Apple iPhoto for iOS $4.99 / £2.99
Compatible with iPhone4 or later, iPad 2 or later, requires iOS5.1 or later (reviewed on iPad 3rd Gen)
|Browsing and organising are particular highlights of iPhoto, thanks to multi-touch gesture support and fast operation. Image editing is restricted to JPEGs only; there's no Raw file rendering capability.|
Apple has taken the well-known iPhoto Mac app that’s bundled with every new Apple computer and adapted it for the iPad and iPhone. Although the iPhoto app offers a range of image editing tools including, global and localised adjustment control (using multi-touch tools) there’s a lot more to it than that.
Despite sharing a name though, iPhoto for iOS does not integrate deeply with iPhoto for Apple's desktop computers. In fact, integration is limited to Apple's 'Photo Stream' service, which automatically synchronizes saved photographs between iOS devices and Mac desktops running iPhoto/Aperture. Synced images are saved at full resolution in the 'cloud' but are delivered to your iOS device at a reduced resolution, appropriate to the device. A 12MP 4.7MB JPEG file from the Fuji X-S1, for example, is delivered via Photo Stream at 3.1MP / 490KB to the iPad, but is available to a Mac computer (via Aperture/iPhoto) at full, original size.
As you might expect, the social sharing aspects via FaceBook, Twitter, Flickr, and email are covered in iPhoto for iOS but Apple has also included an option to 'beam' images with editing adjustment metadata (sidecar files) between iOS devices, a potentially useful option for mobile photographers, especially. Moving RAW and large JPEG files off the iPad onto other iOS devices wirelessly via 'beaming' can be pretty slow though, and requires a lot of bandwidth.
If you want to transfer images to a computer, you can do this via USB option through iTunes (or better still using a RAW conversion utility – Aperture or Lightroom).
(File) Size Matters
When images are viewed and edited in iPhoto, dimensions are restricted to a maximum of 19-megapixels (MP) per file for display. Images larger than this are scaled down to a quarter of the original image dimensions. Thus, a 22MP file will be downscaled to just 5.5MP, and a 36MP image from a Nikon D800 will be scaled down to just 9MP.
Image size restrictions also apply when exporting edited files. The maximum size image you can export after editing is 4096 pixels on the longest edge. Your original high-res images are still stored, and edited versions are simply saved as new files.
Before you write iPhoto off as an app exclusively for the mobile photography market, it has robust browsing capabilities that photographers at all levels can benefit from.
Browsing and Organization
Apple is good at designing and implementing sleek UIs and iPhoto on the iPad doesn’t disappoint. Image organisation is one of the app’s strengths and the thumbnail browser and main viewer make it easy to quickly find, assess, flag, and caption images, though you can't rate them.
|You can mark images as flagged and tag them as favorites in iPhoto, or even hide them if you want to.|
While you can enlarge images to check focus, composition and colour, and add albums in the Photos app, iPhoto also allows side-by-side comparison, image flagging (there is an option to flag individual images, those imported within the last 24-hours, last 7 days etc), and tagging of favourites. You can also add captions, view EXIF data and keep track of edited, flagged, beamed images, favourite, whatever is in your Photo Stream, your last import, all imports and so on. There’s an option to view images on an external display: using either a HDMI cable adaptor or using Airplay and Apple TV - potentially useful not only in the home but also for presentation to a client.
All this functionality is useful, but there is a little room for improvement. It isn't possible to create your own folders for example, so you're stuck with iPhoto's automatic organization of images as 'Events' by capture date (from the EXIF data) or as 'Albums'. Album names are pre-determined ('Flagged', 'Edited', 'Beamed' etc) so you can’t just add new Albums and name them as you might in the 'standard' iOS Photos app. It's worth noting though that any albums created in the 'Photos' app are visible and accessible in iPhoto.
Although at first glance it might appear that iPhoto for iOS can support the editing of Raw files, the truth isn't quite that simple. Most Raw files have an embedded JPEG for image playback and assessment in-camera and if you import Raw files onto your iOS device it is these embedded thumbnails that iPhoto works with. When you import RAW+JPEG images, iPhoto only accesses the JPEGs. (The RAW, of course, is still on your iPad/device and can be later imported onto a computer, but iPhoto only deals with the JPEG member of the RAW+JPEG pair.)
Double-tapping on a thumbnail groups similar images and displays them in the main viewer, while a second double tap on the image zooms to 1:1 actual pixels, or, you can use a touch gesture to bring up a variable (1-3x) magnification loupe. All of it is typically sleek, but it’s also fast and efficient. The same goes for editing. Adjustments are non destructive until rendered for output, and it is possible to 'undo' edits - an Undo/Redo button is provided with unlimited history states. There’s also a 'revert to original' option.
There's a reasonable range of filters adjustments possible in iPhoto for iOS, including a quick auto-enhance for time-sensitive projects and quite a sophisticated levels tool with highlight and shadow clipping warnings. Sliders are used for quick global adjustments whereas brushes are applied using your fingertip are adopted for local adjustment.
Some adjustments, like sharpening, lighten/darken and desaturate can also be applied to the entire image, and some have strength sliders as well. In the main these worked well with only a slight delay but sometimes we needed to opt for the 'show strokes' setting when using some of the brushes, so we could keep track of where the effect had been applied.
|Local adjustments are made using brushes, you simply paint on the effect with your fingertip. However, some of the adjustments, such as lighten, darken, desaturate or sharpen (in this instance), can be applied to the whole image.|
iPhoto for iOS is unashamedly aimed at non-professional image-makers and (inevitably) chiefly geared to the needs of mobile photographers. The lack of true Raw support is all but inevitable (none of the major photo editing apps for iOS allow Raw adjustment) and I doubt it will trouble the majority of people that download and install this app.
