrific option when traveling if you want to leave your laptop at home, or when photographing in locations where a laptop would be too cumbersome or impractical to take with you. When you get home, you can quickly transfer images to your computer.

Granted, the iPod's two-inch color screen is too small to let you examine your images in great detail, but it's ample enough to check that your downloads are successful, and convenient for quickly sharing or reviewing photos. Scroll through up to 25 thumbnails at once or view images at full screen.

Available in 20 GB ($299) and 60 GB ($399) capacities, the latest iPods offer plenty of space for both high-res image storage and a big library of tunes. You even can display slideshows of your photos with a soundtrack of your favorite songs.



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