Laptop broke. Can iPad Pro work as my photography tool?

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
Kaitlyn Contributing Member • Posts: 507
Laptop broke. Can iPad Pro work as my photography tool?

Laptop broke. Can iPad Pro work as my photography tool?

Not sure if here or the ipad forum is better. For some context, I am Google/Microsoft everything so this is my first Apple product. My laptop recently died on me, so instead of replacing it with a new laptop I opened up to the idea of an iPad Pro.

I foresee 3 main usecases:

- Casual browsing, apps, and whatnot at home. One thing I wonder/worry about is displaying content on my TV. I would use Chrome on my laptop, or channel apps to Cast to my NVidia Shield. I have no apple airplay receiver. Will I not be able to Cast from iPad pro?

- Photography editing. Using Lightroom and Photoshop to edit a photo or a few photos. Probably some culling/organization as well. I have a desktop as my primary editor, along with full catalog stored on external drive/backup system. But thinking I could manage new photos + edit single files on the iPad? I haven't totally looked into the workflow to make this work nor the Lightroom app feature limitations vs current Lightroom Classic. I'm not positive how I would get select RAW files to/from the iPad, along with the edits.

- Travel companion. Maps, looking up information, backing up photos on the go, that sort of stuff. I mainly wonder about being stuck unable to use traditional desktop experiences on some sites, but perhaps now more than ever this isn't really a problem or would be super fringe. It would certainly be lighter and smaller overall, which sounds fantastic.

So what do you think about iPad Pro for the above? My bigger concern is around the photography editing, of course, as any ipad could handle the others. I like the idea that I'll still have my desktop, so I mainly wonder whether this can replace my 2nd device, laptop, or whether it's still too limited.

The follow up is determining which would suit best - iPad 11 or 12.9, and 2018 refurbished or brand new. Processor seems identical, but bump to 6GB of RAM. Don't care about camera. Otherwise they seem incredibly similar? I've used 13" and 15" laptops, and my desktop is 27" monitor. I wonder if 11" iPad screen is fine for photo editing + management, or whether the 12.9 is the much better choice? On the flipside, I've heard the 12.9" is just too big for more casual use as it's just too unwiedly.

Really appreciate any guidance or advice for my potential foray into/back into iOS!

John_Hoffman
John_Hoffman Senior Member • Posts: 1,801
Re: Laptop broke. Can iPad Pro work as my photography tool?

If you go to YouTube there are many videos available of the topic.  Different conclusions based on exactly what folks want to achieve.

If your laptop is your only computer I would say the answer is likely "No" for the following reasons:

1. Photoshop on iPad is currently very limited compared to desktop version. There is a relatively inexpensive iOS program called Affinity photo which intended to function like PS. I don't use either so I have no input on that.

2. LR on the iPad is a cloud product. Not the same capability as the desktop version of Lightroom Classic and no printing capability. It also requires that all your original files be stored in the cloud. There is a desktop product called Lightroom.

3. Screen sharing requires an Apple TV device.

If you also have a desktop PC and your laptop was for travel there is a way to link the iPad to the desktop. I won't go into that now until I learn more about your situation.

-- hide signature --

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

 John_Hoffman's gear list:John_Hoffman's gear list
Canon EOS-1D X Mark III Canon EF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II +2 more
Ken Gosden Senior Member • Posts: 2,876
Re: Laptop broke. Can iPad Pro work as my photography tool?

John_Hoffman wrote:

If you go to YouTube there are many videos available of the topic. Different conclusions based on exactly what folks want to achieve.

If your laptop is your only computer I would say the answer is likely "No" for the following reasons:

1. Photoshop on iPad is currently very limited compared to desktop version. There is a relatively inexpensive iOS program called Affinity photo which intended to function like PS. I don't use either so I have no input on that.

2. LR on the iPad is a cloud product. Not the same capability as the desktop version of Lightroom Classic and no printing capability. It also requires that all your original files be stored in the cloud. There is a desktop product called Lightroom.

Not true. I use Lightroom on my iPad pro and have no cloud storage.  The cloud is really only needed if you want to be able to sync your activities between multiple editing devices.

3. Screen sharing requires an Apple TV device.

If you also have a desktop PC and your laptop was for travel there is a way to link the iPad to the desktop. I won't go into that now until I learn more about your situation.