I tested this app on an iPad, and iPhoto is the best app I've seen for browsing and organising photos on this device. But it's an effective editing tool, as well. If you have a JPEG workflow, say for example you work for a newspaper, where anything other than minor editing is frowned upon, then iPhoto on the iPad may prove very handy when you're working on location.
Even if you shoot Raw though, you shouldn't dismiss iPhoto for iOS out of hand. You can still import Raw files and use iPhoto to sort through images, for example, and to flag 'keepers' ready to transfer to your preferred Raw workflow utility on a computer (via USB, iTunes or if you shoot Raw only, via Photo Stream). My only serious reservations about iPhoto for iOS centre around the image size restrictions and lack of support for the original iPad, but at $4.99 we're not complaining.
What we like: Price, sleek UI, quick to organise and browse, useful range of editing tools and sharing options
What we don't like: No support for original iPad, or raw rendering, resolution restrictions for display and output of edited images (orignal imported files remain stored at full resolution) Controls are small and cluttered on the tiny screen of the iPhone.
|Hot Air Balloons Over Bagan by User9320321874|
|Yellow Warbler by LeeS|
from A Big Year - birds
|Waiting for the Parade by tcoker1103|
from - La Vida Loca - (Black and White Street Photography+ A Border)
Peak Design's 'consider every detail' approach shines in the Everyday Backpack. While expensive, it's one of the best options out there for a photographer who needs to pack a lot of stuff in addition to gear.
If you're thinking of using Canon's sports glass on the Sony a9, think again. The ultra-fast camera slows way down when you attach off-brand glass.
The Polish town of Katowice is not known as an area of beauty, but as all photographers know, that doesn't mean that beauty can't be found if you know where to look. Mariusz Pietranek used a drone to look down on the colorful sedimentation tanks at an ironworks.
New York Times video journalist Ben Solomon spent a harrowing three weeks accompanying Iraqi Major Sajjad al-Hour as he and his men fought to retake Mosul from I.S. forces.
The 3D VR camera launched through a crowdfunding campaign in 2015 goes on sale beginning June 26.
Noctilucent clouds, a crescent moon and Venus were visible in the pre-dawn sky over Budapest yesterday. Photographer György Soponyai captured NASA's astronomy picture of the day.
Squirming pets won't sit still for photos? A Kickstarter campaign is looking to help.
Find out how Chris Burkard shifted from editorial photography to his true passions: landscapes, conservation and, of course, surfing.
The updated EyeEm app scans your camera roll and picks images that are composed particularly well, have the best quality, or highest chance of selling on EyeEm Market.
It's three years old but still a solid option for a Micro Four Thirds shooter looking for a high-quality, fast, wide-angle prime. Take a look at how we got along with it.
Tamron has announced the longest all-in-one zoom lens currently available, the 18-400mm F3.5-6.3 Di II VC HLD. Designed for Canon and Nikon crop-sensor cameras, the lens will be available in July.
When you're ready to step-up to full-frame from an entry-level or midrange camera, the choices can be overwhelming. Find out which models came out on top in our $1200-2000 enthusiast ILC roundup.
Just a guy wearing a VR headset, smashing invisible Goombas in Central Park.
NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter captured this gorgeous aerial photo of the Martian landscape. And if you look really close, you can actually see the Mars Curiosity rover in the very middle.
The city of Laguna Beach, California has provided some clarification around the kinds of photography permits it offers.
Later this year, a VR180 camera will be Joining Yi's Halo and 360 VR cameras, which will offer stereo 3D capture, yet be as easy to use and compact as a 2D camera.
Caltech researchers have developed an 'optical phased array' chip that uses time delays instead of a lens to focus the incoming light.
Pricing and shipping have finally been revealed for two highly anticipated lenses from Sigma, announced in February.
These macro photos of clouds of paint billowing through clear water might look like high-quality CGI, but they're real photographs. And photographer Alberto Seveso told us how they were made.
Facebook is testing a feature that prevents people from saving, sharing, or even taking a screenshot of your profile picture.
We've reshot the Sony a9 in our studio. The short story: it's sharper! The long story... well you can read it all here.
The collection will be officially launched during the Europeana Transcribathon Campus Berlin 2017 crowdsourcing event which will be held on 22 and 23 June at the Berlin State Library.
Light gives us some insight into the preparations for the launch of the pre-order shipments of its much anticipated L16 multi-lens camera.
OnePlus co-founder Carl Pei has confirmed in a tweet that the second lens on the back of the OnePlus 5 uses a 1.6x optical zoom and that digital zoom is used to reach the claimed 2x zoom factor.
Fujifilm recently unveiled the second in its series of affordable cine lenses, the MK50-135mm T2.9. We got our hands on it for a couple days and took it for a spin.
Leica's first attempt at an M-series digital rangefinder was rough around the edges, but set a pattern for all of the cameras that came after it. In this week's Throwback Thursday article, Barney remembers the M8.
No stranger to extreme situations, legendary climber and filmmaker Jimmy Chin talks to Outside Magazine about his career, and the challenge of filming Alex Honnold's rope-free solo climb of El Capitain.
A company backed by Android co-founder Andy Rubin is attempting to make video conferencing less terrible.
Rangefinder magazine asked five professional portrait and wedding photographers about posting on Instagram; no surprise, they got five different answers.
This captivating stop motion film was created by stripping away one layer of wood at a time. It's hard to look away.