Reviews on gear and software

BenQ SW270C review

As you all probably know I’m a huge fan of BenQ.
A few years ago they were in the same booth as I did demos for ExpoImaging and I was looking at their monitors when they asked me if I wanted to try one. At first I was a bit hesitant because I was also in talks at that moment with another brand which I used. However there were a few things that did draw me a lot towards BenQ.

First of all price
For what they deliver the BenQ monitors are very friendly. Take into account that with the BenQ series you often get a free monitor shade (which you often have to buy with other brands).

Second of all however quality
I’m a sucker for hardware calibration in monitors, I don’t want this to be too technical but imagine being able to calibrate a monitor not via the PC/Mac but right in the monitor itself, meaning with the software that is designed by the manufacturers to get the maximum quality of your display. Plus of course the option to use 16 bits LUTs, it’s in short all pretty well under control.

Annewiek and I ran a computer company for over 20 years and we’ve dealt with BenQ a lot in the past. For gamers… well there is one brand that they all wanted…. BenQ, so when they told me they were very serious about the new line of photography/design monitors I was immediately sold… well not immediately, I still had to see the monitor of course, but long story short… I was sold. The quality of that first monitor was without a doubt on par with what I was using at that moment but it was several hundred euros cheaper, and let’s be honest everyone can only spend their money once. But don’t get me wrong, BenQ is not a price fighter or cheap brand, on the opposite, it’s a very nicely designed monitorbrand with amazing specs, the thing is…. it’s BenQ, and the company is just a lot bigger than some of the competitors so they keep the prices lower. So don’t be fooled by price alone.

In todays review it’s about their brand new monitor, the SW270C.

Some tech talk
One of the things that it’s important for us photographers is of course, how much Adobe RGB will it show?
Well I can answer that with a whopping 99% which by any standard is pretty awesome.
Also take into account that the monitor as mentioned before is hardware calibrate-able so you really get a stunning view on your images. If this is your first Adobe RGB monitor, get ready to be stunned, the representation of color and detail is just awesome.

The monitor uses a 10bits 16bits LUT table, which means…. well it’s very good.
(It actually means that you have a load of headroom for adjustments, resulting in ultra smooth gradients between colors, so no more “banding” or other weird artifacts)

Resolution wise it’s not a 4K display but a so called 2K display, this means the resolution clocks in at 2560×1440 which is very nice for a 27″ monitor. For me personally I can handle 4K on a 27″ but 2K is perfectly fine, and I think most people will actually prefer 2K above 4K for the very simple reason that you can see everything at 100% scaling (under windows) and you don’t have to go up to 150-200% which means your images and menus actually look razor sharp on the SW270C.

Color Uniformity
For my work as an ISF calibrator I always struggle with color uniformity. Not that I can help it, but it’s just annoying as heck. Imagine a fully white screen and the edges are darker, the left is reddish and the right is more blueish. It’s not something you want to work on trust me. Now I’m the first to admit that NO monitor is perfect, it’s simply not possible (yet) but BenQ uses some pretty smart techniques to bring back the effect to an absolute minimum (read, I can measure it, but I dare you to see it). The monitor is looking silky smooth.

Out of the box calibration
Well yeah, ahum, sorry guys
This is of course a bit of a confusion issue.
Most professional monitors are delivered with a piece of paper with an overview of a calibration report, it shows you that grayscaling is right, that the colorspace and gamma are correct etc. do always remember that this means your monitor is up to the high standard BenQ wants it to be, it does NOT mean that if you connect it to your PC/Mac that you don’t have to calibrate. Every GPU (videocard) is different, and especially when you are serious about your work it’s essential that you calibrate the monitor yourself. And it’s really easy, just use the Palletmaster software that is delivered with the monitor and within a few minutes you’re up and running. Now repeat this process every time you have an important retouch job (make sure the monitor has been on for at least 30 minutes) and you’re a pro… well ok you know what I mean.

For the video guys
Video is essential now a days, if you as a photographer don’t want to do anything with video…. please reconsider, or lose your job in the future, video is key for the future.

HDR10 and native framerate
The BenQ SW270C is able to show you HDR10 material, this means in short that you have more shadow and highlight detail than on a normal SDR display. You can compare it to a HDR photo, expect in the case of video it’s not “highly destructive retouching” but “High Dynamic Range”…. yeah sorry had to make that joke, due to the many people that still can’t create a real looking HDR photo. (sorry guys).

