Apple Tablet for Photography

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Grimace, Oct 4, 2009.

  1. Grimace macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    Hey photog gang, 'hope you are all doing well.

    I had the privilege of seeing "an" Apple tablet prototype - I don't know if it is "the" tablet, as according to its owner, there have been many prototypes over the past few years. It was slick and sleek, but didn't have any fantastic crazy features - just a version of OS X that I didn't recognize (definitely not the iPhone OS).

    Also according to its owner, it hasn't been released because Apple has had trouble finding the right audience. It has always had niche groups like doctors, teachers, etc. - but there was no compelling mass-audience functionality that would drive people to buy it over a small laptop. Without apps and developers, it has been designed toward driving "new" print media -- my guess is the partnership that TIME magazine is developing now with magazines like National Geographic and other content-rich providers. That part is pure speculation on my part, and I am getting off my own topic!

    Anyway, to my point - it did have integrated iTunes/iPhoto and it seemed geared toward multimedia display and storage. Think Surface, but obviously much smaller. The photo manipulation and display was absolutely stunning (eye candy to say the least!)

    Would you consider something like this for storing photographs at a shoot, or for bringing along family photos when traveling? WiFi was inside, so my guess is that with a wireless adapter for a camera or with one of the EyeFi SD cards, a photog could stream the photos right onto the tablet.

    I might be more inclined to drink the Kool-aid than most, so maybe I am biased in saying that I think it would be "fun" (but not necessary) to have such a device with me on a shoot. An extra backup for memory cards, plus an instant way to show/display photos does have its appeal.

    Would a device like this impact your photography work, and would you be inclined to buy it? (I have no idea on pricing but I would guess sub-$1000.)
  2. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Hmm, I wont bring it during shoots that for sure, the last thing I want is my photographing subject to kept asking to see the photos on a bigger screen :)

    Now what do I think the idea of a tablet for photography, I find it has certain uses, one of it is it will be easier to use certain photoshop functions, another is if Apple made the tablet able to function as a 2nd mini display monitor, I would really dig it, I would love to throw some of Aperture HUD panels into that monitor and not to mention Photoshop and Illustrator too :D
  3. Grimace thread starter macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    Thanks wheelhot,

    I'm on the fence as to wether this would help a software title like photoshop or be an annoyance. I don't imagine most software companies would re-write or enhance a version that would be optimized for a touch-based tablet. Who knows, it may just turn into a "hobby" experiment like Steve Jobs said of the AppleTV. I suppose it could run some iPhone/Touch apps too, if they scaled properly. That would be fun, but it still is appealing to very fragmented niche audiences.
  4. Ruahrc macrumors 65816

    Jun 9, 2009
    I think this is one of the problems with a tablet PC concept in general. It fits very well into a few niche markets, but the format is often a stretch for the general market. Therefore, it becomes a tough justification economically to design and sell such a device if only a few specialists are really going to benefit from it.

    Anyways, if there were a tablet like device that served as a photo downloader it would have appeal for me. If it had a good sized storage such that you could download your photos onto it while on a trip, and have a decently-sized screen and processing power with which to cull/tag/edit (on a basic level at least) photos, especially in RAW format, this would be a neat device I think. Because it would be much more compact than a laptop thus one would not need to drag their laptop with them on a photo trip, but still give them some way to download and store backups of their pictures while doing some of the initial post-processing workflow while "in the field". Indeed a vision of an ideal computing setup I have now is exchanging my MBP for an iMac and then supplementing with a tablet which can be used for light browsing, etc. when I take it with me on a trip. If the trip is for photography, to bring along the compact tablet and use it to download photos onto means I would not need a laptop.

