The Quik Key (iPhone®/iPad®) Mobile microSD™ Card Reader aka the Lexar microSD To Lightning Reader aka Photofast iPhone Micro SD Card Reader OTG by Gigastone is a simple lightning to trans flash adapter that in theory is a really simple and great idea for transferring your files over to your devices. Good idea couldn’t be more simple eject the microSD card from your GoPro, plug it into the GoPro Quik Key, plug the Quik Key into your phone or tablet, from there your photos or videos should be able to be imported to the photo roll just like the USB to lightning adapter provided from Apple.
In Nick Woodman’s Hero 5 keynote/launch event, he says :
“What if im out having fun and i want to make an edit right ther on the spot?.. This is Quik Key. a phone friendly SD card reader that makes it fast and simple to transfer footage from your goproto your phone so that you can make an edit on the Quik App.”
The USB to lightning adapter adapter from Apple is the same concept except does not have the SD card reader built in so you need to provide your own, the issue with that was every card reader I would plug-in gave me the same low-power warning and would not allow me to import my photos and with every update it aloud less and less devices to work with the adapter even though they worked before. The first issue I had with the Quik Key was that the second I plugged it in to my phone it immediately came up with a prompt to open the GoPro app. From here if you’re not logged into the GoPro app or if the GoPro app has been updated you will need to log in with your GoPro account. An issue that has plagued many users especially when you’re out in the “field” where there is usually no Internet connection available. So right there if you’re not logged into the go Pro app and you’re in the woods and you want to import your video while you’re camping or driving down a remote freeway then you’re already out of luck because you can’t use this adapter, flaw number one. (Update : when i started writing this article this was an issue, i believe since then GoPro has removed the login to access the app)
Once you do get connection and open up the app you are you are presented with a new tab on the bottom label import that will allow you to select and view all the videos and photos on your SD card. Play back is decently smooth however under closer inspection it’s pretty obvious that it is playing the LRV (Low Resolution Video) files used for playback in your GoPro’s screem or through wireless streaming it’s good enough for reviewing files and framing after you have recorded them. But if you want these on your device to edit with third-party apps or even go pros own Quik app, then you might have a problem.
If you shot any of the typical high resolution formats that are most commonly used for those wanting high frame rates or hi resolution then your in for another big issue. For me personally, I typically only film in two different modes 4K/24 or 2.7K/60, If I want quality or to be able to crop later I will shoot in 4K, If I want stabilization, low light or 60 frames or higher then I shoot 2.7K. Sometimes I want to capture even higher frame rates such as 120 or 240, but most of the other resolutions and lower frame rate I tend to not use. So whats the problem? When trying to import any of the videos I had already on my memory card I had quickly discovered that none of my videos would import and I was given the same screen saying that they were not available to download. This presents a problem for me personally as every video clip I had already shot him was not able to be downloaded which made the Quik Key not very useful for me.
If i cant even import the video then how can i make a “quick edit right on the spot” as nick said.
I was curious as to which exact resolutions and frame rate the import supported so I went through and took a small clip and every single resolution and frame rate combination available on my GoPro hero five black and here is the list that I have come up with:
While seemingly none of the most common used frame rates were available to me, under further in the investigation the device at least imports more resolution and frame rates than it doesn’t but only barely. 17 out of 30 videos imported to my phone.
Other programs not supported.
I tried to see if the GoPro QuickKey showed up in any other programs such as the other GoPro applications like the Quik app (as Nick implied it would) and Splice but as far as official GoPro applications the only application that recognizes the GoPro Quick key is Capture. I tried a handful of other applications to see if the key showed up at all including the default photos app but none of them showed at all.
The GoPro Quick Key is not completely useless, although it may seem so depending on what your particular usage for it is, if you just want to review your videos then it does that great and without any lag. however with 5 GHz Wi-Fi on the new Hero5’s you could do this without spending the $40 cost of the Key
You can do some minor trimming of videos to import them at a lower resolution the problem is you end up with a lower resolution file. If you’re going to upload these to social media such as Instagram, Facebook, or any of the other lower resolution quick share social type sites then this is probably good enough to get the job done assuming it works, I tried cutting a clip from one of my high res videos to see if it would import it but the program just errored out.
In the end, really nothing about the Quick Key cannot be accomplished by simply using Wifi on your GoPro.
Enter the new Apple lightning to USB 3.0 powered dongle.
A new contender has arrived in the form of the Apple Lightning to USB 3 Camera Adapter. This bad boy is $39 from Apple which is equivalent of the Quick Key, it does require you to plug in the power adapter for your iOS device, but bonus, you get to charge your device while using it. You can also use the dongle to plug in any camera, usb key, storage device, or even many accessories, such as keyboards.
You do end up with some issues with the stock photos app recognizing some of the imported media sometimes especially when you have high framerate or high resolution videos, but i found that if you simply import the video into iMovie and then export it back out to your photo roll it will work natively with any photo app such as Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or if you want to upload it direct to YouTube you could as well, it works in Quick, Splice and any other video editor of your choice, now thats a useful device!
In conclusion, if you want something to get videos off your GoPro or any SD card device (i also use the apple dongle to pull dvr feeds from my FatShark Goggles DVR) then i have not found a device that works better in iOS than the Apple dongle.