But next to HDR10 it’s also important that a monitor supports 24 (23.976) and 25 fps playback.
Most monitors will show you this material but they will use a pull-down technique which will result in judder or even breakup of the image when motion is appearing. To be able to see this material without any further processing is vital for judging the “smoothness” of your pans, and will actually be a great learning tool for a beginning filmer.

The rest
Of course there is more.
BenQ has been delivering a “puck” with their monitors for quite some time now, and it’s interesting to see what you can do with it.
You can for example switch between color-spaces, or even compare them on screen, one side Adobe RGB and one side sRGB, this way you can literally see how your images will look online.

The SW270C now also supports USB-C which is of course a welcome addition in todays market, but not everyone seems to get this.

Conclusion
Of course it’s difficult to write a review about a monitor.
Let’s be honest, you have to plugin and it shows you your images… right?
However there is so much that is important in the design and performance of a monitor that is often forgotten.

Over the years BenQ has delivered a stunning amount of really good monitors, and at the moment I think is one of the best choices on the market if you are willing to spend some money but don’t want to break the bank, and even when you are really tight to a budget… there is a BenQ monitor for you in the P3 colorspace series (see this review) so whatever you need BenQ has you covered.

But in the end it’s about quality.
And this is were in my opinion BenQ really hits the nail on the head, and if there is a problem with a monitor their support team is really fast with answering questions. Do not confuse dealers with BenQ by the way, if you have a problem with a monitor and you’re not satisfied with your dealer, mail BenQ directly and they will help you out.

I calibrated the SW207C and have been working with for a while now and can wholeheartedly say… HIGHLY and I mean HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Mobile workflow video coming

As you know we are working on a fully tablet based PRO workflow with the iPad pro. After one week I can say it works IF you have proper internet and a fast external drive.

Video editing with #lumafusion is a dream, Lightroom CC works like a charm and for the more advanced stuff for now #afinity till Photoshop is released

Only problem is/was shooting tethered. Wireless works in the hotel and locations but at the tradeshow this was unusable slow. So we are looking at other wireless solutions and USB tethering and believe it or not I’ve got it fully working. RAW files come in and are shown and you can browse them even….. Disadvantage?
That last part (shooting with USB) only works on Android after some “tinkering”

I’ll make a video later this week or the next.
But it’s VERY promising but for it to really work you need iPadOS which is being released in September I still did it with ios12 and it makes you jump to so many hoops it’s really frustrating sometimes.

Anything you like in the video?
Let me know

Mobile workflow iPad (pro) photos and lightroom and small review section

As you all know we are working on figuring out if the iPad pro can be a full replacement for a laptop. Well let me rephrase that, it will never fully replace a laptop, but let’s say I want to see if for travel we will be able to leave our laptops at home and do everything on an iPad pro.

So what do we do?
Well first off it’s the simple things like Email, browsing, media consumption, reading comics/magazines, playing games while flying etc. and I can say… well as expected no problem at all.

But I also do a lot of video editing, and this was a bit of a challenge on the Android tablet, although there is a good file system (please hurry up with iPad OS Apple) there are no real killer apps for video, of course we have Powerdirector which is pretty awesome but also pretty limited, I could do my videos on it but only if I’m willing to cut corners, which in all honesty is ok for once but certainly not for every video. Project Rush is awesome but only on Samsung phones, so this actually pushed us towards the iPad pro, now I have to add that although I love project Rush, when travelling I need a bit more (seeing I can’t finish projects in Premiere when I don’t bring a laptop) but luckily there is LumaFusion, and oh my… if there ever was a reason to run out and buy an iPad pro it’s LumaFushion, I can’t really express in words how awesome this app is, think about everything you want from a good video editor and LumaFusion has it, and editing with touch…. it’s just awesome.

Ok but today it’s about something else.
And it’s actually about something that will be easier soon, but still I wanted to give you this tip.

The Lightroom CC problem
Lightroom CC is a game changer, let me make that a bit more clear it’s a GAME CHANGER… sorry for shouting, but it really is. The moment Adobe released Lightroom Mobile I was intrigued to see where this would lead, and in all honesty it never went anywhere, it was a total disaster, this might sound harsh but I’m totally honest it was just unusable due to the fact you were very limited to what it would hold picture wise. Lightroom CC changed everything, now you can really work on your files both in the cloud and locally and it’s just a very well thought out application. I still miss some things but I’m pretty sure Adobe will add this to the future releases.

