RAW support: anticipating the camera connection kit

Cory Bauer

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Original poster
Jun 26, 2003
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Apple's description of the forthcoming camera connection kit for iPad states that it supports raw images; being able to unload raw photos to preview them on the ipads 10" screen while still in the field would be huge. However, I have my doubts about the ipads handling of raw, due to how the 4th generation iPod handled raw images when this very same camera connection kit was originally offered in 2005; it could not display the raw images, only store them. So last night i decided to put the iPad to the test.

I uploaded a raw .nef file to my iDisk, as well as email to myself as an attachment. In both scenarios, the iPad downloaded the full 9.8MB file but only displayed a tiny, jagged thumbnail in the middle of the screen. Hopefully, this is not Apple's idea of supporting raw; a 100px wide thumbnail doesn't really do much good.
 

nutmac

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Mar 30, 2004
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I uploaded a raw .nef file to my iDisk, as well as email to myself as an attachment. In both scenarios, the iPad downloaded the full 9.8MB file but only displayed a tiny, jagged thumbnail in the middle of the screen.
Nice investigative work. I suppose RAW thumbnail is an improvement over iPod Camera Connector, which displayed a generic icon for RAW.

Perhaps iPad is not powerful enough to display full RAW images on-the-fly, without generating JPEG preview image like Aperture does. Anyway, that is disappointing and may discourage me from buying 64 GB iPad.
 

vini-vidi-vici

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Jan 7, 2010
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Raw images include an embedded .jpg for quick viewing. That's what devices like the iPad will display. This is very different than having an actual raw converter for the iPad. Such an app might come (i.e. lightroom or aperture for the iPad), but it will have to support a wide array of camera raw formats. I don't know how practical this will be given the limited memory space of the iPad, and difficulties getting files on/off the device. Plus, these images are usually so gigantic (mine are 24mp), the iPad just doesn't have enough memory or processing power to render RAW files quickly enough

For now, I don't see much point in putting raw images on the iPad. raw images are useful for editing, not viewing. I use my iPad for viewing/sharing completed, processed, edited images - only my best images. Editing these giant raw images is a task best left to a traditional desktop...
 

Cory Bauer

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Original poster
Jun 26, 2003
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Raw images include an embedded .jpg for quick viewing. That's what devices like the iPad will display.
Is the embedded jpg supposed to be the size of a postage stamp? If it were a fullscreen jpg preview it'd be fine, but a thumbnail half the size of my dslr's display is worthless.
 

eekcat

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Apr 5, 2010
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What is everybody expecting to do with a RAW file on the iPad anyway? My Quad Core, 4GB RAM PC already takes a reallllly long time crunching through 25MB RAW files (Canon 7D, 18 megapixels) -- I can't imagine how the relatively piddly processor in the iPad can even begin to convert them, much less do any meaningful work on them. Extracting and displaying the embedded thumbnail, however...
 

Jumpie

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Jul 7, 2008
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Atlanta
Just sent myself 2 CR2 raw pics. Each was about 13mb each. They opened right up once they downloaded. Not sure if I'd store them om my iPad but they sure do look great!
 

nutmac

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Mar 30, 2004
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Is the embedded jpg supposed to be the size of a postage stamp? If it were a fullscreen jpg preview it'd be fine, but a thumbnail half the size of my dslr's display is worthless.
Generally speaking, the embedded JPEG is used by the camera to display images on its LCD.

Some SLRs embed fairly high resolution JPEG within RAW file (e.g., Canon EOS 7D), which may explain why iPad displays some RAWs as thumbnail and some at much higher resolution.

What is everybody expecting to do with a RAW file on the iPad anyway? My Quad Core, 4GB RAM PC already takes a reallllly long time crunching through 25MB RAW files (Canon 7D, 18 megapixels)
For backing up and viewing images on-the-go (e.g., travel). I suspect your quad-core PC isn't as portable as iPad.

