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Author Topic: Tablet PC's  (Read 13665 times)
Jim Pascoe
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« on: February 22, 2012, 12:32:10 PM »
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Thanks for an informative rundown on the tablet PC market, and where it appears to be going.  I quite agree with the reasons why we photographers might need a tablet in general.  However, it is with the first paragraph of the article that I do not entirely share the authors point of view.  He starts by stating that paper books are history.  Now I'm sure that was deliberately provocative, and to some degree true, but in one particular area - the fine art photography book - I'm not sure it will be true.

I have a kindle, which is great for reading novels.  Recently I have bought some technical e-books, and the laptop is great for reading these, and if I had a tablet PC I'm sure I would be using that too.  But for a really good quality photobook, I think print still has some life in it.  I can appreciate that e-books are a great marketing opportunity for any half-decent photographer to get their work out into the market, but some of the books I own would just not be the same on a screen.  Of course the market will shrink for the mass produced stuff - but I think there will still be a lot of photographers who want a beautifully printed book.  In any case, the numbers of books in most print runs for this type of book is small already.

Jim
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rockaw
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« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2012, 01:09:03 PM »
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I'll be a contrarian regarding today's tablet post. Informative post, but I think it's ill advised to recommend photographers use Apple's iPad connection kit to import photos. I thought that would be a great solution to lighten the load on a recent trip to Europe, but I was wrong. Here's the problems I encountered:

  • 1. SLOW import. I tried to import from a Canon 7D through USB cable into the iPad connection kit. If you attempt to import several hundred RAW images into the iPad this way, you'll need to be verrrrry patient. It's hard to describe how slow it is, but it's slower than a card reader connected to the computer, it's slower than connecting the camera directly to the computer (USB cable), it's intolerably slow.
  • 2. If you have to interrupt the slow import session for any reason and want to import the rest of the images later that day, it will start from the beginning, and reimport a 2nd copy of everything it imported the first time before it moves on to the files you missed in the first session.
  • 3. You will run out of space on your iPad.
  • 4. Did I mention it's SLOW?

My preference is to just travel with lots of CF cards and import the files when I get home, directly into the computer. You can let Aperture or Lightroom publish only your best work into a compressed format that's much more suitable for displaying on your iPad. Who wants a folder with all the throwaway files on the iPad anyway?

Then there's the issue of the Photos app on iPad. It's not good. Looked whizzy when Steve demoed all the pinching, swiping, and zooming at the iPad rollout, but it's not a practical or professional portfolio tools. Heckler should take a look at Portfolio for iPad and report back to us.
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snoleoprd
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« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2012, 01:27:52 PM »
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While I think it was a good overview, I would hardly use it as a download platform. Over a multi day trip I could certainly fill up all the space on the tablet, also he is not mentioning that apps and the os all take space. That being said, I also have to disagree about the demise of books in print, ebooks are nice but I still like a good printed book. I do like and use my Xoom tablet, and there are some great apps that help you use live view for composing and then taking images and save them to the camera, things like focus stacking, and also for useful reference apps. So a worthwhile product but hardly a replacement for books in print or a good laptop with removable drives for storage on a long trip.

Alan
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Alan Smallbone
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jjj
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« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2012, 01:30:05 PM »
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My preference is to just travel with lots of CF cards and import the files when I get home, directly into the computer. You can let Aperture or Lightroom publish only your best work into a compressed format that's much more suitable for displaying on your iPad. Who wants a folder with all the throwaway files on the iPad anyway?
Not to mention, that apart from memory card storage costing way, way less than Ipad storage, the iPad really isn't a laptop replacement.

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Then there's the issue of the Photos app on iPad. It's not good. Looked whizzy when Steve demoed all the pinching, swiping, and zooming at the iPad rollout, but it's not a practical or professional portfolio tools. Heckler should take a look at Portfolio for iPad and report back to us.
I use my phone as a bulk free/always present way of having some images to show to people when I'm out. And Apple's Photos on the iPhone is basically broken. It cannot display images to fit screen, you have to jump through hoops to make images order correctly and no way of reordering images without a computer.
Thankfully there's My Photos, which fixes these issues and adds lots of other useful features too. It seems to be marketed as a privacy app [which could be useful for some people] but they'd be better highlighting how much better it is than Apple's frankly useless offering.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2012, 01:31:48 PM by jjj » Logged