But it’s not all perfectly.
Let me just walk you through the frustration and how I solved it (well pretty much). I’ll give you 3 solutions that will hopefully fit everyone.
Do remember that when iPad OS is released, it will be a LOT easier.

Normal situation
We shoot outside and come home with 300 images.
Downloading the images on the iPad pro is no problem, I use a 512GB version so for small trips this is more than enough to hold all the images, but… when shooting in cities like New York for a week it hardly is enough (I really shoot a lot of images on the streets)


The DJI Copilot is at the moment a must have when you want some serious work done on an iPad (pro)

So my idea was the following
Use the DJI CoPilot to empty the card to let’s say folder “Day 1”
Now import all the photos into Lightroom CC and….. oh wait this is Apple.
First import all the photos into photos, and than import all the photos into Lightroom CC.
Now star/flag the ones I want and delete everything else.
Now edit the files and just leave them on the device in the album “Day 1”

Day 2 comes and we do the same.
Empty the card on the DJI CoPilot.
Import, flag, delete, edit… done.

Well yeah, sounds great right?
When I’m home I just copy all the days with all images from the DJI CoPilot to my desktop.
Now sync up Lightroom CC and choose “Save original + settings” and just copy these OVER the files that are already on the desktop.
Now when you sync everything up in Lightroom Classic it will import all the images and will show you the flagged images including the retouches so you can save them as TIFFs, or just leave them there, whatever fits your workflow.

Sounds great right?
Well yeah it is, it saves you a lot of space on the iPad pro, all your files are save on the external drive and the retouched images are in the cloud, or on the iPad pro when there is no internet to upload, easy peasy awesome….. well not quite.

The Apple issue
When you delete all the images in Lightroom CC that you did not select, it doesn’t delete those images from Photos (film roll). So you have a few options to work around this.

When you don’t shoot a lot of images
Don’t
If you only travel for a weekend or don’t shoot a lot, no problem at all 512GB is a lot of space so you will not have any issues at all.
Just backup everything from the iPad when you’re home and you’re done, and with Lightroom CC you don’t even have to connect anything it just syncs everything.

When you shoot a lot
Creative Cloud storage is not free, and it isn’t much in most cases, for me it’s 100GB sounds like a lot, but if I can fill a 512GB iPad… well do the math (it’s not that hard). So we have to find a way around.

Solution 1 (not perfect)
Import ALL photos into Photos (filmroll)
Now just browse and select everything you like with a hart, this will put it into the favorites folder
Now it’s easier to select all the other images and delete them so only the favorites stay, import only the favorites into Lightroom CC and you’re done.
This is already a very fast workflow and works pretty well. But we want more speed of course.

Solution 2 (pretty cool)
Import ALL photos into Photos (filmroll)
Now download the free app called “Slidebox”
This is a really cool app.
When you open the app you can “tinder through your images”
Swipe left and right to go to the next or back
Swipe UP and you thrash an image, selecting the keepers this way is incredibly fast, and Slidebox saves your trashcan so after your selection process just look in the trashcan before you say “delete all” and you’re all done.
Now import the left over images into Lightroom CC and… voila.

Solution 3 almost perfect, well at least it’s very close
On the road just empty the cards on the DJI Copilot
Now via the browser app from DJI create the folder structure and copy everything where you want it, do remember that renaming is not possible in batch (yet)
Now instead of creating the selection in photos, just import everything into Lightroom CC, but put your tablet/phone on airplane mode (unless you have a steady and fast internet connection).
Make your selections and only keep the images you like (the 5 stars)
Now Lightroom CC only has the selects
Take your device out of airplane mode and let Lightroom CC sync to the cloud
It will now upload all the files that are still in Lightroom CC
When this is done.
You can now safely remove all images from your photos app (remember the full res originals are now in the cloud)
When you’re home copy everything to your Lightroom Classic locations, don’t rename yet
Now sync Lightroom Classic with the cloud
Drag the images to the same locations as the RAW files
And now you can rename everything but keep the edits

This workflow is the fastest and saves you a lot of space on your tablet. The only disadvantage is that first you have to trust the cloud (remember the originals are still on your drive so the worst that can happen is losing the edits) and when you’re without wifi or connection you can edit in Lightroom CC but not in an external program for the simple reason the original files are not on your device, only smart previews, unless of course you set it up that Lightroom CC saves the original files, but that will cost you space.

