Re: Just posted: Apple iPad 2: Tool or Toy?

Started Mar 18, 2011 | Discussions
Unum sed Leonem Junior Member • Posts: 29
Re: Just posted: Apple iPad 2: Tool or Toy?

Obviously, a toy.
Let me explain:

  • 132 PPI pixel density.

  • Starts at 16 GB storage.

  • Does not work with a Wacom pen (or similar); is capacitative-input only!

  • Undefined display profile; shows colours very differently than a (calibrated) desktop.

Let me clarify for the uninitiated. The following is required for it to be seriously considered for proper work:

  • Must be minimum of 300 PPI or more pixel density.

  • 16 GB! That's quite the joke! 128 GB at the very, very minimum at this point! In two-three years, 500 GB minimum would do. Not 16!

  • Capacitative touchscreen technology is in most respects excellent! But for serious work it will never suffice. A dual-input (capacitative touch and Wacom pen) would suffice very well for photographers' needs - both professional and personal. Nothing less will.

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Gabriel Tompkins New Member • Posts: 5
Re: Just posted: Apple iPad 2: Tool or Toy?

300ppi?? Even my 2560x1440 27" display isn't more than 108ppi. I guess my monitor can't be classified as a tool now.

beshannon Veteran Member • Posts: 4,216
Re: Just posted: Apple iPad 2: Tool or Toy?

Unum sed Leonem wrote:

Let me clarify for the uninitiated.

Gee, thanks

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Ronj2 Senior Member • Posts: 1,195
Re: Just posted: Apple iPad 2: Tool or Toy?

•132 PPI pixel density.

That is excellent.

•Starts at 16 GB storage.

Is it enough? Depends on what you want to do with it.

•Does not work with a Wacom pen (or similar); is capacitative-input only!

I don't know anyone who uses a Wacom pen. I get along just fine without one. I could see how someone would want to use one though.

•Undefined display profile; shows colours very differently than a (calibrated) desktop.

This could be a big problem depending on how far off any given screen is. Maybe there will be an App to calabrate / adjust the color ect.

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Sincerely

Ron J

BJN
BJN Veteran Member • Posts: 5,083
Toy, but not because of pixel density

You don't need 300 ppi on a large display. You need enough apparent resolution to work with, and the iPad's display resolution is adequate for its size. Frankly, I don't consider anything smaller than 20" to be a very productive editing display area, but the display is not what makes the iPad a toy.

The iPad would be cool if it could serve as a large, live view display for studio work, if it could read memory cards and upload files to the web, and if it didn't need to ultimately get tethered to a "real" computer to sync with iTunes and run updates. It would be less of a toy if it could run Flash site content.

If you have to carry a keyboard and a protective case to travel with the iPad and be functional, you'd be better off with a (more expensive but much more powerful) lightweight notebook computer.

We just got an iPad and really enjoy using some cool, non photo-related apps. It's nice to be able to surf and read comfortably with a device that's reasonably compact and that comes to live nearly instantly. I wouldn't even use a notebook computer for any real image editing, so I'm not even slightly interested in iPad "photo" apps. If it could ever do the job that Nikon Camera Control does, I'd consider it a photo tool worth carrying.

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RedFox88 Forum Pro • Posts: 29,018
ppi

Unum sed Leonem wrote:

  • 132 PPI pixel density.

  • Must be minimum of 300 PPI or more pixel density.

If you had 300 ppi, it would be a waste of a pixels. Print/ink technology needs 300 dots of ink per inch for photographic quality while pixels have a defined size (that doesn't bleed into paper) can look very photographic good at lesser densities in the 100 ppi range.

Web images are designed around a 72 ppi concept, so if you went to 300 ppi on an ipad, images would look 1/4 the size they are intended and would often be much too small to see what's in it!