Even with few apps installed, 64 GB iPad should be capable of holding over 2000 giant RAW files from 7D.
 

vini-vidi-vici

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Jan 7, 2010
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Is the embedded jpg supposed to be the size of a postage stamp? If it were a fullscreen jpg preview it'd be fine, but a thumbnail half the size of my dslr's display is worthless.
No, it should not be the size of a postage stamp, but that might depend on the camera. I could see a situation where there are two .jpgs embedded in the raw file - one that's used just for a thumbnail, and one for larger viewing/zooming. perhaps there is some issue where the iPad is only picking up the thumbnail view.

To someone else's post. There's no way the iPad is viewing the actual raw file. There's no raw converter on it, and no way to know "how" to render those raw files.
 

vini-vidi-vici

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Jan 7, 2010
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For backing up and viewing images on-the-go (e.g., travel). I suspect your quad-core PC isn't as portable as iPad.

Even with few apps installed, 64 GB iPad should be capable of holding over 2000 giant RAW files from 7D.
I don't think this would be a very efficient way to work... backing up flash cards with other flash memory seems kind of redundant to me, and then you're cluttering-up the iPad with all this stuff that you just have to delete later.

I could maybe see that the iPad would have some use as a larger temporary viewer on embedded .jpg images, but personally, I rarely look at those. My embedded jpgs look nothing like my finished/processed raw files, and I'd rather not imply to (some) clients that they will.
 

vini-vidi-vici

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Jan 7, 2010
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What is everybody expecting to do with a RAW file on the iPad anyway? My Quad Core, 4GB RAM PC already takes a reallllly long time crunching through 25MB RAW files (Canon 7D, 18 megapixels) -- I can't imagine how the relatively piddly processor in the iPad can even begin to convert them, much less do any meaningful work on them. Extracting and displaying the embedded thumbnail, however...
I generally agree. Though, I'm sitting here thinking... if someone could come up with a way to take a generic raw file - say a .dng - and sample that down to a reasonable size (say around 2MP as a "mini-RAW"), I could see some limited utility in an iPad raw converter that could manipulate that file. The purpose would be just to get an idea of what an image might look like when processed different ways. I'm not sure where I'd fit this into my workflow, but I could see someone maybe using it...
 

thatisme

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Mar 23, 2010
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United States
I was able to transfer via itunes, .CR2 files from my Canon 5D M2, but the quality suffered.... iTunes apparently tries to "optimize" the files to display, but it went too far. I did get full screen, and they worked with the photo-frame option, but not ideal handling. :(
 

thatisme

macrumors 6502
Mar 23, 2010
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United States
I generally agree. Though, I'm sitting here thinking... if someone could come up with a way to take a generic raw file - say a .dng - and sample that down to a reasonable size (say around 2MP as a "mini-RAW"), I could see some limited utility in an iPad raw converter that could manipulate that file. The purpose would be just to get an idea of what an image might look like when processed different ways. I'm not sure where I'd fit this into my workflow, but I could see someone maybe using it...
some Canon cameras allow you to shoot in a sRAW or mRAW format, decreasing the size considerably, but you don't also get the full size CR2 from that... it's a tradeoff
 

vini-vidi-vici

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Jan 7, 2010
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some Canon cameras allow you to shoot in a sRAW or mRAW format, decreasing the size considerably, but you don't also get the full size CR2 from that... it's a tradeoff
Yes, my camera does that (5DII). However, you can't pick both full raw AND sraw... I still want the full raw file later. Plus, even the smallest sraw on my camera is still pretty big to process for something like the iPad.

Anyway, it'd be neat to see some kind of raw processing on the iPad... it wouldn't be very practical, but it'd be neat anyway.
 

photofoto

macrumors newbie
Apr 8, 2010
1
0
iPad camera connector kit

Does anybody know if this connector kit works with a regular Mac? Instead of downloading images from my camera, I'd like put my SD card into the connector and download directly to my laptop.
 

undrpsi

macrumors regular
Mar 28, 2010
223
0
Gastonia, NC
What is everybody expecting to do with a RAW file on the iPad anyway? My Quad Core, 4GB RAM PC already takes a reallllly long time crunching through 25MB RAW files (Canon 7D, 18 megapixels) -- I can't imagine how the relatively piddly processor in the iPad can even begin to convert them, much less do any meaningful work on them. Extracting and displaying the embedded thumbnail, however...
Yeah..was thinking the same thing.