 

Conclusion Photography workflow
The main problem with all Apple products like iPhone, iPad etc. is that you don’t have a proper file system, when I look at what my Android devices do it’s so much easier to work with larger file amounts, you can just open with an app from every directory where on the iPad I often have to move files from one folder to the other via via (it’s not user friendly and the chance that you make a mistake is huge), however with the announcement of iPadOS this will all change (September), after that update you can just use external drives and work from those and you will have a proper file system, I just hope the apps will also support this…. but I guess productivity apps like LumaFusion and Lightroom will do this without a doubt.

Now when you read the solutions you might think it’s a lot of work… but trust me it isn’t.
IF there is a good file system it will be faster but in all honesty solution 2 is a very fast way to work around this and solution 3 is using all the sync options from the cloud which makes that one actually my favorite, the only thing you have to keep in mind is that you don’t rename your images before the synced images and the ones from the drive are all together in one location.


A keyboard case is a must if you want the iPad to replace a laptop. I’m using the Logitech slim because of the back lit keys.

Conclusion on the iPad pro so far
I get a lot of questions about what I think about the iPad pro so far.
Let me state by saying I’ve always been an Apple fanboy, and although I didn’t own any Apple products anymore I still followed the news and keynotes and it actually really hurts me seeing Apple has lost it’s way to be attractive to creators like me (people that are willing to spend some money but don’t have a money tree in the garden) however with the arrival of iPadOS this might totally change for the iPad line up, especially the Pro line up, let me quickly explain.

Video editing
The limitation is without a doubt that you work with apps instead of full programs, on the other hand…. isn’t an app also a full program?
When I look at for example LumaFusion (coupled with a good filesystem (and this is really key)) I can only say that although it’s an app on a tablet I can do the same things I can do with premiere or Final Cut, ok this is not true… let me say it like this, I can do everything I need. And believe it or not, but editing on the iPad pro is actually faster than on my Dell XPS 9570 i9 with 32GB, yep I hear some people going like “Really Frank, come on be serious”, oh I’m very serious (almost to a point it hurts). I’ve edited a vlog the other day including some H265 drone video material, my normal 4K material I can edit on the Dell without using Proxy (as long as I don’t grade), but H265 drone material…. well it doesn’t every play on the time line on 1/4 resolution, if I don’t use proxy it’s unworkable, and rendering afterwards takes a long time.

On the iPad pro believe it or not, drop it on the time line, grade as much as you want and it’s buttery smooth, I actually didn’t notice a difference between the normal 4K H264 and the Drone 4K H265 material, and that boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen is SERIOUSLY sick and impressive. Rendering same story, 10 minute 4K vlog in the highest quality renders in almost real time, 10 minutes and 5 seconds….. wow. On the Dell this is app the same but again that’s one of the fastest laptops on the market as far as I know.

Photography
When I look at Lightroom CC it’s perfect for mobile workflows, same with Project Rush although at the moment I prefer LumaFusion because it has more options that I need (like speed ramps). Also with Lightroom CC I can’t really say I’m feeling I’m working with a crippled app, and let’s be honest when the whole iPad “pro” started that was what you got, shameless promoted very limited apps that in all honesty couldn’t be take seriously. If you can’t export files in anything else than HD JPGs I really can’t take an app seriously, unless you’re an Instagramer maybe.

I can’t wait for Photoshop to arrive on the iPad Pro, for the time being I’m using Affinity Photo and in all honesty I was blown away by what it could do, but…. also a bit dissapointed about the speed, I tried to create a 21 file panorama from my Mavic Pro 2 (Hasselblad version) and this took a staggering 20+ minutes…. yeah serious, my laptop does it in under a minute in Lightroom Classic. Seeing how fast the iPad pro edits video there must be some bugs in Affinity because this is really slow. On the other hand I’m not a programmer and it could very well be that the limitation here is actually the 4GB internal memory of the iPad pro. Overall Affinity is relatively smooth on the iPad pro even with 60MP files it all goes very well, inpainting (a sort of content aware fill) is sluggish on larger areas and far from what Adobe does with Content Aware Fill but…. for an app on a tablet I take my hat off to Affinity and take a deep bow, this is a pretty good and solid photo editor that actually gives you everything you need to retouch.

