If you’ve ever been on a photo shoot and despaired at the prospect of keeping multiple CompactFlash cards in order, conserving space on a card, or lugging your laptop around for storing images, Belkin’s Digital Camera Link for iPod has your name on it. The Digital Camera Link is a specialized device that does one thing: it transfers photos from a digital camera to an iPod for storage until you can transfer them to your Mac.
The Digital Camera Link, powered by two AA batteries, is compact, lightweight, and easy to operate. Just connect your camera to the unit’s USB port, connect the unit to your iPod, press a button on the unit, and then see the progression of your image transfer on its LED readout. In my tests, a roll of 88 images, totaling 101MB, transferred in 2 minutes and 46 seconds—more than twice as fast as with its predecessor, Belkin’s Media Reader for iPod, which took 5 minutes and 19 seconds to transfer images from the same CompactFlash card. You can find the image roll number in your iPod’s Extras: Photo Import menu.
Unfortunately, the Digital Camera Link’s hardware requirements are bound to leave out a lot of potential users. To use it, you need both a camera that’s compatible with it and an iPod with a dock connector. Belkin doesn’t support using the Digital Camera Link with the iPod mini (though one Macworld editor reported using it successfully) or with any older-generation iPod. And it’s compatible with only certain camera models in the Canon, Sony, Olympus, Hewlett-Packard, and Nikon lines. On its Web site, Belkin helpfully lists all the cameras the Digital Camera Link works with (www.belkin.com/ ipod/cameralink/). But just as many cameras have not been tested and are not guaranteed to work with the device. I tried the Digital Camera Link on my Canon PowerShot G2, but it struck out. It did work, however, with an Olympus C4000 Zoom and a Nikon Coolpix 4300.
The Digital Camera Link works with mass-storage DCF- and PTP-compatible cameras. Mass-storage DCF and PTP are methods by which image information is stored on and retrieved from a camera.
Macworld’s Buying Advice
The Digital Camera Link for iPod is handy for clearing out your camera’s CompactFlash cards and tucking your images safely into your iPod until you can get them into your Mac. If you have an iPod with a dock connector and a compatible camera, then shoot away.
Belkin’s Digital Camera Link for iPod