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John Camp
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« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2012, 01:39:14 PM »
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I have an iPad (1) which I didn't bother to update to an iPad 2, and I rarely use it at all anymore. Many of its functions I now use on an iPhone, and the photo-oriented functions go to my Mac Air. It's quite possible that the tablets will become as important as Miles says they will, but I also think it possible that further evolution of Air-like computers will slow that advance. When I'm traveling, I need the input functions of a real laptop (the keyboard etc.) You can do that with an iPad, but then you've got all these pieces floating around. Eventually, I think, Airs (or Air-like computers) will have touch screens and, if you wish, phone links. You'll then have a package that includes a keyboard, a variety of ports, compatibility with mainline software packages, etc., in a one-piece package that weighs not much more than an iPad. And when you're out walking around, you carry an intelligent cell phone (You're going to need the phone whether or not you carry an iPad.)



 

 
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jjj
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« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2012, 02:26:31 PM »
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"Apple's iOS has been around since the release of the first Iphone. It's a mature, if somewhat stodgy product."

"stodgy"? iOS is most likely on 200-300 million or more actively used devices. 2 year olds to 102 year olds can use it without any effort. I do wish iOS were more open in what we can do with it for file structure, but it also works well.
I'd also say stodgy is the wrong word, clunky would be better. In the effort to makes things simple, Apple all too often makes things simplistic instead, which then requires more faff than if something was actually slightly more fully featured. Trying to add a song playing on my iphone to a playlist in iTunes is so very painful and convoluted. And all for the lack of a 'add to playlist button in the 'now playing' window. Arranging images in Photos is another very painful experience and many people simply disable Photosync (Once they work out how) as it doesn't allow you the very, very basic functionality of being able to delete images.

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I have no plans of buying a newer iPad simply because the first one works as well as if not better today than day 1 and does everything I need it to do. There's a point when having a working product negates the need for just a newer version of the same product.
Luckily for Apple, lots of people are happy to do just that.  Grin
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bobtowery
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« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2012, 03:06:18 PM »
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I  believe Hecker deserves credit for having the temerity to state that their are useful tablets besides those from Apple. Most of my photography buddies are so Apple-centric there is no room for discussion.  (I have also noticed that many of them own Lightroom but just can't make the leap from Photoshop.)

For those people that appreciate more flexibility, and dare I say elegance, the upcoming Windows 8 tablets are going to be a real joy to own and use. Maybe Hecker can do an update once these are on the market.

[Note these aren't fighting words, there is no point in an Apple vs the world debate here.]

On the printed book vs ebook debate, I'll offer up a thought. While there's no doubt a high quality offset printed book is going to be more satisfying, it's also likely to be on the coffee table. With the tablet, you have it with you. And, say you have some reasonably talented photographer that has been to a place and done some nice work. He or she can create an ebook, and you can obtain that ebook. 99% of us aren't going to publish a similar paper book. So this opens up the exposure to lots of other people in a way we haven't been able to do it before.

Thanks Miles and LuLa. Bob.

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BJL
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« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2012, 03:28:28 PM »
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These are called Tablets and not Tablet PCs, just Tablets. PC, personal computer, has nothing to do with them.
I was going to say a similar thing, but even more curmudgeonly:


- A tablet PC is a laptop running Windows with a twistable, stylus operated touch screen: these typically weigh about 5+ pounds, cost well over $1000, and sell about 500,000 per year.

- The iPad (and its kin) is a device with a finger operated touch screen as its only built-in input device, running a lightweight "mobile" OS designed around touch input: these typically weigh about a pound, cost about $500 or less, and sell about a million per week. Apple has never called the iPad a tablet; instead its name harks back to its ancestor, the Newton Message Pad, and its intermediate ancestors are PDA's and touch screen phones, not tablet PC's.

- By the way, a tablet is a stylus operated auxiliary input device, mostly make by Wacom.


How the iPad and such got to be called "tablets", let alone "tablet PCs", based on one imperfect similarity (the touch screen, shared also with the iPhone and PDA's) is a mystery. Maybe Steve Balmer, Bill Gates, and Michael Dell wanted to pretend (as they all have) that the highly mobile all-touch iPad is just a slight variant on something that MS came up with a decade earlier.  Usually, first movers and market leaders dictate naming, so it would make sense to call them all "pads", but "slate" might have more chance --- pity HP fumbled first use of that name.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2012, 05:49:58 PM by BJL » Logged
BJL
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« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2012, 03:37:16 PM »
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Windows 8 tablets are going to be a real joy to own and use.  ... Note these aren't fighting words, there is no point in an Apple vs the world debate here.
Sounds more like "Microsoft vs the world" with that confident praise for a nonexistent product, with the likelihood of having to choose between a non-existent software base (in the ARM-based Metro UI case) or the distinct need for a mouse and keyboard with most software and dubious battery life (in the x86 processor and traditional Windows software version). Intel and MS _might_ indeed succeed in overcoming these challenges and making something that is "a real joy to own and use", but it is hard to see why anyone could be so certain of that on the basis of what we know so far.
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2012, 04:10:19 PM »
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Tablets aren't replacing anything other than the latest piece of fad equipment. And then they'll get replaced.