Doodling or serious drawing
What can I say.
The new iPad pro (my previous one was a 2015 model) has a much better Apple Pencil experience, mostly because you have a different screen and now there is hardly any space between where you touch the glass and where you draw, now in all honesty I draw ok but not good enough to even notice that, but I can imagine that real artists see this as a huge improvement. Same for the insane 9ms lag….. I already thought the 20ms was insanely fast.

For drawing I highly recommend Adobe of course but also check out Procreate or MediBang Paint, especially when you’re into Manga you will love the last one, but Procreate is for me the allround winner, start drawing with it and I can guarantee you you will be hooked. The Apple pencil and the iPad pro are a dream for people that love to draw (I guess).

What’s missing?
A few things.
Somehow I couldn’t get my Powerpoint presentations to run, I stored them all as odb files (Open Document files) mainly because I want them to work in all situations also when I have to change laptops with someone, but this was apparently a mistake. Everything about 300MB wouldn’t open in both Keynote and Powerpoint. Solution was to open it on the desktop, save as PPTX and import that into Keynote and save and voila… now it all works. I just need to find a good remote to control Keynote.

Filesystem we talked about and that is coming, and I hope that solves my other problem.

With tethering I can use the Sony app, which works like a charm, it’s fast, it’s stable and it does exactly what I need, showing images on the screen when I shot them within a second. And I can also switch to Live View mode so students can see what I see and how I frame a shot. BUT…. there is a huge problem with wireless tethering. Although it works at home, in the studio or out in the open field, don’t ever try it on a tradeshow floor and expect it to go flawless, yes it can work, but most of the time it will be flaky or you have to stand really close to the tablet. With iPadOs and the opening up of that USB-C port I really hope we will soon find a solution to shoot tethered into lightroom CC via USB, that would really be the ultimate solution.

What’s so cool?
Well let’s keep it short ok?
When editing video and photos on my laptop the battery runs down fast and I mean FAST.
On the iPad pro of course the battery runs down faster than when surfing the web but in all honesty I’m stunned by how long the battery actually lasts during heavy loads, if I remember correctly editing the vlog took me about 45 minutes, rendering took me another 10 and I believe I lost about 15-20% of my battery life, that’s insane. This makes it 100% possible to edit on the plane and don’t worry about losing your media consumption tablet when you’re done.


add the amazing Omnicharge to the package and you will “never” run out of juice on location.
See my review here : YouTube review for the Omnicharge

But there is more to that.
When you run on the battery on a laptop you are almost forced to use the on board GPU which is VERY slow compared to the dedicated GPU which you can use when on power. And when you’re running a tablet like the Surface book 2 (without the base) you don’t even have the option to force the dedicated GPU plus the battery will die incredibly fast. Now in a hotel that’s not a big problem, just charge, but on a plane you can often charge a tablet via USB (in almost every seat) but power for a laptop…. well not so easy unless of course you fly business.

And finally…..
Oh my……
As you all know I love playing guitar, and recording yourself is of course possible on Android and on iOS, but writing your own music is a different story. Garageband from Apple is one of those genius programs, you can’t really understand what I mean unless you’re a musician or ever tried Garageband, I can literally find NOTHING on Android that comes even close, and yeah I really tried a lot of apps, nothing compares to Garageband, the autoplay instruments, awesome loops, style drummers…. pffff I get so excited by writing this I want to play and record something, it’s so addictive, and the end result is fully usable.


Garage band alone (coupled with an iRig HD2) would be a reason to invest in an iPad

Of course there will be people that say “just bring a laptop, I can’t understand why you would spend money on a tablet”.
Well I have a very good answer for that (I think).
My laptop that I need for video editing has to be specked out, so it retails for app 2800.00 Euro.
The iPad pro I now use is the 11″ 512GB version and retails for under 1500.00 Euro, including a keyboard case and the Apple Pencil.
Plus when travelling I don’t need to bring : the Dell, the powersupply, my Wacom Tablet, Mouse. Which in all honesty saves me not only a lot of weight but also stuff to carry around and take care off. Add to this that I never worked on my laptop when flying or on a bus, but the iPad you just grab from your bag and you can work on it. It’s a totally different experience.

I will post some more updates when you guys are interested, and feel free to ask me questions about problems I encounter or solutions. I’m having a boat load of fun to be honest figuring everything out, and it’s painfully clear that the iPad pro was NEVER a pro device, but with the filesystem in iPadOs it will be.

 

Back….. with Apple…. not really but yes.

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.

Let’s go……

 

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).
So why?
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)

So….
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.