Can the iPad really do it all?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Darmok N Jalad, Apr 30, 2018.

  1. Darmok N Jalad macrumors 65816

    Darmok N Jalad

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    #1
    I've seen a few YouTube bloggers using the iPad Pro to work with RAW shots, which the iPad seemingly handled with ease. Even scrolling large libraries in LR CC looked impressive. I was curious if anyone here could weigh in, and if the tools on iPad are as good as what you might get in a desktop situation. I've tried using LR CC to edit RAW on my iPhone 6S, and I was surprised at how responsive it was. What I couldn't tell was how good the results were, as editing a photo on a 4.7" screen is a fairly painful experience. How feasible would going "iPad only" be for a hobbyist photographer? If so, what apps would you recommend? How powerful of an iPad would be required? (the 2017 128GB iPads are pretty cheap right now.)

    Sorry if I'm beating a dead horse here. I searched the forum, but it didn't produce anything recent. Usually it isn't until I post a thread that the "Similar Threads" produces the hits I was looking for! o_O
     
  2. The Bad Guy macrumors 65816

    The Bad Guy

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  3. robgendreau macrumors 68040

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    #3
    You can do some wonderful adjusting on individual images, sometimes even more effectively than a with a mouse on a desktop if you use the Pencil on an iPP. Especially for local adjustments. Or say stuff in Affinity Photo, which is fantastic.

    But: file management, especially with raw files, can be a headache. Even more so if you're used to heavy use of metadata like hierarchical keywords or Photo Mechanic. I find it's harder to cull a large number of images. Harder to backup; kinda gotta use the cloud. Hard to share large numbers of photos at once. Hard to work with lots of images at once, even say brackets or stacks, depending on the app used.

    Frankly, I'd be at a loss without a macOS device in addition to the iPad.

    I like Lr CC though. And Affinity. And Snapseed. If there's one image I wanna mess with a lot (or, since the gamut on my iPad is dci-p3 and my Mac isn't, kinda nice to proof it there esp for greens) I send it to the iPad, often via Lr Classic.
     
  4. mofunk macrumors 68020

    mofunk

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    #4
    I haven't really used LR CC on my iPP yet. One thing thats stopping me is that I like editing on a 15in screen. I will have to play with it more to decide. My images would me huge to move from camera to iPad. I was thinking that I would use the setup on a photoshoot.
     
  5. Darmok N Jalad thread starter macrumors 65816

    Darmok N Jalad

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    #5
    Thanks. I figured in a heavy/professional workload, the iPad limitations could get overwhelming. I was looking for opinions of people who may have tried to use an iPad in lesser workloads and could share their experiences. Do you find the performance to be pretty good?
     
  6. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    #6
    Hobbyist and kit addict here. I gave up on iPad. To answer your key query, performance is fine on individual files. The frustration begins with your wider workflow in exactly the way has been commented above.

    You mentioned pros as having heavy workload lol... I am still crap so I come back with more images than a pro hoping for a keeper - needle, haystack time. So even though I am an amateur, I still have to wade through hundreds of files culling each time I go out.

    For me, a big screen is essential. While the likes of Snapseed and LR mobile are good, I only use them for those times I am desperate to edit a file when on the move OR when I am away from home and havent brought my MBP with me. I.e. usually a last resort. There are people who are happy going iPad only but it just isnt for me.

    I cant stand the iOS environment for my normal day job which is all cloud services and MS Office nevermind as my committed editing solution. :)

    Having said all this, I am in my *ahem* 40s so I am not wired like a millenial so depending on where you are on your chronological journey, YMMV...
     
  7. Mark0 macrumors 6502

    Mark0

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  8. Darmok N Jalad thread starter macrumors 65816

    Darmok N Jalad

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    #8
    I just hit the big four-oh recently, but I’ve always been on the the techy side of things. However, these days I have less time for that, so I’m usually looking for simple. I already have a 5K iMac, so it’s not likely I’d give it up for an iPP any time soon. I guess it is nice to see that the iPad is actually capable, but so far from comments, it sounds like it’s still more for the emergency use case.
     
  9. kenoh macrumors demi-god

    kenoh

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    #9

    Yeah I think so. It is a lightweight mobile solution at best (I know that is exactly what it is but you know what I mean :) ).

    I think performance wise I read that the first generation iPP was as powerful number-crunching-wise as a 2010 Mac Pro. Just to comfort myself that I am not dreaming...

    https://9to5mac.com/2017/06/14/ipad-pro-versus-macbook-pro-speed-tests/

    So performance not necessarily an issue. Just the other bits of the end to end process that get clunky with the iPP.
     
  10. Donka macrumors 68030

    Donka

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    #10
    In my experience, the iPad Pro is certainly capable of doing it all but I wouldn't choose it as my primary device for this purpose. As an amateur, I always dump all my images from my camera to my iPad when I am on vacation so I have a backup. When I have some downtime, I will go through the images and do a quick cull - Photos on iOS is lacking in a few features compared to the Mac but I have found tapping the favourite icon for any images I want to reject is a quick way of marking them for deletion. Once complete, I just go into the Favourites album and delete all. I then move the remaining images into their own album.
    Photos is capable of the basics when editing but I find Pixelmator and Snapseed excellent apps for going a lot further. Affinity Photo is an amazing app when you want to do some more serious editing/manipulation on the iPad and the Pencil, if you use one, allows for a greater accuracy when using the likes of brushes.
    The biggest gap for me is still with managing multiple images and specifically when exporting multiple images. Photogene was a superb iOS app in this regard but it has been deprecated and not maintained for a few years and no longer works on recent iOS versions. It would allow you to batch process and export multiple images and was a genuinely powerful tool which I miss.
    OneEdit is an alternative app that will let you batch process images - it doesn't feature extensive editing options but it covers a lot of batch options such as resizing, cropping, watermarks and also has a large list of filters that can be selected. The only issue I have found is subtle artefacts in the final output that for me means it can't be used for serious work.