You can't get around that a tablet is a consumption device and every attempt to make it a production device (which is at least half of what a photographer needs) becomes a major compromise from user interfaces to computing power to equipment interfaces.

The market is already reacting to this with the rapid release of Ultrabooks which appear to be, considering modern CPU's and screens, an effective platform for someone who desires a light portable device for a myriad of uses including photography.  Ultrabooks perform beyond levels of professional series laptops of just 2-3 years ago.

Tablets are fun and useful consumption devices, but they should be kept in perspective.  They are not even a 'decent' solution for photography as a whole, though they do offer some utility for specific purposes.
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Alan Goldhammer
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« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2012, 04:24:15 PM »
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Tablets are simply digital media management systems; they are not computers in the traditional sense.  As long as one realizes this and doesn't have expectations of doing much beyond managing media content it's fine.  As Steve points out ultrabooks are true computers and it's amazing how the size (e.g., weight) has shrunk over the last several years.  If one really wants a machine to take on travel, the ultrabook makes much better sense than a tablet.
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mhecker*
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« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2012, 04:39:15 PM »
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For the record, I take my 13" Macbook Pro on photoshoots.
I like to work on photos during times of poor light.

My wife and another good friend are quite content to use an Ipad to cull their shots.
They find them far better tham an Epson Mutimedia storage device.

YMMV.      Wink

PS: Paper books are dead if you're under 30 years of age.
Neither of my two daughters, who are 20 and 29, have bought a paper book in 2 years.
Many school districts are considering the transition to e text books in the next few years.
You may have seen Apples move with the Ibooks Author for educators.

In the US the US postal service is delivering, so few letters, magazines and pamphlets, that must they seriously down size in the near future.  Cry
« Last Edit: February 22, 2012, 06:01:23 PM by mhecker* » Logged
BJL
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« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2012, 05:30:23 PM »
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You can't get around that a tablet is a consumption device and every attempt to make it a production device (which is at least half of what a photographer needs) becomes a major compromise from user interfaces to computing power to equipment interfaces.

The market is already reacting to this with the rapid release of Ultrabooks which appear to be, considering modern CPU's and screens, an effective platform for someone who desires a light portable device for a myriad of uses including photography.
I'll assume that the MacBook Air is included by your term "ultrabook" -- any lightweight laptop with a decent processor but no spinning disks. Given that my iPad is the best tool for numerous tasks, mostly consumption but also small scale input, while a lightweight laptop does some important things much better, I am still wondering what my travel kit will be in a few years:
- iPad pus lightweight laptop?
- lightweight laptop only, losing the joys of "touch based couch computing" when I am mostly reading?
- iPad plus accessory keyboard, the latter only needed sometimes, and left behind when just reading, delivering presentations and such? This one depends partly on how much Apple expands on the potential of the Darwin/FreeBSD core of iOS.

(It might be an Android device or whatever rather than an iPad, but for now I am comfortable taking "iPad" as a default like "PC".)
« Last Edit: February 22, 2012, 05:47:52 PM by BJL » Logged
Steve Weldon
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« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2012, 06:36:15 PM »
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I'll assume that the MacBook Air is included by your term "ultrabook" -- any lightweight laptop with a decent processor but no spinning disks. Given that my iPad is the best tool for numerous tasks, mostly consumption but also small scale input, while a lightweight laptop does some important things much better, I am still wondering what my travel kit will be in a few years:
- iPad pus lightweight laptop?
- lightweight laptop only, losing the joys of "touch based couch computing" when I am mostly reading?
- iPad plus accessory keyboard, the latter only needed sometimes, and left behind when just reading, delivering presentations and such? This one depends partly on how much Apple expands on the potential of the Darwin/FreeBSD core of iOS.

(It might be an Android device or whatever rather than an iPad, but for now I am comfortable taking "iPad" as a default like "PC".)


1.  I'd agree a MacBook Air and even my Lenovo x201s (i7, 8gb RAM, 256gb SSD, 2.4 pounds with 7-8 hour battery, full size best in class keyboard, milspec rated for water/dust/shock) should be included in the term "Ultrabook", but to be accurate Ultrabooks are a term given by Intel to a very defined set of recently released laptops that basically have a great combination of power and mobility.

2.  This is a good question.  I think Asus and some others have a realistic concept with their convertibles.  It's a laptop, it's a tablet, no IT'S A CONVERTIBLE...  And I'd like to see the two halves sold separately so I could bring 1-2-3 extra monitors along as needed.. especially if they had a limited function said similar to the EZ on board (motherboard) function set Gigabyte and Asus put on a small solid state drive, so if you can't get it up (no no, I mean your main workstation) you can at least get online and access email and a browser and some other basic functions.

But anyone who thinks a consumption device with piss poor UI's is going to be a do all machine.. they're probably more enamored with the glitz and bling of the newest technology than they should be.  The good news is will wear off eventually.  But probably not until they buy a few thousand dollars worth of the things..
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meyerweb
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« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2012, 09:05:00 PM »
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I would seriously love to replace my laptop with tablet for travel photography. If only I could get Lightroom to run on one.

Yes, I know I can view the images on a tablet, and wait until I get home to do anything more, but I really like having the ability to do some preliminary editing while on the road.

I guess I need to decide just how important that capability really is.
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bobtowery
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« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2012, 09:19:50 PM »
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I would seriously love to replace my laptop with tablet for travel photography. If only I could get Lightroom to run on one.

Yes, I know I can view the images on a tablet, and wait until I get home to do anything more, but I really like having the ability to do some preliminary editing while on the road.

I guess I need to decide just how important that capability really is.

Meyer, I have been here too. But after reviewing my images on my home computer, with big screen, I decided my "travel edits" just weren't accurate/worth the trouble. While on the road, I just want to see how I'm doing, and create another copy of all the files. I'll wait to get home for editing/culling, etc.
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jjj
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« Reply #16 on: February 22, 2012, 09:39:55 PM »
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I would seriously love to replace my laptop with tablet for travel photography. If only I could get Lightroom to run on one.

Yes, I know I can view the images on a tablet, and wait until I get home to do anything more, but I really like having the ability to do some preliminary editing while on the road.

I guess I need to decide just how important that capability really is.
You sound like you are complaining that your hammer isn't very good with screws.   Grin
Why not use an Ultrabook or MacBook Air? They are hardly any heavier or bigger and are a more apposite and way faster tool for the job.
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melgross
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« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2012, 03:06:33 AM »
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You've apparently never used one. While the Kindle Fire is just a consumption device, the iPad is a very useful one. If it were merely a consumption device, companies wouldn't be buying them by the thousands, and sometimes, by the tens of thousands.

I find mine to be quite useful, will apps available for almost everything.
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Jim Pascoe
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« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2012, 06:25:53 AM »
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PS: Paper books are dead if you're under 30 years of age.
Neither of my two daughters, who are 20 and 29, have bought a paper book in 2 years.
Many school districts are considering the transition to e text books in the next few years.
You may have seen Apples move with the Ibooks Author for educators.

In the US the US postal service is delivering, so few letters, magazines and pamphlets, that must they seriously down size in the near future.  Cry


Well my original post did make the point that I agree with you to a large extent, except in the case of fine art photo-books - which you had specifically included.  I don't see that an 11 inch screen transmitted light device is a replacement for a well printed, large format book.  Regarding the under 30's, that may be your experience - but I have two daughters aged 23 and 25 who still love buying books (the physical type).  Of course we are in the backward UK.  The mass market is always dominated by the latest, cheapest, most fashionable stuff, but there will still be a market for more discerning customers.  Of course that market becomes more limited and expensive too.

Jim
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Steve Weldon
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« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2012, 07:47:16 AM »
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I would seriously love to replace my laptop with tablet for travel photography. If only I could get Lightroom to run on one.

Yes, I know I can view the images on a tablet, and wait until I get home to do anything more, but I really like having the ability to do some preliminary editing while on the road.

I guess I need to decide just how important that capability really is.
I hear you.. one of the things I like to do when on the road traveling is to relax in the evening and go through my images and maybe process a few just because I'm curious or for the fun of it.  I wouldn't want to give up this capability.   On the other hand, when I travel for a shoot I'll carry an entirely different set of computer gear where size/weight is accepted to be a lot more.
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