Review You're a digital photographer, you're out in the field and you've just filled up your CompactFlash, SD card or whatever storage format you happen to be using. That's it, you can't take any more pictures unless you delete some first, writes Stuart Miles.
The Belkin Digital Camera Link hopes to get you out of this bind by allowing you to transfer the pictures you've taken over to your iPod, with its 20-60GB of storage capacity, freeing up the space on the digital camera.
The unit is roughly the size of the iPod itself. It's powered by two AA batteries, and the cable that connects to any iPod equipped with a dock connector - though not the iPod Mini - tucks away neatly inside the device. On the side of the DCL is a USB port into which you connect your camera. Three LEDs on the front let you know what's going on and so you understand what the lights that are flashing away at you actually mean, Belkin has smartly print everything on the back of the unit.
Connecting devices couldn't be easier, and the digital cameras we tested from HP, Olympus and Canon all worked fine. Once the camera and iPod are connected to the DCL, it's simply a case of pressing the transfer button. The number of files you have to transfer governs how long it will take. Alas, you can't view the images on the iPod, but you can see the file names, so you can check they actually exist before deleting them off your camera. A nice feature is that every separate transfer to the iPod is created in its own folder so nothing is overwritten.
If you are a Mac user iPhoto will automatically launch when connecting your iPod to your computer and then images can be transferred from the iPod. PC users can simply drag and drop the file across from the iPod via Windows Explorer.
While iPod Photo users will be able to benefit from Apple's own image transfer device and view them on their music player, for the rest of us Belkin has provided a good, if much more expensive, alternative.
At £60, this unit costs more than a 1GB memory card, but a lot less than the 40-odd cards you'd need to match a 40GB iPod's storage capacity.
|Belkin iPod Digital Camera Link|
|Pros||Easy to use; takes AA batteries; transfer guide printed on the device.|
|Cons||Bulky; doesn't allow you to view images on iPod.|
|Price||£60 inc. VAT|
|More info||The Belkin site|