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Saturday, 17 July 2010

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I loaded several portfolios onto my iPad when I went to Review Santa Fe last month -- I'd already shipped two portfolios as prints but I wanted to be able to show other work if it happened to come up.

And I was glad I had prepared -- I pulled the thing out several times to show work.

And after the initial "Oh, cool, an iPad," what was remarkable was how unremarkable the process was. We flipped through photos as if people had been showing work on iPads for decades. That's a testament to how transparently it works.

Mike,
Sounds great, but I think it's against Jobs' religion to put any type of expansion slot in any type of device.
Adam

I love my iPad, but the absence of color calibration makes it unsuitable for professional use by photographers in my book.

I vote for that -- "suitable card slots" on an iPad. And a lot more memory.

"I think it's against Jobs' religion to put any type of expansion slot in any type of device."

Adam,
Yes, that's my only persistent gripe against Apple. I started off hot-swapping floppy disks in and out of 128k Macintoshes interminably, and I'm still swapping USB cables on my current iMac. 26 years and that hasn't changed.

Mike

"I think it's against Jobs' religion to put any type of expansion slot in any type of device."

Gee, there is this funny little slot on my macbook pro that says it takes SD cards, is it lying to me?

Just wait. Flexible reader devices are coming that will make the iPad look like the interim product that it really is. Think of the display pad used to watch the BBC in "2001: A Space Odyssey" and you'll be on the right track.

Hey!

Just to go against the grain, I want a small one. Like an iPad Mini or something.

As a person who commutes on trains for hours a day, the current one is simply too big (search "rush hour train Tokyo" and see what I mean).

I've seen four in use in real life, and all the owners were struggling with the size of the thing.

It would be too small to make photographers happy I know, but for books / movies while commuting, it would be great.

Dean

I have to agree with Adam about expansion slots -- it might allow you to do something that Steve didn't intend. It will be interesting to see what else emerges -- listening to a Canon staffer today about how video is influencing purchases, the market may swamp those of us who are interested in "stills".

My iPad arrived this week and, like Ctein, I was struck by how good photos look on its screen. Size is 1024 x 768, but the resolution is 132 ppi. Pales next to a big-screen monitor but looks darn good sitting next to my MacBook. I'm also finding it useful as a way to check how my Lightroom exports are going to look out on the Web.

Wishes for a larger screen, SD slot or more onboard memory seem akin to wishing the iPad was a laptop. (Substitute similar debate about full-featured DSLR vs pocketable S90, tripod, etc.)

As for the slot/memory concern: Multi-gb SD cards are cheap, or you can use Apple's iPad Camera Connection Kit plus Wifi to shift photos from camera to cloud storage options, such as Dropbox.

Btw: Passing it around a table of friends (or editors) with a full-screen slideshow running is entirely different from the old two-handed laptop relay or phone-screen squint.

Dear folks,

Steve Jobs has a thing against fans and floppy disks, but not against expansion slots. Far more often than not, Apple computers have been available with expansion slots. Thing is, that's reserved for the high end customers.

For example, my 27 inch iMac is great, but it bothers me that I can't add SATA drives to it, internally or externally, and that it has exactly one FireWire 800 port. And probably down the line it will bother me that I can't upgrade the video RAM/GPU.

But you know what? I could get all that! All I have to do would be to buy a desktop Mac Pro instead -- plenty of internal room, slots, and ports for expansion.

So is that worth adding $1500 to my price tag? Nope. Instead, what I got is basically a $1000 monitor plus a $1000 computer that screams, which is a deal I can't complain about.

That said, one can add external USB and an external SD card adapters to the iPad.

I think it's worth remembering that this is the first of a new generation of personal computer, not the end of a line. Heaven knows what features will be in next year's model... or the one five years hence.

Personally, I don't even think the Apple architects are entirely sure. There are some subtle aspects to the iPad that lead me to think that they are still coming to terms with the implications of this device and how it fits into people's total information handling environment. It may not be as new for them as it is for us... but I still think it's pretty new.


~ pax \ Ctein
[ Please excuse any word-salad. MacSpeech in training! ]
======================================
-- Ctein's Online Gallery http://ctein.com 
-- Digital Restorations http://photo-repair.com 
======================================

"...and an iPad is not in my future—but I guess what I'd really like to see is an iPad specifically for photographers."

Well Mike...maybe you could find (amongst the thousands of Itunes "Apps") a way to get the iPad screen to emit red-orange light. Then you could use it in your new dark room.

;~))

Cheers! Jay

Dean,
A smaller one already exists, doesn't it? Called an iPhone? Except you also have to buy a phone and a camera with it....

Mike

"there is this funny little slot on my macbook pro that says it takes SD cards"

Right, and isn't that nice? I love that.

Mike

The comments about expansion slots are not accurate. High-end Macs have always had slots. But what really matters is expandability, not slots. Macs had FireWire built-in long before Windows PCs did, which made adding external drives to a Mac very easy, very fast, and very reliable. Ditto for built-in modems, ethernet, sound cards, bluetooth, and wifi. I have added cards in slots to PCs for all of the above except bluetooth. I have even run out of slots.

Slots as a solution for missing functionality are bad.

As for Mike's USB problem: An inexpensive powered USB hub (chained if you like) will give you all the sockets you need.

The iPad is a specialized device which does a few things very well and other things not at all. When you go to Home Depot, you don't take your Porsche sports car. Does that make a Porsche a bad car?

