I've been testing out my iPad Pro 9.7" (2016) as my sole device for writing, photo editing and video editing. I will be talking about the whole experience more in depth soon, but today I wanted to share the easiest way I've found to copy video files from a Sony camera to the iPad.
Apple and Sony don't go together
One of the first problems I ran into when trying to use my iPad as a video editing machine was how to transfer the files from the Sony a6500 to the iPad.
Other cameras -like the GoPro- work just fine and I was able to transfer the videos to the camera roll easily using the Apple SD Card Reader, but Sony has a very specific folder structure that the iPad isn't able to understand (both companies are to blame here).
People have suggested many solutions to this problem, but most of them require you to buy an (expensive) external hard drive with Wifi and built-in card reader that works as a bridge between the iPad and Sony cameras.
In my opinion, this completely defeats the purpose of using the iPad. We want minimal weight and as few devices as possible. And a simple workflow, not a more complicated one.
iReader: a third-party SD card reader
I finally found something that works perfectly with my iPad Pro 9.7": an inexpensive device called iReader.
iReader is basically a SD card reader that comes with an app. Once we plug it in and insert the memory card (supports SD and mini SD), the app will launch and show us the folders in the card as we'd see them on a computer.
From there, we select the ones we want, copy them to the app, and then onto the camera roll of the iPad. Finally, from there, we are able to import them into LumaFusion or whatever software we are using to edit our videos. Quite a few steps for what should be much simpler, but it works.
It's important to note that the iReader is a lightning SD card reader, I don't know if there's another version with USB-C for the newer iPad Pros.
Although this device works just fine, I will be returning it. I was able to edit videos on my iPad, but I also found myself fighting iOS way too many times. The workflow is a bit cumbersome and I'm much slower (thus, less productive) when using the tablet instead of the computer.
Also, this is a third-party solution so we don't know for how long it will be supported (an iOS update could break the whole thing). I don't like the idea of not being able to edit videos when this happens.
Even though the iPad didn't really work for me, iReader works and does what it promises: a way to access any file in your SD cards.
A great and simple option
iReader is an inexpensive SD card reader that can be used to copy any kind of files into an iPad. It's a great option for those who use the iPad as a backup or secondary editing machine.
I'd like to see Apple adding support for external storage to iOS, rather than forcing us to use a third-party device and app. For now though, this is what we have.