While working on the new uploading functionality in Flickr Studio, I thought it would be rather cool to have support for Apple’s camera Connection Kit accessory.  But as it seems, this kit has some rather strict naming conventions which took me a while to figure out. Mind you, I’m talking about the SD card unit here, I haven’t been working with the kit’s USB unit yet.

Camera -> SD card -> iPad

The SD unit takes your SD storage card straight from your camera to import photos to your iPad. I have tested with cards from an old Canon Ixus as well as my Panasonic TZ5 and it works like a charm. So far so good…

iMac -> SD card -> iPad

…But  since I have this fantastic iMac with SD reader built right in, I wanted to drop some files onto my SD card manually and  view them on iPad. So I pushed the SD card into my iMac, waited a second or two for finder to recognise it and then dropped some cool NASA images on it.

After inserting the card back in to the iPad, nothing happened. No “camera” tap with my 20 photos – nothing – nada. Huh?

I quickly figured out that all photos should be in a folder on your SD card called “DCIM”. The camera connection kit will only read from that location which looks to be an industry standard. So I made a DCIM folder on the SD card and moved the  images in there. Card back into iPad – still nothing.

DCF

There must be some kind of naming conventions for these files to be recognised? I found some interesting info in this document:

D. DCF Metadata

Design rule for Camera File system (“DCF”) is a FAT 16 based file system. The metadata associated with DCF can be found within the data entry portion, specifically the naming convention. DCF uses only upper case alpha numeric characters and the underscore symbol (A-Z, 0-9, ). DCIM (DCF Camera Images) is the DCF image root directory. Directories within the root directory consist of eight characters. The first three characters are digits equaling 100 or higher. The last five characters are upper case alpha characters.

An example of a DCF compliant directory name would be 101ABCDE. File names consist of 8 characters. The first four characters are alpha (including the ), and the last four are numerical 0001 or greater. An example of a DCF compliant file name is

ABCD0001.JPG.

In Windows this particular file might look like:

D:\DCMI\101ABCDE\ABCD0001.JPG

Well, that clears things up! After renaming my NASA images to the less meaningful 8 character IMG_0001.JPG the iPad had no trouble recognizing my file.