 Ken Gosden's gear list:Ken Gosden's gear list
Olympus XZ-2 iHS Olympus Tough TG-3 Canon G5 X II Olympus E-M1 Olympus E-M1 II +19 more
OP Kaitlyn Contributing Member • Posts: 507
Re: Laptop broke. Can iPad Pro work as my photography tool?

Ken Gosden wrote:

John_Hoffman wrote:

If you go to YouTube there are many videos available of the topic. Different conclusions based on exactly what folks want to achieve.

If your laptop is your only computer I would say the answer is likely "No" for the following reasons:

1. Photoshop on iPad is currently very limited compared to desktop version. There is a relatively inexpensive iOS program called Affinity photo which intended to function like PS. I don't use either so I have no input on that.

2. LR on the iPad is a cloud product. Not the same capability as the desktop version of Lightroom Classic and no printing capability. It also requires that all your original files be stored in the cloud. There is a desktop product called Lightroom.

Not true. I use Lightroom on my iPad pro and have no cloud storage. The cloud is really only needed if you want to be able to sync your activities between multiple editing devices.

3. Screen sharing requires an Apple TV device.

If you also have a desktop PC and your laptop was for travel there is a way to link the iPad to the desktop. I won't go into that now until I learn more about your situation.

I've seen a few workflow outlines but it seems they're at least somewhat outdated.

Do you still have a main computer with your catalog? I'm not sure the best way to get my RAW photos to/from my iPad. It also could be possible that a photo hits my ipad before being fully imported into my main catalog vs everything imported into catalog and picking a photo or a few to edit on ipad.

Of course it gets more complicated if I've imported a set of photos and maybe it would be nice to cull/select photos from ipad. Hmmm!

Greybeard2017
Greybeard2017 Senior Member • Posts: 1,375
Re: Laptop broke. Can iPad Pro work as my photography tool?

Kaitlyn wrote:

Ken Gosden wrote:

John_Hoffman wrote:

If you go to YouTube there are many videos available of the topic. Different conclusions based on exactly what folks want to achieve.

If your laptop is your only computer I would say the answer is likely "No" for the following reasons:

1. Photoshop on iPad is currently very limited compared to desktop version. There is a relatively inexpensive iOS program called Affinity photo which intended to function like PS. I don't use either so I have no input on that.

2. LR on the iPad is a cloud product. Not the same capability as the desktop version of Lightroom Classic and no printing capability. It also requires that all your original files be stored in the cloud. There is a desktop product called Lightroom.

Not true. I use Lightroom on my iPad pro and have no cloud storage. The cloud is really only needed if you want to be able to sync your activities between multiple editing devices.

3. Screen sharing requires an Apple TV device.

If you also have a desktop PC and your laptop was for travel there is a way to link the iPad to the desktop. I won't go into that now until I learn more about your situation.

I've seen a few workflow outlines but it seems they're at least somewhat outdated.

Do you still have a main computer with your catalog? I'm not sure the best way to get my RAW photos to/from my iPad. It also could be possible that a photo hits my ipad before being fully imported into my main catalog vs everything imported into catalog and picking a photo or a few to edit on ipad.

Of course it gets more complicated if I've imported a set of photos and maybe it would be nice to cull/select photos from ipad. Hmmm!

It depends where you want to store your raw files - iPad, Adobe Cloud or home computer - or a combination of the three.

I limit my use of the expensive iPad and Cloud storage by using the ipad for initial culling and viewing new images then copy the files over wifi from ipad to computer - import into Lightroom and sync the small smart previews to the Adobe Cloud and back to the ipad. At that point I can make changes on any device and the changes will replicate between devices via the cloud.

Another method would be to use the Adobe Cloud for storing full size raw files. You can import the raw files into Lightroom using the iPad and they will automatically replicate to the cloud (and be available from any device).

 Greybeard2017's gear list:Greybeard2017's gear list
Fujifilm X-T3 Fujifilm X-T30
John_Hoffman
John_Hoffman Senior Member • Posts: 1,801
Re: Laptop broke. Can iPad Pro work as my photography tool?

Ken Gosden wrote:

John_Hoffman wrote:

If you go to YouTube there are many videos available of the topic. Different conclusions based on exactly what folks want to achieve.

If your laptop is your only computer I would say the answer is likely "No" for the following reasons:

1. Photoshop on iPad is currently very limited compared to desktop version. There is a relatively inexpensive iOS program called Affinity photo which intended to function like PS. I don't use either so I have no input on that.

