iPod photo transfer performance and accessories

Q: Has the performance of photo transfers from a Canon Powershot SD700IS to the latest 5G iPod model improved from the iPod photo?  I have not been satisfied with photo transfer performance to my iPod photo 60GB and would like to know whether it makes sense to upgrade to an 80GB 5G iPod or buy some other portable storage device for quick photo transfer/backup ?

– Gregory

A: Unfortunately, the performance of photo transfer has improved little from the iPod photo, and most users will probably still find the performance to be unacceptable for transferring large numbers of photographs. The slow performance results in part from the processing that the iPod undertakes to convert each photo into a thumbnail image for display on the iPod itself. In recent testing from a Sony DSC-R1 to an 80GB 5G iPod, 249 ten-Megapixel pictures totalling 1 GB of storage took approximately 40 minutes to transfer, whereas 339 five-Megapixel pictures totalling 680 MB of storage took only slightly less time (35 minutes).

Further, the combined transfer of both of these sets of pictures drained the 80 GB 5G iPod battery well into the red. None of the iPod picture transfer accessories offer any way to charge or power the iPod while performing a photo transfer.

Keep in mind as well that the only direct-from-camera photo transfer accessory presently available for the 5G iPod is the Apple iPod Camera Connector (iLounge rating: B+), although another option, called the iAlbum, transfers content directly from Secure Digital or Memory Stick cards.

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