But..say we got a good quality .jpg with (Raw+.jpg) then we could atleast view the content in the field and check for gross errors. Then offload it to a lapto/desktop back in the office? I could live with that. Even on a 3" screen preview...you can not tell if an important detail has been cropped. Carrying a laptop out in the field with all your camera equipment is PITA. Also, what if we could email such files from the field (3g)? Customer wants some pics of XXX from a strange angle. (Say his building from the 37th floor of another building). You could take the photo...send him an image to approve or "move up two more floors" :confused:

Just spitballing...I have a 5D and I uploaded 6100 pics over the last two days..but it took FOREVER for the 'optimizing for iPad' to stop. Wound up doing it in batches of 700-800 pics. :cool:

Cheers!
 

undrpsi

macrumors regular
Mar 28, 2010
223
0
Gastonia, NC
Does anybody know if this connector kit works with a regular Mac? Instead of downloading images from my camera, I'd like put my SD card into the connector and download directly to my laptop.
Why? Got to office depot. They multi-format card readers (USB) for $8
 

Streethawk

macrumors 6502
Feb 25, 2010
384
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Manchester, UK
What is everybody expecting to do with a RAW file on the iPad anyway? My Quad Core, 4GB RAM PC already takes a reallllly long time crunching through 25MB RAW files (Canon 7D, 18 megapixels) -- I can't imagine how the relatively piddly processor in the iPad can even begin to convert them, much less do any meaningful work on them. Extracting and displaying the embedded thumbnail, however...
I've got an old C2D PC at the moment and its plenty fast for RAWs from my 7Ds, even when i HDR 3 of them in Photomatix it doesnt take more than 30 seconds. I do have 6gb of RAM though.
 

Cory Bauer

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 26, 2003
597
207
undrpsi said:
But..say we got a good quality .jpg with (Raw+.jpg) then we could atleast view the content in the field and check for gross errors. Then offload it to a lapto/desktop back in the office? I could live with that. Even on a 3" screen preview...you can not tell if an important detail has been cropped. Carrying a laptop out in the field with all your camera equipment is PITA.
That's precisely what I'm wanting to accomplish. I don't want to be back home before figuring out that my photo of the Sistine Chapel is out of focus, but I don't want to bring a laptop on vacation with me either.
 

Cory Bauer

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 26, 2003
597
207
I just did the same test as the OP. Heres what I got when I downloaded it to my iPad. It's was a standard *.NEF Nikon raw image.
That's the MobileMe app, isn't it? Save the image to the iPad, or email it to yourself, and you should see something.. Use that share button to send it to yourself.
 

Pressure

macrumors 68040
May 30, 2006
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Denmark
Raw images include an embedded .jpg for quick viewing. That's what devices like the iPad will display. This is very different than having an actual raw converter for the iPad. Such an app might come (i.e. lightroom or aperture for the iPad), but it will have to support a wide array of camera raw formats. I don't know how practical this will be given the limited memory space of the iPad, and difficulties getting files on/off the device. Plus, these images are usually so gigantic (mine are 24mp), the iPad just doesn't have enough memory or processing power to render RAW files quickly enough

For now, I don't see much point in putting raw images on the iPad. raw images are useful for editing, not viewing. I use my iPad for viewing/sharing completed, processed, edited images - only my best images. Editing these giant raw images is a task best left to a traditional desktop...
Sorry but RAW is RAW.

In most cameras you have the option to shoot both RAW + JPEG.

Mac OSX can display most RAW formats natively, so I see no reason as to why the iPad should not be able to view some of the more common RAW formats.

The Canon EOS 5D Mark II can display their RAW format fine and this is done on a vastly inferior ARM processor.
 

Cory Bauer

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jun 26, 2003
597
207
Generally speaking, the embedded JPEG is used by the camera to display images on its LCD.

Some SLRs embed fairly high resolution JPEG within RAW file (e.g., Canon EOS 7D), which may explain why iPad displays some RAWs as thumbnail and some at much higher resolution.
Can't believe I missed this post; that makes very good sense, nutmac. I hope however that Apple works some magic and can render fullscreen jpegs of the RAW photos by the time they ship the camera connection kit, for those of use whose cameras only create thumbnail-sized jpg previews.