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We reviewed three of the more popular 'pocket printers,' the Canon Ivy, Fujifilm Instax Share and Polaroid ZIP. Here's the one we recommend...
Note: this article is not intended to be a review of the Apple iPad 2 but instead to establish whether or not the iPad, and devices like it, have the potential to become serious tools for working and enthusiast photographers. Obviously there are other tablet computers available, but we chose to focus on the iPad 2 for two main reasons. Firstly, the iPad is by far the most popular device of its type and therefore has the most relevance. Secondly, Apple's App Store is currently the largest available for any platform, containing almost 4,000 photography-related applications.
A casual visitor (if such people even exist) to this year's Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas could be forgiven for thinking that tablet computers were the only consumer products that anyone released in 2010. A little over a year ago, hardly anyone was talking about tablets, but now it seems like virtually every major electronics manufacturer is rushing to get one to market.
In fact, tablet computers, mostly running modified versions of Microsoft Windows, have been around for years, but until very recently they only accounted for a tiny proportion of the consumer computing market. There are many reasons why 'traditional' tablets didn't take off, amongst them the fact that it is difficult to tweak desktop operating systems to work well on mobile devices. Add 'ugly and expensive' into the mix in most cases and in retrospect it is clear why tablets never achieved mainstream acceptance amongst consumers. As far as photographers are concerned, although the concept of a small form-factor, 'all in one' computer will always be hugely appealing they never took to tablet computers en masse, preferring dedicated portable viewing/storage devices or conventional laptop computers when travelling or working in the field.
However - as the expression goes - that was then, and this is now. With the launch of Apple's iPad in spring 2010, the tablet computer was reborn and with it, our expectations of what it is possible to achieve with a mobile device. Derided by some critics at the time as little more than a scaled-up iPhone with many of the same limitations (and a stupid name to boot), the iPad confounded the naysayers to become one of the fastest-selling consumer electronic devices in history.
Essentially, what distinguishes the Apple iPad from other, 'traditional' tablet devices is exactly what it was criticized for when it was launched. The iPad is not really what most people think of as a computer in the traditional sense. It isn't exactly a scaled-up iPhone, but it isn't far off. Available in three capacities, 16GB, 32GB and 64GB, the iPad runs the same touchscreen-based operating system as the iPhone and iPod touch and shares much the same styling and operational ergonomics. Considering its specification, it is relatively inexpensive, too. The basic 16GB, WiFi-only iPad 2 retails for $499.
|The iPad 2 is 9mm thick, and weighs 1.3 pounds (590g). Starting at $499 it is considerably less expensive than any laptop computer approaching its size and weight, but boasts 512MB RAM and a 1GHz dual core processor.|
Applications for the iPad can be downloaded using the device itself or online, from Apple's App Store - again, just like the iPhone - and it is synchronized and charged using the same type of (proprietary) connector cable. The first iPad was released in April last year and its successor, the iPad 2 (hereafter simply referred to as iPad), features improved graphics performance and an upgraded dual core processor in a slimmer, lighter form factor. It also features a camera, but don't get your hopes up on that score...
The iPad 2 has two cameras - one front-facing, and one rear-facing. Neither is suitable for serious still photography. The front-facing camera is designed purely for video conferencing, and the rear camera's resolution of 0.7MP makes it suitable only for recording videos. Still photography with the rear camera is possible, but the low resolution makes it almost useless for anything other than visual note-taking. The camera of the iPhone 4 is far superior, although interestingly, the iPad 2 copes far better with the artificial light in our studio scene (see example below). In daylight, the iPhone 4's camera delivers much more natural color rendition than this.
|iPad2 (0.7MP)||iPhone 4 (5.0MP)|
Since the first iPad was launched, Apple has released several updates to enable amongst other things, limited multi-tasking, the ability to print images and documents wirelessly from the iPad, and wireless home media streaming. Amongst a growing range of accessories, Apple also produces an HDMI adapter which allows the iPad's screen to be mirrored on a larger display, and a 'Camera Connection Kit' which allows you to download images from either an SD card or your camera, directly to the iPad's photo library.
