How to import RAW or JPG images to your iPhone using the SD card adapter?

Shreyas Patil
Shreyas PatilUpdated :
How to import RAW or JPG images to your iPhone using the SD card adapter?

Importing RAW or JPG photos from your DSLR or mirrorless camera to your iPhone can be a great way to edit and share high-quality images on the go. With the right tools, transferring photos is simple - you just need an SD card reader adapter for your iPhone.

In this comprehensive guide, we'll walk through everything you need to know to successfully import full-resolution RAW and JPG photos to your iPhone using the Apple SD card adapter.

What You'll Need

  • An iPhone model 7 or later with a Lightning port
  • Apple's Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader adapter
  • An SD card with RAW or JPG photos from your camera

Step-by-Step Guide to Importing Photos

Follow these steps to import your RAW or JPG images from your camera's SD card to your iPhone:

1. Insert the SD Card into the Adapter

The first step is to physically connect your SD card to your iPhone using the Apple SD card adapter.

  • Locate the SD card slot on the adapter and gently slide your SD card in until it clicks into place. The gold contacts should face upwards.

2. Connect the Adapter to Your iPhone

Now it's time to plug the adapter into your iPhone's Lightning port.

  • Locate the Lightning connector on the adapter.
  • Plug it into the Lightning port on the bottom of your iPhone.

You may need to remove your iPhone's case for the adapter to fit.

3. Launch the Photos App

Once connected, open the Photos app on your iPhone. This is where you'll be able to access the contents of your SD card.

  • Tap the Photos icon on your iPhone's home screen to launch the app.

4. Import Photos to Your Photos Library

In the Photos app, you'll see a new SD card folder containing all the photos stored on your card.

  • Tap the SD card folder.
  • Select the photos you wish to import. You can tap "Select" and then tap each image, or tap "Select All".
  • Tap the share icon in the bottom left corner (a box with an arrow coming out of it).
  • Select "Import to Library" to copy the photos to your iPhone's storage.

Your selected photos will now be imported!

5. Edit, Share, and Manage Photos

Once imported, you can edit your RAW images using the Photos app's built-in editing tools.

You can then easily share JPGs and edited RAW photos to social media, messaging apps, email, and more right from the Photos app.

The images will also be backed up to iCloud and synced across your Apple devices if you have iCloud Photos enabled.

6. Eject and Remove the SD Card

When you're done transferring photos, it's important to properly eject the SD card before removing it from the adapter.

  • Open the Photos app.
  • Pull down the main Photos tab to refresh it. This ensures any remaining transfers finish.
  • Close the Photos app.
  • Press your iPhone's lock button to lock it.
  • Physically remove the SD card from the adapter.

And that's all there is to importing RAW and JPG photos from your camera to your iPhone! With the right SD card adapter, you can have a seamless photography workflow.

Quick Tip to ensure your videos never go missing

Download PicBackMan

Videos are precious memories and all of us never want to ever lose them to hard disk crashes or missing drives. PicBackMan is the easiest and simplest way to keep your videos safely backed up in one or more online accounts. Simply Download PicBackMan (it's free!), register your account, connect to your online store and tell PicBackMan where your videos are - PicBackMan does the rest, automatically. It bulk uploads all videos and keeps looking for new ones and uploads those too. You don't have to ever touch it.

Frequently Asked Questions About Importing Photos from SD Cards

Here are answers to some common questions about transferring photos from an SD card to an iPhone:

What photo formats can I import using the SD adapter?

The Apple SD card adapter supports importing JPG, RAW, PNG, BMP, GIF, TIFF and many other standard image formats. Both JPG and RAW will transfer successfully.

Does transferring photos using the adapter retain full image quality?

Yes, transferring photos from your SD card to your iPhone via the adapter will retain the full original image quality, resolution, color depth, and metadata.

What types of SD cards are compatible?

The Apple SD card adapter is compatible with standard SD, SDHC, and SDXC card types, including most cards from major brands. Ultra-high-capacity SD cards above 2TB may not be supported.

Can I import photos directly into Lightroom mobile?

Yes! Launch Lightroom mobile before connecting your SD card. Your RAW files will show up in the "Import" section and you can import them into Lightroom catalogs on your iPhone.

