@Leica and iPad users. A question about using these for travel photography

Started Sep 2, 2012 | Discussions thread
Godfrey Forum Pro • Posts: 29,345
Re: @Leica and iPad users. A question about using these for travel photography

Masterbrew wrote:

I am going on a 10 day trip to South-East Asia. I plan to bring the M9 and shoot in JPG+RAW. I will be shooting lots of photos.

For photo evaluation, and possibly storage, I am considering the iPad.
For main storage I will bring a SD card dump drive.

I have some questions regarding the workflow.

I'll comment first, in line, then add my experiences and two workflows that I use at the end.

A) Will I be able to import only the JPG files to the iPad? Reason is, the 64 gb iPad should hold enough space for the JPGs, but not enough for the DNGs.

The way the Camera Connection Kit works is that it transfers all JPEG+raw pairs. There are no options in this regard, unfortunately. I've filed an enhancement request for Apple to add a switch to say "ignore raw files on import for JPEG+raw image pairs".

B) What is it like working with DNGs on the iPad? I understand you need a specific app. Is it any good? Or would it be best to just work with the JPGs?

Most iPad image display and editing tools work with JPEG files, either explicitly (you give it JPEGs to work with) or implicitly (it retrieves the JPEG preview out of a raw file to work with).

In general, the iPad (even the new iPad 3rd gen) is a less than ideal environment for raw conversion processing. Not enough RAM, essentially. So the available raw converters (PhotoRAW and piRAWhna) tend to operate slowly. However, I do use PhotoRAW occasionally and, if you give it time to do its thing, it is actually a very high quality raw converter.

C) Is it (still) cumbersome to delete JPGs from the iPad? I tried the iPad1 ages ago, and I noticed that, once you've imported a bunch of photos, you had to delete them one by one, very slowly. Is that better now?

With iOS 5's implementation of the Photo app, you can select a bunch of photos in the grid view and delete them with one keystroke. You can also create folders and organize imported photos, if you choose.

D) Once I get home, will I be able to move JPGs (and/or DNGs), that were imported on to the iPad, off the iPad and on to the computer at home?

Yes, very easily. If you're using an Apple OS X system, you can move them with iPhoto, Aperture and Image Capture. Image Capture is the most efficient for me, as you can download the photos to a folder with automatic deletion or not, and you can simply select all the photos on the device you want to delete and do it in one move too.

Lightroom will recognize a connected iOS device as a camera or image capture device and allow you to import its photo/video contents too. (The limitations to this are that Lightroom does not provide the option to delete the images from the device—you have to delete them with the iPad or iPhone—and Lightroom does not support PNG format, so iPad screen captures do not import.)

On Windows, Apple provides a downloader app for iPad and iPhone to allow you to transfer the photos directly.

E) What are your personal experiences using the iPad for such purposes? How do you compare it to using a netbook?

I've never used a netbook, but it's the same experience as using a laptop only it's small. The MBA 11" is essentially Apple's netbook, in my view. For me, this means that I'd buy a MacBook Air 11" rather than a netbook since my main computer is a MacBook Pro 13" and I'd rather not get into the need to learn another operating system and buy all the appropriate software required. I used to carry my laptop, but I've carried camera kit and only the iPad 2 (64G) on my last three trips, one of which was a three week vacation/photo trip to the British Isles.

My camera kit for these trips has been a Ricoh GXR-M, three lens outfit—switching that to the M9 has been trivial as the M9 body is only marginally more bulky than the GXR-M and the rest of the kit is the same. All of the camera and iPad kit fits into a Black Label Bag Oskar's One Day Bag Mark II (available from Photo Village in New York City) except for the Apple wireless keyboard in an InCase Origami protective case; I toss that into my checked luggage. The bag holds camera, three lenses (typically 35, 50, 90 for the M9 and 21, 40, 90 for the GXR), two spare batteries for camera, chargers for both camera and iPad, Camera Connection Kit and iPad cables, six SDHC cards (plus the one in the camera - plenty of space for several thousand photos without deletion), Skink pinhole lens kit, Zoom voice recorder, iPhone, wallet, lens cloth and hand-bulb dust blower, a couple of ND filters, remote release for camera, pens and notepad, eyeglass/sunglass stuff, travel papers, etc. It weighs in at around 7-8 lbs total and is small enough to always be carry on luggage. (Everything else I travel with fits into a rollaway that is within maximum dimensions for carry-on overhead compartment when that's feasible, but I usually check it through to the destination.)

[continued in next post]

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