iPad in workflow?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by talmy, Jan 21, 2014.

  1. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #1
    Normally I travel with a notebook computer (currently a 15" MBP) on which I do some light photo editing and transfer files (via SCP and hotel's WiFi) to my home server overnight. Also normally (really always) I travel by car and carry all my gear. However I've got a trip by air coming up and am considering buying an iPad to take along. We've got a first generation iPad which is useless for this.

    Is the following doable? Have you done it?
    1. Shoot RAW
    2. Transfer to iPad using Camera Connection Kit.
    3. Preview and cull in iPhoto. (Probably forgo any photo editing as I use Aperture + Nik + Photomatix Pro.)
    4. Rely on Photo Stream to suck up the photos to iCloud.
    5. Run Aperture on my server at home to pull down the photos from iCloud photostream while I'm gone. These need to be the RAW images.

    Presumably I'll end up with the RAW images on the server. Let me put it this way -- I must end up with the RAW images on the server!

    Might not need that last step if there is no limitation on the number of photos held in Photo Stream. I know there is a 30 day limit but is there an image limit as well?
     
  2. Apple fanboy macrumors P6

    Apple fanboy

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    Feb 21, 2012
    Location:
    Behind the Lens, UK
    #2
    Would you get the RAW image through Photo Stream? I've always assumed it would be a compressed image.
     
  3. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #3
    • I'm not sure if PhotoStream can handle the RAW images properly.
    • PhotoStream is 30 days/1000 images.
    • PhotoStream is not a backup service. (Apple clearly states this in a couple of places.)
    • I wouldn't wipe the camera memory cards until I knew the photos were definitely safe on my Mac and also backed up.
    • If you're trying to save weight maybe a MacBook Air 13" might be a better option? And I say the 13" because it has a built in SD reader. And it would work with your current workflow.
    • And remember whatever method you do decide to go with, make sure you get the equipment with enough time to set it up and test it.
     
  4. BJMRamage macrumors 68020

    BJMRamage

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2007
    #4
    I am not sure RAW is doable on the iPad and probably NOT with Photostream.
    *You might be able to upload RAW but not really see it or see it well.

    My last trip (by air, with 4-year old and 9 month old, stroller, lots of stuff) I took along my MacBook Pro and the iPad. I uploaded all images when cards filled to the MBP. I looked through and thought of running some edits, or nixing obvious blurry ones but after a day at a Disney Park I didn't feel like much.

    I also bought extra cards before the trip and used them only once, (and still have the original RAW shots on the cards) I simply flipped the cards over to know which was used and which wasn't. Then by the end I had inserted the last 2 cards. when I got home I had all originals on the cards and RAW on the laptop.

    Not sure if something like Dropbox or Flickr or Box would allow uploading of RAW files.

    ***sorry I am not too helpful here.I had briefly thought about doing the upload through photo stream aspect but figured there'd be an unexpected hiccup and it might be something i didn't notice right away. having the cards only used once and keeping them seemed like a good alternative too.
     
  5. talmy thread starter macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #5
    So far it looks like my best bet is to see if the local Apple Store will let me use a iPad and Camera Connection Kit and I can see if it does transfer the RAW files to the Photo Stream.

    DropBox is an option assuming the images can be put in DropBox. I know I can use Hazel to move the pictures out of the DropBox at home, and then I could easily verify they were picked up because they would vanish from DropBox.

    I was going to use an SSH app to log into the home server and verify everything transferred (when on the road).

    Certainly lots of unanswered questions, made worse by the closed nature of iOS. As I said our current iPad is a 1st generation which is incapable of any of this, AFAIK. My wife has a 3 year old 11" MBA which could be used with my current flow, but an iPad is lighter and has a very compelling display.
     
  6. Bear macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2002
    Location:
    Sol III - Terra
    #6
    The Lightning to SD Card Camera Reader says that it does support RAW files. It however mentions nothing about PhotoStream.
     
  7. talmy thread starter macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #7
    I did some more searching and found this (somewhat confusing) thread: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1430721

    It would appear that as long as you shoot RAW (and not RAW + JPEG) the RAW file will go up, uptouched, in photostream. I guess from this thread that if you edit the image (in iPhoto) then the edited, JPEG image goes into the photostream and the RAW file doesn't. The thread also says that RAW files in the Photostream can only be viewed on a Mac -- they won't transfer to iOS devices.

    Sorta seems a bit iffy to me! I can certainly carry plenty of SD cards with me but I like to have images in two separate physical places. Actually in this case there will be three because the server backs up to CrashPlan.

    This will be an important personal trip for me. It's my aunt's 90th birthday, my last living relative of that generation. I haven't seen her or my (only) cousins for nearly 40 years! It's a Kodak Moment. :)
     
  8. jjk454ss macrumors 601

    jjk454ss

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #8
    I never shoot RAW photos, utt I will test this out tonight. I'll shoot with my NEX, RAW only, then try the lightning adapter to transfer the pic. Then I'll check the photo stream on my Mac and see what I have for an image.

    If I'm missing something your looking to know, just tell me.
     
  9. jjk454ss macrumors 601

    jjk454ss

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    #9
    I can confirm the RAW image will upload via the Lightning to SD adapter to the iPad, then through Photostream to to a Mac:

    [​IMG]

    But after editing on the iPad with iPhoto, not RAW anymore:

    [​IMG]
     
  10. talmy thread starter macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #10

    Thanks. Both good and bad news -- RAW works, but better not edit locally!
     