Barney Britton
Barney Britton dpreview Admin • Posts: 458
Re: Toy, but not because of pixel density

BJN wrote:

The iPad would be cool if it could serve as a large, live view display for studio work

It can. There are several tethering and similar apps available, some of which are mentioned in the article.

if it could read memory cards and upload files to the web,

Again, it can. Both.

and if it didn't need to ultimately get tethered to a "real" computer to sync with iTunes and run updates.

This is annoying. I had hoped that Apple would have introduced wireless syncing by now.

It would be less of a toy if it could run Flash site content.

Honestly, I've used an iPhone for 3 years, never had a problem with not being able to see content. Those sites that matter to me have mobile-optimised content anyway. I've been using the iPad 2 for almost a week now and I haven't had a single issue with unavailable content.

If you have to carry a keyboard and a protective case to travel with the iPad and be functional, you'd be better off with a (more expensive but much more powerful) lightweight notebook computer.

Absolutely. On this we are agreed.

I wouldn't even use a notebook computer for any real image editing, so I'm not even slightly interested in iPad "photo" apps. If it could ever do the job that Nikon Camera Control does, I'd consider it a photo tool worth carrying.

It can, pretty much. Check this out: http://www.ononesoftware.com/products/dslr-camera-remote/

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Uwe Steinmueller
Uwe Steinmueller Veteran Member • Posts: 3,414
Re: Toy, but not because of pixel density

I had hoped that Apple would have introduced wireless syncing by now.

+1 (or better +1000 :-))

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Choice Regular Member • Posts: 381
Of course it's a toy...

...But even toys can be useful. As the article concludes:

if you had to, could you use an iPad to edit, move and showcase your images? In our opinion the answer is clear: absolutely.

The key part here is "if you had to". I would also add "if you really, really, really wanted to". Having said that there is one problem with ipad and every other tablet we are likely to see from anyone. The screen. It's completely useless in direct sunlight or with bright overhead lights. If Lenovo can produce $400 laptop with anti-glare screen, why can't Apple manage that in in an $800 tablet?

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whitebird Regular Member • Posts: 380
Closest notebook is Sony X-Series, not Macbook Air...

..because it's lighter and thinner, and therefore closest to a 9-10" tablet in weight and bulk IMO.

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whitebird Regular Member • Posts: 380
Not much comment on display quality?

In addition to a reported "leak" of the LED back light around edges of the screen, there have also been some comments concerning black level and contrast in comparison to first revision (and some other tablets as well). The screens are also very glossy, and can be a problem in some light.

Display quality, color rendition, contrast, and reflectivity would all certainly would impact the device's usefulness as a photographer's tool. Perhaps that could be an addendum to the article?

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Choice Regular Member • Posts: 381
Re: Toy, but not because of pixel density

If you have to carry a keyboard and a protective case to travel with the iPad and be functional, you'd be better off with a (more expensive but much more powerful) lightweight notebook computer.

A laptop doesn't need to be more expensive to be much more powerful than iPad. You couldn't even buy a laptop with 512MB RAM. There is an awful lot of laptops in the ipad's $500-$800 range, and every last one of them can at least run photoshop elements.

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Barney Britton
Barney Britton dpreview Admin • Posts: 458
Re: Not much comment on display quality?

whitebird wrote:

In addition to a reported "leak" of the LED back light around edges of the screen, there have also been some comments concerning black level and contrast in comparison to first revision (and some other tablets as well). The screens are also very glossy, and can be a problem in some light.

Display quality, color rendition, contrast, and reflectivity would all certainly would impact the device's usefulness as a photographer's tool. Perhaps that could be an addendum to the article?

Sure, I'll add something tomorrow. But this isn't meant to be a review, as such. I had no problems with my iPad's screen whatsoever. Even illumination, good color and decent contrast. I do share a previous poster's frustration that the screen is so highly reflective, but you get used to it, and in general, this is an indoor device.
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fermy Veteran Member • Posts: 3,168
Re: Toy, but not because of pixel density

Choice wrote:

If you have to carry a keyboard and a protective case to travel with the iPad and be functional, you'd be better off with a (more expensive but much more powerful) lightweight notebook computer.