    While the above lets me organise, edit and share images on the go, I typically still import all the images into Photos on the Mac when I get home and perform the same cull. I already have a good idea of what I am rejecting having done it on the iPad but it helps to see it on the bigger screen at home. I don't necessarily do much editing on the Mac because I already have some editing images on the iPad which I can print or share. I would typically save batch exporting of images on the Mac though purely for the convenience it offers over the iPad.

    As an FYI, I shot a friends Anniversary party for them and did all the editing and sharing on the iPad and they were thrilled with the images so it is more than capable - for the most part though I find it a great compliment to the Mac as opposed to a primary machine.
     
  11. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

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    #11
    Troglodyte here.
    I need a file system and a keyboard (look at the avatar!)...
     
  12. Apple OC macrumors 68040

    Apple OC

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  13. Darmok N Jalad thread starter macrumors 65816

    Darmok N Jalad

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    #13
    Thanks, all. I recently bought one of the 2018 iPads. I’m gonna give it a try and see how my results compare to desktop work in the coming weeks. I’m sure my 2017 5K iMac will still be the preferred choice, but I can’t exactly take that with me on vacations. I think I’d rather have a more powerful desktop and an iPad versus a MBP, as I just have a hard time traveling around with such an expensive device out of the fear of loss/damage.
     
  14. seadragon Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #14
    I'll throw my 2 cents in...

    Short answer... Yes, the iPad Pro can do it all (for me)

    Not so short answer...

    I own a 2009 Mac Pro, 2010 MacBook Pro, a 2016 (1st gen) 9.7 iPad Pro and a 2017 (2nd gen) 12.9 iPad Pro.

    As you can see, my Mac computers are quite old. I used to bring my MBP with me on vacation and use it to store and process my raw files from my camera. However, ever since getting my 12.9 inch iPad Pro, I've left the MBP at home. I was all set to buy the redesigned MBP in 2016 but decided not to bother after all of the problems people have had with the butterfly keyboards on the newer models. I've been using my iPad Pro for almost all my portable computing needs instead.

    I've had an Adobe subscription for the photography plan (Lightroom & Photoshop) for a few years now. I use Lightroom on the iPad almost exclusively now, and sometimes the Mac Pro but not nearly as much as I used to.

    Here's my workflow...

    I upload the photos/videos from the SD card directly to the iPad via the SD card reader accessory. This brings the photos and videos into the Photos app to a folder I created called "originals". Photos then synchronizes with iCloud so that my content is backed up to the cloud. I consider this my backup when on the road.

    I will then import the "keeper" photos into Lightroom on the iPad which in turn backs up to Adobe's creative cloud. I process the photos on the iPad which works just fine for me. The Apple Pencil is a great tool to use for this. Then, when the photos are processed, I will export them out as JPGs to a specific "final output" folder in the Photos app.

    When I get home, my photos are available both in the Photos app for Mac and Lightroom is fully synchronized with all the edits I made.

    Once home, I will then go through the Photos app and delete the raw files from the iPad to free up space.

    This whole process works extremely well for me. The iPad Pro has proven to be an extremely useful tool and I find myself using it all the time.

    Ideally, I would like to be able to import from the SD card directly into Lightroom and skip the mandatory import into Photos. Maybe someday that will be possible. But I can live with the way it works for now.

    So in the end, I use my iPad Pro for 90% of my photo processing now. I take only my iPad with me on vacation and have not missed using the MBP.
     
  15. Darmok N Jalad thread starter macrumors 65816

    Darmok N Jalad

    Joined:
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    Tanagra
    #15
    Thanks for the detailed input. I have an iMac that is great for LR work, but I can’t that that with me on trips, so having a means to work with (and backup) your photos seems like a great option to have. I just have the base 2018 iPad, but I’m impressed with the responsiveness of it for handling 20MP RAW. I’m not a CC subscriber, so I don’t have the cloud sync going for me.

    Would it be possible to import the photos through the “Files” app, or can it not see SD cards through an adapter?
     
  16. nathanjbrown macrumors 6502

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    Boston, MA
    #16
    I appreciate you sharing this. I've got a question: I recently went on a long trip. At the end of each day, I transferred photos (RAW) from the DSLR to my iPad Pro via the SD Card Lightning adapter. It was great! I was able to review photos, make simple edits, share with friends, etc. Then, when I got home from my trip, I plugged the same SD card into my Mac and imported all photos into Apple Photos. Unfortunately, with iCloud Photo Library, I inadvertently created duplicates of all 2500+ photos. I suppose the assumption I was making was that iCloud would recognize filenames and manage them appropriately. That didn't happen. Instead, I now have a library with "(1)" at the end of each duplicate photo.

    Do you have any suggestions for me? How might I go about changing my workflow to avoid this in the future?

    Thanks!
    Nathan
     
  17. seadragon Contributor

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #17
    Unfortunately, the Files app doesn't see the SD card. That would be great and I see no technical reason why this can't be. I think it's just Apple being Apple.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 6, 2018 ---
    My only suggestion would be to only import new photos into the Photos app once. So, if you import the photos into your iPad, then you don't need to import them into your computer and vice-versa. No matter where you import them, they will synchronize across all devices. This assumes you have your devices set to sync to iCloud automatically of course.
     

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