  11. tgara macrumors 6502a

    tgara

    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Location:
    Somewhere in the Delta Quadrant
    #11
    Hi Tom,

    I've been looking into how to work an iPad into a mobile workflow for several years. I've looked at many possible options, but concluded at the end of the day that the iPad is simply not suited to heavy use in a mobile workflow. The reasons I found are that the iPad has limited storage capacity, it's too slow, and it's simply not powerful enough to use with big RAW files. Not the iPad doesn't have its uses -- it certainly does, but you must understand its limitations. I eventually gave up trying to use the iPad as my sole mobile machine, and got an 11 inch MacBook Air that I use for photography when I travel. Here's how I do it:

    I shoot my photos with a Canon 5D Mark III. This camera has a Compact Flash card slot and an SD card slot. I set the camera to record RAW images onto the CF card, and large JPGs onto the SD card. After the shooting, all the image files get backed up on the MBA to a small portable hard drive. If I have some time, I might cull images using iPhoto or Preview. When I get home, all the images are transferred to my iMac, copied, and added to Aperture where they are further edited.

    If I'm at a family gathering, like the one you will be going to, I like to share my images quickly with other family members. To do this, I will use the iPad. I'll transfer the JPGS on the SD card to the iPad, edit them in iPhoto for iOS (only the basics like crop, contrast, enhance), then post them to Photostream to share the stream with others. I did this in a hotel bar after my dad's 80th birthday party last summer, and everyone was impressed!

    One comment about the workflow you proposed in your first post: It seems very complicated. I mean no disrespect, but my feeling is that a complicated photography workflow has an increased chance of something going wrong, and could result in lost images. Steps 4 and 5 in your proposed workflow seem real dicey to me. I wouldn't take the chance, frankly, and especially in light of the importance of your aunt's birthday event.

    I also had a few questions for my own understanding of your situation:

    Why not just bring your laptop on the plane? You could get a portable hard drive for storage while you travel. It works great and is secure.

    Why do you need to move images to your server while you are traveling? This seems like an unnecessarily complex step that is fraught with danger. Why not just store the images locally and transfer them when you get home? Or just bring along a whole lot of SD cards, they're so cheap these days.

    Have you looked into other portable storage options, such as the Sanho HyperDrive Colorspace?

    http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/887222-REG/Sanho_shdcsudma2000_Casing_for_UDMA_2.html

    You can buy the casing and add your own hard drive in any size you want. I've used these in the past and they work great.
     
  12. logista macrumors member

    logista

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2010
    Location:
    Ann Arbor, MI
    #12
    I've used Dropbox for this. Their iOS app has a Camera Upload function that can automatically send photos to your DB. It worked for me, but IIRC it was a bit fiddly to set up -- but I was using it when it first came out, so it's probably easier now.

    Two pieces of advice:1) test everything before you leave home 2) make sure you're on good wifi for the transfer
     
  13. talmy thread starter macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #13
    Yes, that's the risky spot, but if it works it's all automatic.

    Size and convenience. My 15" MBP is the "classic" model so is big and heavy. All the storage I might need. I do take it on road trips. I could use my wife's 11" MBA, but it is an old base model (64GB) which probably doesn't have enough free space and I would have to carry an additional portable drive.

    An iPad also has the advantage of the built-in cellular service so I can use it for maps and directions in unfamiliar cities (I don't have a smart phone).

    I'm paranoid about backups. Even with a bunch of SD cards (which I will certainly do as a backup if everything else fails!) I still risk loss or theft if everything is together in one location. I've been doing the image transfer thing for about 10 years now. Only doesn't work if I'm at a place with no or very poor WiFi. Usually even over-subscribed WiFi works well in the middle of the night when everyone is asleep!

    Not in recent years. Many years ago I considered an Epson device, but an iBook was just twice the price, had a much bigger display for reviewing, and, of course, could be used for many things.
     
  14. irishv macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2008
    #14
    You've found the main answer: RAW files can be imported and will sync back to aperture through photostream without any issue (at least I haven't had any problems). RAW+JPEG is a no-go. Files edited in iPhoto (or any other app) must be saved back to the camera roll and will then go up as jpegs. This should not affect the original RAW though. Also note that anything you put in a shared photostream will be downsized. This doesn't affect the original file or the file synced back to Aperture.

    I travel extensively for work and have been trying to get a good mobile workflow going with an ipad since I first got an ipad 2. I have a windows laptop for work and have no desire to carry two machines. The short answer is that it isn't quite ready yet (at least for me).

    The long answer is that you can easily import images from a card and keep them there for backup or syncing to aperture later. Any editing is very limited. iPhoto for iOS is great, but edits must be saved as a new image (duplicating your original), and they cannot be later modified after you sync back to a Mac. There is no way to rate, flag, or add metadata to photos in either Photos or iPhoto without creating a new file.

    One great app that I stumbled on recently is PhotoInfoPro. I've just started testing it out and you can create xmp metadata files for your RAW+JPEG pairs and then export all three to dropbox. Once you get home, you can import them into Aperture and everything looks how it should.

    It's still a little cumbersome, since I have to import->delete rejects->open in PhotoInfoPro->rate and add captions/gps/etc->export to dropbox->delete from ipad. I still end up with duplicates in photostream (jpeg only), but it's pretty easy to delete them in Aperture.

    I feel Apple has to have some sort of mobile library syncing in the works that will get rolled out with the next version of Aperture/iPhoto. I have already been waiting a few years though...
     
  15. talmy thread starter macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #15
    Looks like I'll probably defer this and just take my 15" MBP. :( It may be heavy but I know it works.
     
  16. mofunk macrumors 68000

    mofunk

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2009
    Location:
    Americas
    #16
    When travel I just bring extra memory cards. If you stay in hotel, you don't have to worry about someone walking off with your computer. Most likely your camera will be with you. During the holidays I encourage my friends to grab a couple of memory cards because you can get them for less.

    If you have Lightroom you can upload later and apply a some editing to the batch when you upload. I like to adjust the WB when I upload (I assume you can do the same in Aperture.
     

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