This morning I posted a sort of Quiz online.
Who knows what I’m talking about.
For some the number will give bad luck but here it made the difference, add to this a split personality with love for music and the visual arts and you know why Adobe was part of the party crash …. And actually could have saved the day.
I wanted to change the Let’s go to Pencil it down but thought it would be to obvious.
So what did I mean.
Well today my brand new iPad pro 11″ 512GB came in.
Now you might think “Hey Frank didn’t you sell all your Apple gear and went to Android and Windows?” and yes you are 100% right, and don’t worry I still am, but there is much more to the story. So let me explain.
The reason I sold all my Apple gear was actually very simple, it didn’t make my work easier, but it did cost me an arm and a leg, MacBook pro became a disaster for me because Apple decided to downgrade the keyboard and take away the cardreader (which I still don’t get) and charge a ridiculous price. My MacPro I wanted to upgrade 3 years ago and I’m glad I build a PC because 3 years later we now know that I can never afford a nice Mac Pro. And the iPhone… well what can I say it’s awesome of course but the P30Pro blows it out of the water for photography (not video) and it’s about half the price.
And the iPad Pro?
Well I loved it, the moment it got announced I ordered it and got it a day later, the 12.9″ I was over the moon with the Pencil and it just was an awesome device, but….. Apple promised a lot and never came true, I ended up with an expensive blown up iPad that gave me hardly anything extra except screensize and the pencil than a normal iPad did. I do love to draw but in all honesty it’s not why I bought the Pro.
Over the years I kept watching what Apple did, and I always told people that although I don’t own any Apple products and I think they totally have lost their way for creatives I still labeled myself as a huge Apple fanboy.
So what changed.
Well let’s look at that riddle.
The bad luck number is of course iOS13 or in other words iPadOS (finally).
Well, I never expected Apple to not allow external devices on the iPad Pro, of course I knew it should have been lighting devices but I always expected that at least external drives would be allowed seeing you can’t expand the memory on Apple products (they want to keep the money themselves with overpriced memory upgrades) and let’s be honest for a bit of video editing and running photo editing software 128GB is a bit on the low side (that’s why I now opted for the 512GB) but with the iPadOS (iOS13) this has all changed, now you can add external drives, and it has a normal file system, and that for me is a HUGE turn.
The split personality has to do with Android and the software I want/need.
As a creative creator, in other words someone that loves to do video editing and photography it’s important that I can use the tools I need to do my work. In other words fast video editing and seamless photography workflows that can deliver a final product.
Now don’t get me wrong, Android is the better system at the moment for sharing and file systems, but…. there are also a lot of different devices available and I never thought that I would run into the problems I eventually did.
For video Adobe recently released Project Rush on iOS, it looks great and would make my work a lot easier compared to Powerdirector (which is a great solution but just not what I really want), the problem with Project Rush is that Adobe only releases it on certain devices, meaning some Samsung Phones, but it would really thrive on a tablet and I don’t see that happening to be honest on the new Huawei M6. Which I don’t get to be honest, my P30 Pro is insanely fast but Rush is not compatible which I understand of course at first, but it’s been a few months now. For Project Rush I was playing with the idea to just get a Samsung tablet when it would be released (Tab S5). But there was more.
When you look at iOS there is LumaFusion, an awesome video editing suite with loads more options than Rush, although it misses the great link to premiere (my favorite editor) on Android I could have done it all on Rush, but LumaFusion also was very attractive.
The other thing of course is the announcement of Photoshop for iOS, and I think it will be a cold day in hell before we see this on all Android devices, and when we do… do I have to switch over to yet another tablet? too many variables for me.
But there was more.
As you all know I’ve picked up playing music again a few months ago and I always loved Garageband to play with, although at that point it was just for fun I still knew how awesome it was, and on Android with all due respect I didn’t find anything that even came close not by a mile.
One could argue that the Apple Pencil is a lot better than the Huawei or Samsung stylus but you have to be realistic, for the work I do I don’t really need a million levels of tilt and pressure sensitivity, I just need palm rejection and a good stylus and all three would do just fine.
Adding everything together it became more and more clear that the new iPad Pro 11″ would be the perfect workhorse. Seeing how far Adobe has come with Lightroom CC and soon of course Photoshop for iPad (and for now Affinity) it covers all my Photography needs, add to this Lumafusion for video editing and Garage band for my music and it all added up.
So why not a laptop you might wonder.
Well I wondered the same. So let’s do that first.
