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Camera to Smartphone Transfer - How to?

Richard Hall , Aug 22, 2010; 01:55 p.m.

I have a question, and I hope that I posted this in the right forum. I do some freelance photography for our local paper, mostly sports. The paper is now working with one of the local tv stations to coordinate resources on Friday night high school football games. The opportunity is there, and the tv station is requesting, that the freelance photographers email game shots to them for use on the local evening news program. The shots could that way be used by the media minutes after the shot was taken. This will require the shots to be sent from the field because the news is broadcast usually during the 4th quarter of the game.
Now for the question. None of us have quiet figured out how (and even if), the photos can be transferred to a phone capable of sending them to the tv station via email. None of the phones (including mine) have the capability to take decent action shots in stadium lights at night. So, the idea here is, take the shots with my normal camera which is a Canon digital rebel xt using a 70/200 f2.8 lens, transfer the picture to the phone email account, and then send it to the media outlets. My phone is a Motorola Droid X. I've only had it for about 3 weeks.
Do you folks know of a way to link the camera directly to the phone, thereby using the camera basically as an external drive, while using the phone to attach the photo to an email? Just simply texting it won't work, the phone will automatically reduce the size/quality of the photo.
I thought this would be easy to do until I realized that both the phone and the camera have the same female connection ports. So a typical USB cable won't do it. I'm working on the sidelines, so it's not going to be practical to carry a laptop with me, there's no where to leave one on the side lines, and it's not at all practical to run back to my truck every time I need to upload a shot.
Sorry to go long on this, but I was trying to express the question as best I could. So far, I'm coming up blank. Any of you smart folks out there know how to do this? I thought it would be a simple cable link, but now I'm not so sure if it's even possible. Thanks for any help you can offer.


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Kevin Foster , Aug 22, 2010; 03:20 p.m.

Wow, I was told the Droid X could make a bagel with cream cheese and a double shot of espresso.

Jeff Spirer , Aug 22, 2010; 03:27 p.m.

The reason they have the same ports is that they are both intended to function as slaves in the USB environment. In other words, both are seen as drives on USB and need to connect to a master.

The usual way this is done in the sports/pj world is to have a netbook/laptop with a wireless internet (3G) card. If you have access to wi-fi, you don't need a card. With this setup you download to the computer and then upload via the card.

Matt Laur , Aug 22, 2010; 04:45 p.m.

I agree with Jeff. You should be able to stow a small netbook in your bag/pack easily enough. Whether or not you can tether your Droid so that your netbook can piggyback on it for Internet access, you'll have to research. You can probably use Bluetooth to xfer to the phone, and then send.

In the field, I use a Verizon MiFi device to create a mobile hotspot. My laptop (or, increasingly these days, my iPad) just hops online from there. Stopping off at the laptop or netbook gives you a chance to provide the EXIF/IPTC data you want to pass along, too.

Richard Hall , Aug 22, 2010; 04:55 p.m.

Thanks for the responses. I was afraid a laptop was going to be a required "middle man" component. But as I said, because of the way this stadium is set up, it's not going to be practical for me to carry my laptop. It's a 17" screen high def job thats too big to put in my pack. I don't have a netbook, wish I did, but I don't see this project being one that would justify the expense of buying one at this point.
I first thought that you could hook the camera directly to the phone, but apparently that's not how it will work. The Droid is a great phone, and it does have the hotspot/tethering capability. But if I have to have a computer of some sort as a part of this, I'll have to do some additional planning to make this work, or not participate in it which is probably the choice I'll make. It wouldn't pay for the equipment purchase so it really wouldn't make sense to pursue it.
Thanks again for the help. I read this site almost daily but this is the first time I've made a post. I knew if anyone would know, someone here would.

Matt Laur , Aug 22, 2010; 04:59 p.m.

Remember: you can find a decent used HP netbook for about $100 these days. Something to consider.

Richard Hall , Aug 22, 2010; 10:36 p.m.

Thanks Matt. I might do that if the media outlets decide that they want to do this for longer than just a trial run.

Frank Skomial , Aug 23, 2010; 01:24 a.m.

Though it did not work for me, but for iPhone, iPad, iTouch, there is an USB camera adapter from Apple.

However, Apple want you to route your pictures through iTunes on your connectable computer. Some day soon Apple could just give up part of controlling contents on their/yours devices.

I would love to hear success stories with Apple and camera direct picture transfers. It works for some people if proper application is used, ... that is what I hear...
The problem could be more complicated due to the need to scale down and prepare photos for hand held device viewing, on devices that do not have full computer capabilities.

Kevin Foster , Aug 23, 2010; 08:54 a.m.


I'm very curious to what your problem was with the ipad and the camera connection kit?

I have been able to attach the kit to the ipad, whether it be the USB piece and a CF reader or the SD piece, then view my photos and download the keepers. I can then email the photo to whoever.

Is there something you are trying to do that it just simply wont? Or does it just not do what Im doing?


Matt Laur , Aug 23, 2010; 09:57 a.m.

Don't forget that something as simple as e-mailing the file (never mind how you get it onto the smartphone in the first place) can be killed by the fact that many mail servers and relays will refuse to handle files over a certain size. Certainly a 10+MB RAW file is going to die on the way to many or even most mail servers. Under these sorts of circumstances, be thinking about more compressed JPGs. Even 5MB might be too much. Of course, if it's for use in a broadcast or newsprint, that's way more than enough data. Shoot RAW+JPG, and have the camera render small JPGs to keep things moving along.

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