    Being able to download wirelessly to said tablet via Eye-fi type device would not be very useful to me as I mainly shoot outdoors and would not want to carry the device with me. I also don't shoot for clients thus there is nobody to show them to. Again here's the specialty vs. mass market thing again. Most shooters aren't professional and don't have clients to show their photos to right away. Therefore something like this would be great for a pro but how many general users would this appeal to? I'm not too sure how useful such a facility might be useful other than in a studio environment but then in a studio environment I'm not sure there is a lot of justification for a tablet as opposed to just a laptop. Perhaps a wedding shooter would like something like this, where it could be a smaller and more easily passed-around device that could show photos as the photographer takes them. The tablet gets passed around the tables amongst the guests who can see in real time photos of the wedding as seen by the photographer. As opposed to say having a similar setup with a laptop which might be too ungainly to pass around, and thus would have to be set up in a corner or something. However without any ability to edit or cull this might not be an idea solution either.

    edit: I should say though that the Eye-fi implementation onto said tablet is really trivial to argue though since a tablet would absolutely have a wireless built in anyways, thus implementation of "photo streaming" type concepts is just up to software.

    Just my thoughts.
  5. anubis macrumors 6502a

    Feb 7, 2003
    The only possible use I would have would be to bring it with me on shoots and use an Eye-Fi type connection to stream the photos to it for higher storage capacity than CF cards and preview the photos on a much larger screen than the one built into the camera. For the most part, I think it would get in the way and I would not purchase one. Different strokes ;)
  6. wheelhot macrumors 68020

    Nov 23, 2007
    Oh and I forgot bout the iPhone app thing, well I think it will be hard to scale the apps to be bigger due to some 3rd party app design constraint, but I dont mind if they implement it in a way that iPhone apps turned out to be some sort of touch widgets on the tablet (and the size is well the same as the current iPhone apps) :D
  7. FrankieTDouglas macrumors 65816

    Mar 10, 2005
    Maybe if it doubled as a Wacom-type device, similar to their Cintiq. But just to be a device for viewing images? I don't know. If I'm on a shoot and needing to see my images as I shoot, I'm working tethered. Can a tablet keep up with that? Will I be able to prop it up easily, either on a tripod or a table without having to stand directly over it to view things (either in Bridge or CaptureOne)?
  8. Marx55 macrumors 68000

    Jan 1, 2005
    Then, please post a drawing of the device. Even if you do not draw well, that is much better than words.

    BTW, you are not the first one:
  9. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    17" Apple laptop has worked for me since the g4 days.

    I move my 17" MBP almost every day in a bag, and iPhone goes into the pocket.

    Anything larger than iPhone would need a bag, so there is really no point for me to get another device unless it's got color e-ink or something like that and extremely thin.
  10. Grimace thread starter macrumors 68040


    Feb 17, 2003
    with Hamburglar.
    I'm not trying to be the first one or draw attention to myself -- otherwise I would have posted this in the general section and made some OMG!LoLz claims about how amazing it was.

    You can believe me or not; I'm not going to debate anyone on the matter. To protect its owner, I won't say much about its physique, but I can say that the relative size was accurate to recent reports (9-11 inches) but the finish (on this prototype) was not iPhone/iPod black or plastic.

    I've been posting regularly for years, have previously worked for Apple, and asked a specific question about niche appeal -- I'm not looking to have my name etched in stone. Read the front page today; the NYT "confirms" that tablets have been floated around since 2003 - and the killer app that would make it a success has been elusive.
  11. jrm27 macrumors 6502

    Jan 3, 2008
    I think it could be a really cool piece of hardware for tethering. Hook it up to a cmara with live view and it could be used for some really really accurate focusing and such.

    I also think it could be a great way to share/present a portfolio. Hook it up with a stylus and it's almost a cintique type tablet for photo editing. Could be cool.... but I'd definitely be intereted in what a tablet coudl be used for in photography.
  12. Phrasikleia macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2008
    Over there------->
    I can't imagine a purpose for which I would purchase such a device, but I can think a few scenarios in which it might be handy--if I already owned it for some other purpose and had some other reason for carrying it around.

    I don't ever shoot tethered, and I'm fine coming back to a laptop in my hotel room when traveling to check photos at the end of the day. I just don't see myself making room in my camera bag to carry a tablet computer around on a regular basis. Nor do I see myself taking the time to chimp on site with a big screen; a quick chimp on the 3" camera display is sufficient.

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