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iPadOS my first impressions (mixed)

As you probably know we are working on a fully laptop less workflow for photography and video based on the iPadPro.
In all honesty I was more than happy with my Huawei M5 tablet and didn’t feel any need to go back to Apple (I sold all my Apple gear a few years ago and are 100% satisfied with my P30Pro, Garmin VivoActive, ChromeCast and Windows Machines) but thanks to the iPad Pro, but mostly the apps, I decided to take the plunge and order an iPad Pro with Pencil 2. So far so good.

When the iPad pro 12.9 was released I was I think one of the first that hit refresh, refresh, refresh to order one, and a day later I could pick it up, the PRO ipad…. wow….. and what a disappointment. No apps that really used the iPad “pro”, it was literally just like the iPad just a blown up iPhone, nothing wrong with the iPad by the way I loved it, but it was a FAR cry from a pro device (what is it with that Pro title anyway, it seems soon I can Pro underwear and Pro socks or something).

So my first experience kind of sucked, Apple promised the heavens and it delivered a slight hell. A totally closed up system without any serious apps. But things have changed, not thanks to Apple (where is Final Cut Pro iPad for example) but thanks to companies like Lumatouch with Lumafusion (which is absolutely mind boggling), Adobe with Lightroom CC and soon Photoshop iPad and of course Affinity Photo. All great apps which are mainly focussed on iOs which I think is a bit of a shame because the Android tablets are very fast too, anyway long story short, when they announced iPadOS my interest was peaked, FINALLY an open file system.

Now why is that important
Try travelling with an iPad a few times and you know.
As long as you have blazingly fast internet… no problem but we recently visited Johannesburg and had to work with a stunning 2MB down and 0.09 up (yep I didn’t make a mistake really 0.09 up) meaning uploading my images to Lightroom CC was impossible, we started uploading 20 images at night and the next morning we hit 25%, Starbucks was my favorite place, but they only offered 5GB a month for free so uploading a vlog was impossible but for photos it was ok. But this shows the incredible limitation of iOS as it is. One could say… “use an external drive” well yeah… and no. You know copying with 100MB/s is ok but thanks to the limitations of the iPad pro I somehow never was able to break the 4MB/s to my harddrive (LaCie CoPilot) although uploading to the iPad worked ok with 20MB/s, connect it to my PC and it broke the 100MB/s with ease. So think about making a backup with 3MB/s of 25GB each day…. you get the idea I think. Add to this that you can’t let the iPad run all night with a harddrive connected because you can’t charge the bloody thing because it only has one port and with a dock the harddrive wasn’t recognized and you know why the iPad Pro with iOS is no pro device at all.

Which is a shame because as mentioned the apps are there. And in all honesty I can 90% of my work with those apps. So the idea of not bringing my laptop during travels is awesome (especially with the Apple pencil).

So what works?
Under iOS everything works, but getting stuff OFF the iPad Pro is a disaster, without fast internet, connect it to your PC for example and images can come off but videos are not seen (WHY) also it’s super frustrating to not be able to just use my downloaded music from talentsy/epidemic in Rush and Lumafusion without making two folders with the same content (come on). But it works if you stick to your workflow.

At one point even batch renaming was “semi” possible, still ridiculous no app or apple supports this and you have to use automator, but hey, it works (semi).

Powerpoint/keynotes work great, every projector and TV we used worked flawlessly, expect at my seminar at B&H we couldn’t get the ipad pro outputting a signal, but that was only once, luckily we had a backup and that one worked (phone and laptop). Shooting tethered wirelessly worked flawlessly with the Camfi (not stable/fast enough with the Sony app) and of course video editing and photo editing is no problem at all, if you can life with the photo apps from Apple (which is a disaster for a pro but ok).

iPadOs
So iPadOS
Ok I didn’t want to install it while travelling and when we arrived back I decided to wait for the final release, but seeing it’s only end of September and it’s now the 14th and I use the iPad pro almost every day I took the chance and installed iPadOS. And lets see at what I think and found out.

  1. External drives
    Yes it works, well semi.
    You have to format your drives in ExFAT, don’t try anything else it won’t work, don’t try to format on the iPad pro… because it doesn’t have an app for that, which I think is ridiculous seeing harddrives come mostly not in ExFat when you buy them, so you still need a computer to format them.
  2. External drive speed
    This is a HUGE disappointment for now, I hoped for a speedy way to copy my files or maybe even work straight from the hard drive, well forget about it. I did a quick calculation based on time and file size and I think the iPad pro tops out at max 25MB/s and this is with an SSD that tops out at 300MB/s on my desktop so it’s not the SSD.
  3. External tumbdrives
    Works although I only tested a few, speed was nothing more than usable
  4. Open file system
    NO WAY….
    This is not what I expected.
    Yes you can use external drives and files (the app to browse etc) but it’s still very iOS (like) for example there is still no way to batch rename files, the files app still doesn’t show you the film roll etc but I have some tips for that
  5. Look and feel
    Now for some people this is the biggest change but in all honesty I don’t really care for it, but I have to say, getting more apps on one page is awesome and well overdue, also the widgets on the home page is cool and of course Dark Mode and a full browing experience and semi multitasking is great, but that isn’t what I hoped for the most, but it’s cool don’t get me wrong.