At the moment I’m using a Dell XPS i9 32GB 15.6″ laptop which in short is a beast. It edits video like it’s nothing and only struggles with my drone footage (H265) but you can’t draw on the screen and the lightoutput outside is “unusable” for workshops I often just bring my Huawei M5 tablet because the laptop is just hard to see, even when shaded in a tent. The iPad pro is insanely bright and will do a great job in this scenario.
Now one might wonder….. how about speed?
Well this surprised me a lot, editing video on project Rush with files from my P30 Pro was a delight, it was 100% smooth and didn’t stutter for a moment, in fact rendering was almost as fast as my Laptop (excuse me… yeah it is)
But…but….but…. it’s a tablet you can’t be serious?
Yes I am, bare with me.
So speed on the iPad pro is insane, but this was already common knowledge with geekbench scores that actually were almost faster than a MacBook pro 15″, but that’s not the only thing, the thing I need is to be able to work on the screen with a stylus in software that can OR sync to the cloud like LightRoom CC so that I can save as TIFF 16 bits later when I’m home, or software that stores this format by itself. Both is possible on the iPad pro, but it’s still a tablet of course, and with a tablet you have some SERIOUS limitations.
The best solution I ever worked on, that really ticked all the boxes, was the Microsoft Surface book 2, it’s fast enough for 4K video (although I needed to use Proxy for the more serious editing) and working on the screen is a dream come through but it comes at a price. When you want something that can edit video flawlessly you are talking about 3000-3500 Euros which is a lot of cash. But don’t get me wrong it’s 100% worth it.
The iPad pro 11″ that I now bought with Pencil and keyboard case clocked in at just under 1500 euros.
To be honest for that price difference I can life with the limitations, and remember I also still have the Dell of course.
The last few weeks I’ve been testing and refining a mobile workflow that works and although with Android I was almost there it did get stuck on software. Lightroom CC is awesome and a gamechanger, project Rush same thing and if both would have worked on my Android tablet… well I wasn’t writing this piece.
Apple can’t convince me with their laptops, unless they add touch/pencil support and a cardreader back and make them slightly bigger for a full day work on a charge (another great benefit from a tablet, I’ve been testing the heck out of the iPad pro today and I’m still at 50% (and this included a 4K video project that alone would have halved my battery life on the Dell. Apple also lost me for their desktops, Windows 10 is stable, very fast and PCs are (let’s be honest) just a lot more affordable and up-gradable. And on the phones…. well I always loved my iPhone but unless they have the same kind of camera performance that my P30pro has for under 1100 for a 128GB version I’m not going back to the iPhone.
There is nothing wrong with Android.
But the thing is that with the new iPad Apple really has a device again that excites me and that really delivers the goods in a way that made me fall in love with Apple many years ago. And luckily now a days you can combine both eco systems without any problem (as soon as iOs13 has been released that is).
So is the iPad pro perfect?
Oh no far from.
First off all you’re limited severely with the apps, but that’s not a bad thing. Video editing is easier with a tablet than with the mouse for most of what I do, although I miss editing on the beat via shortcuts (Lumafusion I still have to test) so that’s hit and miss. With Photoshop you will miss your favorite plugins, but that’s fixable with presets in Lightroom or Photoshop, it’s just more limiting than for example Alien skin.
Also the way the iPad works now is just laughable compared to android.
I’m preparing everything for our trips to South Africa and Vegas/NY and it’s just ridiculous that in 2019 I have to upload magazines in a webbrowser and if the iPad goes to sleep it stops copying, and that’s not all…. when I’m done with the magazines I have to hard close the software and reload the browser to upload the movies via Wifi.
Also importing videos into Rush is a joke.
It’s only possible via cloud (serious, 10GB of video files via the cloud… even at home that takes a while let alone in a hotel), or via the photo roll, which means I have to copy everything to the photo-roll first and after that into Rush…. well this is a HUGE frustration and luckily soon solved.
What do I need to solve?
Well in fact I’ve solved almost everything now for a professional workflow for both photography and video. The only thing I would love to be able to do is to shoot tethered to the iPad pro, with the Sony software I can already do it wireless which works like a charm but when doing tradeshows this can be a problem in busy wifi areas, so shooting via USB would be great. Another thing that I need to look at is how to empty my phones images to the iPad pro, probably just via USB-C but I still have to test this (probably tomorrow)
This explains the riddle.
Back to Apple for the iPad pro, it feels very familiar (which is a shame) but soon it will be even more awesome 🙂
The only problem…. it’s 4 years after I bought my first iPad pro for exactly this reason… well at least it’s now coming.
Feel free to leave any tips down here for apps or things I really have to check out.
Although I’ve used Apple products (including iPhones and iPads) for years it’s been a while.