On paper then, the iPad has the potential to be a fairly powerful tool for photographers. It is small, lightweight and powerful, it features a large, high-resolution LCD screen and 10+ hours battery life. But can it really replace a laptop computer for the travelling photographer? Read on to find out...
As we've seen, the Apple iPad 2's built-in camera isn't suitable for serious photography. Core to the iPad's photographic potential is the Apple Camera Connection Kit. The kit itself is fairly basic, and consists of two adapters for the iPads's connector port, one to attach an SD card, and the other a standard USB port. Despite appearances, the USB adapter is only designed to connect the iPad to a digital camera (or iPhone). Other devices are not supported, and sadly as well as USB 'sticks', this also includes other types of card reader. Although we have seen reports that certain CF readers do work with the Camera Connection Kit, we haven't had any luck. What this means is that if your camera takes Compact Flash or other media, you'll probably have to physically attach it to your iPad using the USB connector (see below).
|The Camera Connection Kit consists of two adapters, one to connect a digital camera via USB (left) and one to connect an SD card (right)||With an SD card or camera connected, the iPad's Photo app is automatically launched, from where you can select images to import, either as a batch, or individually.|
Using the Camera Connector kit is extremely easy. With a memory card inserted into the SD adapter, or when your camera is connected (and turned on) via the USB adapter, Apple's Photo app is launched automatically, and brings up thumbnails of all the images on the card/camera. If you want to import everything you can select all of the images as a batch, or if you prefer, it is also possible to manually check individual images. Before importing, Photo will ask you whether you want to keep the selected the images on your memory card or delete them after they are imported, and once the import is complete, images appear in the iPad's photo library.
Original RAW files are not displayed, but the iPad will recognise and display their accompanying (low resolution) JPEG thumbnails. Interestingly, if you use Apple Aperture or Photoshop Lightroom, you can import and adjust RAW files uploaded to the iPad's Photo library when the device is connected to your computer.
|Apple iPad 2 MC769LL/A 9.7-Inch 16GB (Black) 1395 - (Refurbished)||$89.95||Shop now|
|Apple iPad 2 MC769LL/A - 16GB - 2nd Generation (Black) - Tablet with Skin (Refurbished)||$119.99||Shop now|
|Apple iPad (Wi-Fi, 32GB) - Space Gray (Latest Model)||$279.99||Shop now|
|Apple iPad Air 2, 64 GB, Space Gray, (Refurbished)||$221.89||Shop now|
|Apple iPad 3 Retina Display Tablet 32GB, Wi-Fi, Black (Refurbished)||$125.00||Shop now|
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Following testing of the Panasonic Lumix DC-LX100 II, we've added it to our Pocketable Enthusiast Compact Cameras buying guide as joint-winner, alongside Sony's Cyber-shot RX100 VA.
If you're looking for a high-quality camera, you don't need to spend a ton of cash, nor do you need to buy the latest and greatest new product on the market. In our latest buying guide we've selected some cameras that while they're a bit older, still offer a lot of bang for the buck.
What's the best camera for under $500? These entry level cameras should be easy to use, offer good image quality and easily connect with a smartphone for sharing. In this buying guide we've rounded up all the current interchangeable lens cameras costing less than $500 and recommended the best.
Whether you've grown tired of what came with your DSLR, or want to start photographing different subjects, a new lens is probably in order. We've selected our favorite lenses for Sony mirrorlses cameras in several categories to make your decisions easier.
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Swiss lens manufacturer Irix has announced it's expanding its product lineup into the Japanese market.
Full-frame cameras get a lot of attention lately, but Technical Editor Richard Butler thinks that APS-C makes the most sense for a lot of people – and there's just one company consistently giving the format the support it deserves.
The 12th International Garden Photographer of the Year winners have been announced. We've gathered the top photos from each category and rounded them up into a slideshow.
Kosmo Foto has announced the release and opened pre-orders for its new Mono 120 black-and-white film.