2. LR on the iPad is a cloud product. Not the same capability as the desktop version of Lightroom Classic and no printing capability. It also requires that all your original files be stored in the cloud. There is a desktop product called Lightroom.

Not true. I use Lightroom on my iPad pro and have no cloud storage. The cloud is really only needed if you want to be able to sync your activities between multiple editing devices.

3. Screen sharing requires an Apple TV device.

If you also have a desktop PC and your laptop was for travel there is a way to link the iPad to the desktop. I won't go into that now until I learn more about your situation.

That only works if your iPad has enough room to store all your images.

I also believe that the free version, without cloud storage, has a more limited tool set and doesn’t have raw file processing capability. Is this correct?

-- hide signature --

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

 John_Hoffman's gear list:John_Hoffman's gear list
Canon EOS-1D X Mark III Canon EF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II +2 more
John_Hoffman
John_Hoffman Senior Member • Posts: 1,801
Re: Laptop broke. Can iPad Pro work as my photography tool?

Kaitlyn wrote:

Ken Gosden wrote:

John_Hoffman wrote:

If you go to YouTube there are many videos available of the topic. Different conclusions based on exactly what folks want to achieve.

If your laptop is your only computer I would say the answer is likely "No" for the following reasons:

1. Photoshop on iPad is currently very limited compared to desktop version. There is a relatively inexpensive iOS program called Affinity photo which intended to function like PS. I don't use either so I have no input on that.

2. LR on the iPad is a cloud product. Not the same capability as the desktop version of Lightroom Classic and no printing capability. It also requires that all your original files be stored in the cloud. There is a desktop product called Lightroom.

Not true. I use Lightroom on my iPad pro and have no cloud storage. The cloud is really only needed if you want to be able to sync your activities between multiple editing devices.

3. Screen sharing requires an Apple TV device.

If you also have a desktop PC and your laptop was for travel there is a way to link the iPad to the desktop. I won't go into that now until I learn more about your situation.

I've seen a few workflow outlines but it seems they're at least somewhat outdated.

Do you still have a main computer with your catalog? I'm not sure the best way to get my RAW photos to/from my iPad. It also could be possible that a photo hits my ipad before being fully imported into my main catalog vs everything imported into catalog and picking a photo or a few to edit on ipad.

Of course it gets more complicated if I've imported a set of photos and maybe it would be nice to cull/select photos from ipad. Hmmm!

I do have a desktop PC with Lightroom Classic. That is my main LR workflow system.

If I am going to travel and I want to be able to edit, on the road, images that are on my PC, I create a collection in LR and add the desired images to the collection. LR will sync smart previews to the cloud and I can access and edit them on the iPad. Any edits are synced back to the PC. This is not a requirement if you don't want to edit existing images.

Here's an article on one approach:

https://nicolesyblog.com/2019/01/22/lr-cc-travel/

-- hide signature --

John Hoffman
Conway, NH

 John_Hoffman's gear list:John_Hoffman's gear list
Canon EOS-1D X Mark III Canon EF 100mm F2.8L Macro IS USM Canon EF 8-15mm f/4L Fisheye USM Canon EF 16-35mm F4L IS USM Canon EF 100-400mm F4.5-5.6L IS II +2 more
seeblue Senior Member • Posts: 1,755
Re: Laptop broke. Can iPad Pro work as my photography tool?

You can also connect an iPad to a TV using an Apple Lightning to Digital AV Adapter or USB-C Digital Multiport Adapter (depending on Lightning or USB-C iPad).

There’s an iPad workflow that could work for you in conjunction with your desktop. My concern would be user flexibility. If you’ve never used iOS, there will be a significant learning curve and change to how things are done. You’ll have to be open-minded.

There’s no GPS chip for navigation/positioning in a Wi-Fi iPad, so while you can use it with maps, unless you’re connected to Wi-Fi or have a cellular iPad, it won’t tell you where you are located.

For casual use, the smaller Pro model is fine. The 2017 iPad Pro is still a solid device, if you can find one.

Tom_N Forum Pro • Posts: 17,799
Re: Laptop broke. Can iPad Pro work as my photography tool?

Kaitlyn wrote:

One thing I wonder/worry about is displaying content on my TV. I would use Chrome on my laptop, or channel apps to Cast to my NVidia Shield. I have no apple airplay receiver. Will I not be able to Cast from iPad pro?