A laptop doesn't need to be more expensive to be much more powerful than iPad. You couldn't even buy a laptop with 512MB RAM. There is an awful lot of laptops in the ipad's $500-$800 range, and every last one of them can at least run photoshop elements.

That spiel that IPAD is actually a good value for photographer compared to laptop is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever heard.

My 2 year old netbook (Samsung NC10) costs less than Ipad, has much more storage (160 Gb), more ram 1GB (upgradable to 2GB), card reader, all the connectivity you want, real usable keyboard, runs Lightroom 3 without any problems. If the price of Lightroom is an issue, install Ubuntu and get a ton of photography related apps for free including a full featured photo editor.

In terms of productivity, workflow and value for money IPAD is obviously a lousy proposition for photographer. Yes, it saves 1/2 kilo of weight compared to the netbook. Yes it has some fringe advantages such as ability to easily rotate screen for portrait orientation. Overall, though, it's much less useful than a netbook/slim laptop in the field.

Laurentiu Todie
Laurentiu Todie Senior Member • Posts: 2,567
Re: Not much comment on display quality?

The dogs bark and the car keeps going its way : )
(old Romanian wisdom applicable to new, successful technology)

With Aperture on it, capture, display, slide show and sales apps, the iPad may not be a hi end photo editing machine, but I don't need to edit on the run, I need to shoot, browse, show and sell. Turning heads doesn't hurt either.

"With AirDrop in Mac OS X Lion, you can send files to anyone around you — wirelessly."

http://www.apple.com/macosx/lion/

pat_sacanon New Member • Posts: 1
Article could have mentioned "ShutterSnitch" wireless tethering app
bloodycape Senior Member • Posts: 1,560
Re: Closest notebook is Sony X-Series, not Macbook Air...

I am sorry that is wrong. The closest notebook would actually be the Fujitsu T580 tablet. It is a 10.1in convertible tablet at 1366x768 res, running an ulv i3 or i5 cpu, matte display with the option of multi-touch, SD card slot, HDMI, and N-Trig gen 2 pen support(larger Fujitsu models use Wacom). I guess the only down side would be the $1000 base.

Sony X while nice is using the older Atom, which even the newer Atom models struggle with some HD work. Now the Vaio TT, weights a bit more than the X, but you do get an 11.1in 8-bit anti-glare TN screen, with a ULV C2D cpu, SD card, and express card slot, and an optical drive(blu-ray optional). This is what I am using currently as my main PC and never had an issue with playing any HD files(flash included) and no real problems with editing raw files in CS4 + ACR.

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Jon Stock Senior Member • Posts: 1,608
Other articles worth reading

Ipad 1 as a touch sensitive second computer screen for Photoshop:

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2010/07/why-i-needed-an-ipad.html

This mentions how slow the iPad1 screen refresh rate is. Hopefully the 9x increase in graphics speed helped this.

Ipad 1 as portfolio:

http://theonlinephotographer.typepad.com/the_online_photographer/2010/07/the-ipad-as-portfolio.html

Wireless photography with an iPad and ShutterSnitch:

http://www.robgalbraith.com/bins/multi_page.asp?cid=7-10055-10851

Seems very useful. Especially if you need someone else’s approval for the shots. Easier than shooting tethered to a laptop.

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Jon

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whitebird Regular Member • Posts: 380
Re: Closest notebook is Sony X-Series, not Macbook Air...

Those are also great examples I agree. I was primarily thinking of size and weight in a standard notebook machine, which of course the X and TT series Vaio machines are.

I was having a time deciding between X and TT in lieu of messing with a tablet (which are all vastly overpriced at present IMO). How much battery life do you get with your TT?

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Barry Fitzgerald Forum Pro • Posts: 29,888
Re: Just posted: Apple iPad 2: Tool or Toy?

Strange they waste time on reviewing this rather than doing camera reviews.

Like most apple products it's got the yuppie/cool appeal but it's merely an overpriced gimmick and of very little real use for photographers.

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