Uber software engineer Phillip Wang has created a website that shows a portrait of a person that doesn't actually exist by using AI to merge multiple faces together.
The Atomos Shinobi is a compact, lightweight monitor that features the same display found inside the much more expensive Ninja 5 monitor/recorder.
Want to know more about the Canon EOS RP? Dying to ask a question that hasn't been addressed anywhere else online? Join the editors of DPReview for a live Q&A about this new camera next Tuesday, Feb. 19 on our YouTube channel. Click through for details.
Got a couple of minutes? Then you have all the time you need to learn about Canon's second full-frame mirrorless camera body – and why it's a compelling option for someone stepping into full-frame for the first time.
NASA's Curiosity rover captures a 360 panorama from its Vera Rubin Ridge 'Rock Hall' drill site before moving on to greener...er...redder pastures.
Xiaomi's new flagship Android smartphone is expected to be launched on February 24 at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
A quick glance at the spec sheet doesn't make the Canon EOS RP look that exciting. But having shot with it, we've become oddly fond of this little full framer.
Pixelmator Pro has received an update with new and improved features, including support for Portrait Masks with images captured by the iPhone's Portrait Mode.
Alongside the EOS RP, Canon showed us mockups of the six lenses it says are in development for 2019. There's a distinct high-end flavor to the options in the works.
The new X-T30 may not be Fujifilm's flagship model, but it arrives with some very impressive features and specifications. Chris and Jordan have been shooting it for a few days and share their first impressions, along with a look at an iconic new building in their hometown of Calgary.
We don't often get excited about $900 cameras, but the Fujifilm X-T30 has really impressed us thus far. Find out what's new, what it's like to use and how it compares to its peers in our review in progress.
The Fujifilm X-T30 is equipped with the same 26.1MP X-Trans sensor and X-Processor 4 Quad Core CPU as the X-T3, along with some autofocus improvements. The new camera arrives in March for $900 body-only.
Fujifilm's new XF 16mm F2.8 R WR is a compact, weather-resistant lens that weighs just 155g/5.5oz. It'll be available starting in March for $399.
Fujifilm's XF 16mm F2.8 is one of the widest lenses in the company's lineup of compact primes for its X-series interchangeable lens cameras. We've been up and down the streets of snowy Seattle - a rare sight - to see just what our pre-production copy of this petite prime is capable of.
Firmware version 2.00 brings two new shooting modes and one new setting to its X-T100 and X-A5 camera systems.
Fujifilm has announced its upcoming rugged point-and-shoot, the FinePix XP140.
Get a closer look at Canon's second full-frame mirrorless body and its unique combination of features, capability and price point.
Canon has unveiled its second full-frame mirrorless camera: the entry-level EOS RP. Touting its compact size and approachability for beginners, the RP uses a 26.2MP sensor and will sell for $1300 body-only this March.
A pre-launch event gave us a chance to shoot a sample gallery to show what sort of image quality you can expect from the least-expensive digital full frame camera ever launched.
Nikon has taken the wraps off a new standard zoom lens for mirrorless, the Z 24-70mm F2.8 Z. The new 24-70mm has been on Nikon's Z-series roadmap since the mount was announced last August, and it will ship in spring for $2299.
Canon has announced the development of six RF lenses, including the incredibly compact RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM, two variations of an RF 85mm F1.2L USM, plus a 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM, 15-35mm F2.8L IS USM and 24-240mm F4-6.3 IS USM.
Nikon has announced more details of firmware in development for the Z6 and Z7. As previously reported, firmware is being planned that will add Eye-detection AF, CFexpress support and Raw video over HDMI.
Tripod manufacturer Three Legged Thing has developed a new L-bracket designed to fit a wider range of cameras and allow users to mount their camera in a variety of ways.
Some user information, including names, usernames and email addresses was compromised in the incident.
The FAA has announced drones will soon need aerial license plates of sorts to fly their UAVs in the United States.
The new Galaxy S10 front camera will adopt several technologies that are already commonplace on many smartphone main cameras.