Is this what you mean by "Cast"?

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/video-tv-cast-chromecast/id907405413

G1 User Regular Member • Posts: 226
Re: Laptop broke. Can iPad Pro work as my photography tool?
1

Tom_N wrote:

Kaitlyn wrote:

One thing I wonder/worry about is displaying content on my TV. I would use Chrome on my laptop, or channel apps to Cast to my NVidia Shield. I have no apple airplay receiver. Will I not be able to Cast from iPad pro?

Is this what you mean by "Cast"?

https://apps.apple.com/us/app/video-tv-cast-chromecast/id907405413

Another possibly, there are a number of new 4K TVs that supports Airplay. We use that on our LG OLED, and the images looks great! You can also look for a compatible USB-C to HDMI adapter.

Mfcrisis Regular Member • Posts: 275
Re: Laptop broke. Can iPad Pro work as my photography tool?

Do you really need raw pics?  I used to shoot raw and process in Capture One... but I find I get just as good results with jpegs edited on my iPad Pro. Do a test - edit and render a set of raw pics on your PC. Edit the same pics on your iPad and  compare.

If you really want to edit raw pics on your iPad, RawPower is awesome and just keeps getting better.

Workflow is a bit challenging- still a work in progress.  But the iPad is fantastic for culling pics - I can go through 2-300 pics and cull 80% in an hour.

Cheers, Nic

 Mfcrisis's gear list:Mfcrisis's gear list
Sony FE 70-200 F4 Rokinon 21mm F1.4 Tamron 28-75mm F2.8 III Tamron 17-28mm F2.8 Di III RXD +1 more
Jeff Peterson Regular Member • Posts: 193
Re: Laptop broke. Can iPad Pro work as my photography tool?
1

My 2 cents, I am a big fan of the ipad pro have the 2018 version with 1 gig of storage and bought it to do my workflow.  Love to edit on it using lightroom and affinity pro, but after working with it for a couple of months, I went back to a laptop as my primary travel system.  Essentially the workflow is just not easy enough to do at the present time.  I shoot with a Nikon d850 and D810 and for paid gigs I usually download to the ipad and an external drive.  This just takes too long on the ipad and makes it a deal breaker.  Still love the ipad and use it situationally, but my lenova 940 laptop is about the same size as the ipad witht the keyboard and works better for managing the images.  I use a samsung usb c external drive and all works good.

e268 Senior Member • Posts: 1,671
Re: Laptop broke. Can iPad Pro work as my photography tool?

I have not used my laptop since I purchased the ipad pro 10.5 in 2017.  I purchased the inexpensive Affinity Photo which is great to use on the touch screen.  Since I use Fuji X-E3, and ipad pro cannot process the raw files, I use LR lite to process raw and send it to Affinity Photo for further processing, and if the jpeg is good enough, I just use the LR lite (new version has a lot more features).  BTW, I use ipad local storage and store all my files, but also back them up on my desktop.

 e268's gear list:e268's gear list
Fujifilm X-E3 Fujifilm XF 35mm F1.4 R Fujifilm XF 60mm F2.4 R Macro Fujifilm XF 18-55mm F2.8-4 R LM OIS Fujifilm XF 55-200mm F3.5-4.8 R LM OIS +2 more
uniball Senior Member • Posts: 2,275
Re: Laptop broke. Can iPad Pro work as my photography tool?

I use a 128gb iPad 6 (9.7”) for photography. Use LR CC and PS. Delighted with it. If you’re driven to a Pro by Adobe's marketing, it’s not the only solution. The 6 is plenty quick enough. The Lightning port works just fine (I injest directly to the CC folder in iCloud Drive using the Files app). 
I travel 4 to 6 months a year. Been doing it for over 20 years. Haven’t dragged a laptop along since the iPad I was introduced. With iPadOS, the iPad is a near equivalent to a laptop. I frequently am at my desk, push the keyboard to my Mac away and do my normal computer work on the iPad. iCloud Drive has my Desktop and Documents folder on it. So it’s always up to date and available on the 5 Apple devices I use.

That I know of, there are good workflow write-ups on DPR (but maybe not this forum), MacRumors and the m43 forum. Avoid sites/blogs with buy me links splattered all over the place. The write ups are generally poor, at best. 
Good luck.

Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads