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Tablet PC's for Photographers 2012

Part 2 – Software & Recommendations

by Miles Hecker

iOS 5.0 or 5.1

Apple's iOS has been around since the release of the first Iphone. It's a mature, if somewhat stodgy product. The best thing about it is 10's of millions of iPhone users, including maybe you, are familiar with it.

Like most Apple products, you are given few choices for most operations. Your photos will be stored where the Ipad wants to put them in folders that are given a predefined alpha-numeric name. The names are 822AAAA, 823AAAA,etc.

Support for all common RAW file types has been built into the OS since version 3.0. This is a real plus for serious photographers.

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Android 3.2 or 4.0

The release of Android 3.0 was a complete rewrite of the mobile phone version of Android designed for the tablet PC. It was somewhat buggy, but those bugs have been swatted in the current 3.2 version. The all new version 4.0, aka "Ice Cream Sandwich", will be an evolutionary upgrade to the OS.

With a good file management program like ES File explorer, which can had from the Android App Store for free, you can place your photos in any folder of your choosing. The names and location of the folders are totally configurable by the user.

Android has no built in RAW file support. Fortunately an App called RawDroid is now available for free which can handle all common RAW file types. I have used it and it is quite adequate to examine and cull your shots.

 

Android 4

ioS Photo Handling

To import your photos into the Ipad, you plug the Apple SD card reader or USB adapter and your card reader into the Ipad expansion port. When it sees the DCIM folder with the photos, it will ask you if wish to import them. If you choose yes, it will import all new photos on the card. It will not re import photos that are already stored on your Ipad

After import, the default Ipad Photo App can be used to inspect and cull the photos. It can delete photos, but it can't edit them in any way. It can handle both RAW files and jpegs.

When you get home and hook the Ipad to your Mac, it will start the sync process. If you have not changed anything, it will move the photos to the Iphotos library. In this library they can only be viewed by Iphotos. If you want to use Lightroom or Photoshop instead, you must go into the Iphoto setup mode and change the default application and folder to be used. This is fairly simple to do and only needs to be done once. After copying the photos, it will ask you if you want to remove them from the memory card.

If you have a PC instead of a Mac at home, the Ipad will appear as an external storage device when hooked up to it. The photos you have shot will be in folders contained within a folder called DCIM. You can then transfer them by hand to a folder of your own creation and proceed or allow a program like Lightroom to do it for you.

 

Iphoto

Android 3.2 or 4.0 Photo Handling

To import your photos into an Android tablet, you plug your card reader into a USB port on your Android tablet, the OS will scan it. If it finds a DCIM folder it will make note of all the jpegs and you can view them on the card with the default Gallery App. If you wish to copy them to the tablet, you can do so with ES File explorer. You can name the folders anything you choose and place them where you like. If you put your folders under the system Picture folder the Gallery app and all other Android photo apps will see them. If they are RAW files you must use RawDroid to inspect and cull them.

When you get home and hook your tablet up to your PC or Mac the tablet will appear to be an external storage device. All of the folders are visible on the tablet. You can use the Mac Finder or the Windows explorer to move your photos from the folder you stored them in to the final destination of your choosing.

 

Android Gallery

Ipad Photography Apps

My pet peeve for the Ipad is it's default PDF viewer is poor. It can not handle password protected PDF's and it does not handle internal PDF links. Fortunately Ibooks, which is a very good reader is downloadable for free, For the life of me, I don't know why it doesn't come with the Ipad. Goodreader is an even better PDF reader and it costs $5.99. As a bonus it allows you to transfer photos and books wirelessly to your Ipad.

If you hate cables and want more control over downloading your photos than the OSX synch process gives you, I recommend PhotoSynch. It allows you to wirelessly transfer photos from your OSX or Windows PC, to and from your Ipad. It costs a mere $1.99.

If you are a landscape photographer, Photographers Ephemiris is a great app. TPE is designed to allow outdoor photography shoots to be planned to ensure the best light for your subject.

If I need to edit photos on the road. I'll take my 13" Macbook Pro along, but if you must edit photos on your Ipad, Photogene is IMO the best app around. It has, level, curves, dodge, burn tool built in. The newest version has even added a healing tool, all for $2.99. It maximum image size is 21MP on the Ipad 2. Plenty big for most users. Nikon D3x users however are left out.

Photogene

Android Photography Apps

The default Android book reader is quite full featured and will work properly with any book that I've thrown at it.

There is an Android version of Photographers Ephemiris and it works the same as the Ipad version.

Adobe Photoshop Touch is a good photo editor for Android, but beware that it's maximum image resolution is 1600x1600 pixels, so it's good for web size images only!

If you unhappy with the stock Android Gallery viewer, Quick Pic is a good alternative and is a free dwonlad.

Ephemiris

What's a Photographer to do?

Mac OSX Users

If you are a Mac user and happy with the Mac way of doing things, it's a no brainer, buy an Ipad. Just be sure to get one with the maximum 64GB SSD storage available and the needed Ipad Camera Connection kit and Apple Digital AV adapter. If you have a smart cell phone there's no need to get 3G connectivity, Wi-Fi is all you'll need.

It is probable that Ipad 2 will soon be the low end Ipad and the Ipad 3 will be the premium iOS tablet. If you can afford it, it will be the Ipad of choice.

The Ipad RAW converters are part of iOS. If you shoot RAW, don't forget to always upgrade iOS, so you will always have access to the newest RAW converters.

 

 

Windows Users

If you're a novice Windows user the Ipad might be your best choice. It does an awful lot automatically and keeps you from losing photos into some black hole. It's interface to Windows via a DCIM folder is simple and works well.

If you're a power Windows user, you probably want an Android tablet. It will allow you to take control of your tablet and make it do what you want it to. I develope photoguides to be used on all types of OSX, Windows, Android and iOS computers. There are times when I find the limits which Apple has placed on the Ipad extremely frustrating. Things that work fine on the other 3 OS's often are a no go on the Ipad.

Be sure to purchase an add on 32GB of memory on a mini-SD card. It's easy enough for any user to plug it in to an Android tablet so you'll have plenty of storage for your photos.

Photoguide

 

 

About Miles Hecker

Miles has been involved with photography for over forty years. He teaches digital photography at Casper College in Casper,Wyoming. His photos have won awards from Natures Best magazine, Photo.net, The Luminous Landscape and Wyoming WIldlife . Miles' photos have been published in American Vignette, Backpacker Magazine, Natures Best Images, Popular Photography, Wyoming Audubon, and Wyoming Wildlife. He is co-founder of WyoFOTO LLC.

 

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Concepts: Apple Inc., IPhone, File manager, Multi-touch, App Store, Mac OS X, File system, Raw image format

Entities: Apple, Mac, Nikon, Adobe, Iphotos library, OS, PDF, Android, Windows, OSX, Miles Hecker, Ipad, Goodreader, Iphone, Macbook Pro, iPhone, Photoshop, Iphoto, 3G, Wi-Fi

Tags: photos, Android, raw files, tablet, Android tablet, DCIM folder, common raw file, RAW file types, Ipad RAW converters, Ipad Photo App, ES File explorer, external storage device, card reader, Ipad expansion port, folders, low end ipad, Ipad Camera Connection, Ipad version, import, Android App Store, Windows, gallery app, default android book, Photographers Ephemiris, maximum image, Android photo apps, premium iOS tablet, stock android gallery, default gallery app, user, Android version, RAW file support, current 3.2 version, newest raw converters, SD card reader, Ice Cream Sandwich, default pdf viewer, Iphoto setup mode, mobile phone version, tablet pc