--Marc

actually there is a pair of adapters from Apple for the iPad that allow you to connect a camera (via USB) or an SDHC card to the dock connector, they are currently a bit hard to come by as the demand is a tad high at the moment but they do indeed exist. As for the smaller edition, well if you don't want the camera and phone bits there is the iPod Touch… though the new iPhone's display has a much higher pixel density… i want an iPad with that pixel density!!!!!

Marc,
Well, I've never had a high-end Mac (at least not since my 512k "Fat Mac" was the latest and greatest thing) and all I know is that I never have enough ports. When I still needed a diskette drive, all Apple gave me was a CD-ROM drive, so I had to buy an outboard diskette drive. When I needed high-volume archiving I had to buy an outboard optical drive. Even now I can't buy an iMac with enough USB ports on it. And hubs don't work with everything--I use a hub for everything I can but I still end up swapping USB cables. Every single darn day of my life. Maybe things are better in high-end land, but that's not where I live.

And I'd say the iPad is a specialized device for a generalized customer base. Nothing at all wrong with that. But I still wouldn't object to a specialized device for a specialized customer base--photographers. Hey, if we don't ask, we'll never get.

Mike

First, there are many more devices coming soon, as noted by one reader, above. Google is going to be releasing a pad.

Second, what do you think will happen once Steve Jobs permanently retires? He's in terrible shape (I'm not much better), and he's running out of steam, as I am.

I say licensing and expansion, like Microsoft.

The iPad camera connector kit runs my 320 GB Hitachi hard drive. I don't know if it is meant to. That seems like enough storage for travel etc.

Voltz

I think all these comments about the missing SD slot are a bit naive. Apple obviously wanted to artificially creates multiple models at different price points. They choose to use the amount of internal memory as a differentiator as they did with the iPhone and various iPod models. And that's why I resist buying these nice piece of hardware as it costs next to nothing to add an SD slot and it's not a matter of size as micro SD is available. And in general it seems that Apple want to impose their own terms, the lack of Flash support is another one...
So, unfortunately I want to buy an iPad but these limitations (and the inflated price) make me wait for something better.

There are rumors that the smaller iPad will be out in the fourth quarter.

http://www.macrumors.com/2010/07/13/5-6-inch-and-7-inch-oled-ipad-models-coming-in-q4-2010/

But surely no extra slots.


Have you seen the iPhone4 screen?

326 ppi

Zoom in on text, no jaggies. When the cost of materials come down... imagine that resolution on the iPad. Makes for a very nice reading device/portfolio.

And here's a useful fact: The perfect image size to import is 2304 x 1536. An image at that size and smaller will not be reduced, but imported and displayed at the full iPad resolution of 1024 x 768, which will allow you to double-tap to zoom in without any loss of resolution. Images larger than 2304x1536 will be reduced on import.

Dean: "I want a small one."

Mike: "A smaller one already exists, doesn't it? Called an iPhone?"

There is also the iPod touch, if you don't need the phone. I love mine, it's a fabulously useful device, but I have to say trying to do any serious reading on it is a stretch. The screen is just too small. Something between the iPhone/touch and the iPad might be perfect for Dean, though I doubt we're going to be seeing multiple sizes anytime soon, at least from Apple.

I redesigned my website after using an ipad to access it for sometime. I am still trying to figure out the best way to display vertical photographs, among other things. Comments on the user-friendliness are very welcome: http://simongriffee.com

Just don't expect to do any portfolio reviews out by the pool, like they show in all those brochures:

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/57d93842-906a-11df-ad26-00144feab49a.html

Yeah, the iPhone / iPod Touch aren't quite big enough I feel.

I use a PSP now on the train for watching TV, etc. In the super crammed rush hour trains books are no good, cos you can't actually turn the pages. I hold the PSP one handed and navigate with my nose!

Not that this has anything to do with photography - sorry.

Dean

It seems some photographers are also publishing books targeting the iPad .. thats interesting!
http://arles.photographie.com/?p=463

The video is in French but the caption to the video reads(google translation with all its hyperbole):
"Frank Horvat launches first picture book on iPad. An adapted language yet invented for this new tool, which also serves to present in a single book the entire work of the photographer. A revolution in the publishing world is emerging"

Offtopic, but from what is shown on the ipad I would really like to see that portfolio in full - is it on the internet anywhere?

I think adding pictures to the iPad is still a little chunky, plugging in, synching, arranging albums etc.. What if the thing just ran flash? Then I could bring up my website, which I already spent the time organizing and arranging in the first place!

Aside from using the iPad Photo app as portfolio, I recently wrote an app (not yet available) that can be available on the Store for free.
The idea is similar to the GuardianUK app or the Sartorialist app.
My portfolio is an app. The user downloads it and gets updated content automatically when online.
This way I don't have to go around with my iPad, I just have to say "Download my app".

I recognize that there is a fine line between an app and a portfolio website.
The main advantage of an app, aside from possible more interesting navigation schemes, is that the data is stored locally on the iPad and does not require WiFi or 3G connections.

Look, really, the iPad is a terrible platform for photographers. The photo sync via iTunes is terrible (and iTunes itself is terrible), the software is limited, and really, all we want is that 9.7" IPS screen. If someone makes a device that uses a 1.8" drive (I think they go to 240GB in affordable sizes), uses a decent OS that allows for sorting, tagging, card readers, and DIRECT USB MSC connection (very important that) I think it'll sell. Of course it's likely to be stupid expensive since it's likely to be more specialised...

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