Will importing photos use cellular data?

No, transferring photos from the SD card adapter to your iPhone will not use any cellular data, as it is an offline, direct transfer. However, backing up to iCloud will use data.

What is the fastest way to transfer all my photos?

Selecting "Import All" will allow you to quickly transfer your entire SD card contents in one batch. You can also tap "Select" and then "Select All".

Can I view RAW files on my iPhone or just JPGs?

Apple's Photos app will let you view and edit RAW images from your DSLR or mirrorless camera on your iPhone. Supported formats include .CR2, .NEF, and .DNG RAW files.

How do I backup the imported photos?

Enable iCloud Photos to safely backup all images imported from your camera to iCloud. They will be accessible across all your devices logged into your iCloud account.


Importing RAW or JPG photos from your camera's SD card to your iPhone takes just a few simple steps. With the right SD card adapter, you can seamlessly transfer entire photo sets in their full original quality and edit or share anywhere.

Whether you're a professional photographer needing to cull and edit on the go, or want easy social sharing of vacation photos, using the SD card adapter unlocks the potential of your iPhone's fantastic camera roll management tools. Quickly save, edit, and sync high-quality photos across all your Apple devices.

World's #1 Photo/Video Uploader

Backup & Transfer your Photos in Minutes

Automate backup & migration of your photos & videos with support for all top services.

(283 reviews)

Trusted by users in 125+ countries.

95,000+ PicBackMan Users

95,000+ Users Trust PicBackMan To Backup Precious Memories

money back guarantee
Kip Roof testimonial Kip Roofgoogle photos flickr
PicBackMan does exactly what it's supposed to. It's quick and efficient. It runs unobtrusively in the background and has done an excellent job of uploading more than 300GB of photos to 2 different services. After having lost a lot of personal memories to a hard drive crash, it's nice to know that my photos are safe in 2 different places.
Julia Alyea Farella testimonialJulia Alyea Farella smugmug
LOVE this program! Works better than ANY other program out there that I have found to upload thousands of pictures WITH SUB-FOLDERS to SmugMug! Thank you so much for what you do! :) #happycustomer
Pausing Motion testimonialPausingMotionsmugmug
I pointed PicBackMan at a directory structure, and next time I looked - all the photos had uploaded! Pretty cool. I use SmugMug and while I really like it, the process of creating directories in is pretty laborious when you need to make 80+ at a time. This was a breeze. Thank you!
Gavin Whitham testimonialGavin Whithamflickr
PicBackMan was really easy to setup and has been running for 3 days now backing up all my locally saved photos to Flickr. My photos are really valuable to me so it's great to be able to have them easily backed up to a secure location.
 Jim Griffin testimonialJim Griffinsmugmug
It's AWESOME!! I have tens of thousands of pictures...and they are now successfully uploaded to SmugMug, where they are safely backed up, and I can edit and organize them. If you are hesitating about using PicBackMan, hesitate no longer...try it...and you'll be glad you did!!
close icon
World's #1 Photo/Video Uploader

World's #1 Free Photo/Video Uploader

PicBackMan has everything you've ever wanted to backup your photos or migrate/transfer from one account to another. No feature left behind!

(283 reviews)
Trusted by users in 125+ countries.
  • Maintain Folder StructureMaintain Folder StructureUpload to your online accounts & keep your folder structure as you have it.
  • Sub-folder SupportFolders & their sub-folders are automatically picked up.
  • Smart De-dupeDe-dupes photos before uploading so you don’t have duplicate copies.
  • AutomaticPicBackMan monitors & automatically uploads from connected folders.
  • PrivacyPrivacyAll uploaded photos & videos are always marked as private by default.
  • RAW FilesComes with support for RAW files for uploads as well as transfers.

“Your pictures are scattered. PicBackMan helps you bring order to your digital memories.”

the wall street journal
close icon
One Uploader for All Services

One Uploader for All Services

PicBackMan is the only tool you will need to backup to one or more of the top online photo and video services.

(283 reviews)
Trusted by users in 125+ countries.
Google Photos

Google Photos







Google Drive

Google Drive