Instant Photo Backup with Android

Many cameras have Wi-Fi capabilities, which in theory makes it easier to transfer photos to your mobile device for safe-keeping and sharing. In practice, though, downloading photos over Wi-Fi is just too slow to be of much practical use beyond occasionally grabbing a photo or two from your camera. Moreover, not all cameras allow you to transfer raw files, limiting the usefulness of the Wi-Fi feature even further. But if you happen to use an Android device that supports USB OTG (On-The-Go), an inexpensive and tiny adapter provides a neat solution to the problem.

A USB-A female to Micro-USB male (or USB-C, depending on your particular device model) adapter may sound like a mouthful, but this simple piece of hardware lets you connect a camera directly to an Android device using a USB cable.


These adapters are very inexpensive and can be easily found on Amazon or eBay. Some Android devices may have trouble detecting the camera if its USB connection is set to Auto. In this case, setting your camera either to MTP (the camera is recognized as a media device) or Mass Storage (the camera is treated as a regular storage device) should solve the problem. You can then use Android’s standard tools or apps like Google Photos to view and import photos and raw files. Add a high-capacity microSD to your Android device, and you have a photo backup device that is always at hand (or rather in your pocket).

Tech writer covering Linux and open source software

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Posted in Hardware, Photography

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