Some tips for copying
For me the most important thing was getting files on and off and browsing via apps.
Well the most disappointing factor is that NONE of the apps so far use this option, Lumafusion still needs the import folder, Project Rush doesn’t even have the option for a folder or external drive (only cloud etc.) same with almost every other app I tried, BUT that being said this is still the beta so I guess the apps will be updated, if not…. I have to be honest I’ll go back to a laptop because this is just a very cumbersome way to work, that being said I’m almost sure they will update the apps so just wait for the final release and for now ignore that remark 😀

Ok so how do you go to and from the film roll.
Most apps use the film roll from apple for all the files, but how do you get files from the film roll to your harddrive and from your harddrive to the film roll when you don’t see the files/drives?

When you are in Apple’s film roll just select the files and select/copy. Now just leave the film roll and go to files and long press and use Paste. It took me a few minutes to figure this out because I expected actually to have it available a bit more obvious. Going from files to the film roll is a different story…. pffff.
Select the files and use SHARE, now under share use SAVE FILES and voila it saves it into the film roll. So it’s doable but it’s still very iOS like.

Conclusion
I still haven’t test a lot more like mouse support etc. because for me the most important thing is that file system.
So far so “good” I’m ok with how it works (when I figured it out) but I don’t feel like I’m working with an apple product and it hurts me to say this but I really feel Apple lost it’s way, and iPad OS so far shows this very clearly. For me Apple was always simple, easy to understand and very very clear how it works. At the moment (and it’s still in beta) we have a file system that works, but it’s not Apple worthy, it’s not impossible to use it (far from) but it’s more complicated that it needs to be, I only want to say… look at Android. For years I’ve been able to just connect it to my desktop and see all my files and copy back and forth without any limitations, also within Android most apps just let you select files from different locations. If you’re not careful it can become a mess but let’s be honest it’s the same on your desktop.

Apple has an amazing, magical (to speak in keynote words) device with the iPad pro, and I really mean this, it’s a kick ass device with incredible speed and battery life for what it does, yesterday I edited a complete vlog again and after editing, rendering and uploading with almost full brightness it only took a 18% battery hit, my laptop would be almost empty (remember these are 4K vlogs with edits in video and audio) and 10 Minutes vlog only takes 10 Minutes to render, my i9 on premiere pro does it in similar times so that’s just incredible.

What I miss is that Apple sauce. That very easy to understand interface, that interaction between the human and the machine (well you know what I mean), It seems like Apple is going backwards in a fast tempo for user interface but also going forwards in other departments like finally a full browsing experience (although on Chrome you can also ask for the full version of a website, but ok I’ll give them that).

What’s your opinion?
For me I just hope they make the copying to external devices much faster, 25MB/s in 2019 is really not from this time, we need at least 100MB/s and on USB-C that should be more than possible. Also I hope they open up the file system a bit more and make it integrate with the film roll like it should be. Or make the film roll an app like gallery and open up the folder film roll, now it’s really that it’s a fully closed app with all your photos which you can’t rename (still find that weird to the max) and can’t see on the iPad itself.

For now I think the iPad pro is an amazing device and a real game changer, the Apple Pencil 2 is just sick (in a very positive way) and the apps are more than adequate replacements/helpers for the desktop apps, it’s not that I really miss things, even skin retouching is easy with both Lightroom CC and Affinity (and soon Photoshop), but the file system REALLY needs some more work, but at least we now have something. It’s just a shame that a real Pro device is still a bit crippled by Apple that can’t seem to make up it’s mind if it’s fashion brand or a creatives dream company (which it once was).

Looking forward to your opinions.

iPhone x

Ok so the iPhone x has been released what are your thoughts? Let me share mine.

I’ve been critical to Apple ever since the mbp. Since than my Apple Watch has been switched and even my Macpro and iPad are replaced. The reasons….. very simple.

Where Apple always was first and best it’s now the best in build quality and probably experience but it’s running behind on things that are already available with the competition.

So what are my thoughts.

Don’t worry this will be short.

Love love the iPhone x

Let’s be honest it’s gorgeous it’s amazing and incredible, almost magical (like Apple said) the design is really nice and I like the new camera options although in all honesty you can do the same very quickly in Lightroom mobile or other apps.

Love the depth effect on the front camera

Love wireless charging, although I don’t see me doing this at home. But at Starbucks, airports etc it’s very handy

Face recognition is WOW and I mean WOW. Awesome and magical.

And that’s about it.

I don’t care about animojis. Yeah it’s fun and I would love to use it for fun.

Now in all honesty I was almost planning on not switching to the Samsung note 8. I’m still a bit terrified to do it because I only had ios smart phones. But my experiences with the Samsung tab s2 has been nothing less than good and very positive.

So what did me change my mind…..

Something I never expected to say, the design of Apple iPhone x has a MAJOR flaw and I can’t believe that they did this.

We have all seen the mock ups with the top part where all the cameras are housed. My expectations were that when you watch a video or look at a photo that this part would be totally black. To my horror it isn’t. At first annewiek told me that that would be something I could get used to…… heck no. Never. It’s like a dust particle under my protector. My eyes just drift towards that gaping gap where video or photos are supposed to be…… it’s not the way I would expect a end design team to work. I’m actually quite shocked.

So what next

I’ve been waiting for a new phone because I wanted to do more with video on the phone and IS on the tele is very welcome plus external audio. The note 8 caught my attention to the very bright screen (1200 nits vs 750) which is awesome when flying my drone in the sun. Als the Samsung supports external mics

I love the depth effect but also want raw support and of course being able to alter the effect after taking the shot. Samsung offers this including the option to take both wide and tele shots and altering the effects afterwards.

AR looked awesome but in reality I will never use it. I’m just not a gamer. I shoot and edit photos and video, I consume media, do mail and social media and I love the idea of the spen for video editing. (Love iMovie but with your fingers on the iPhone 7plus was not really handy. With the iPad Pro it’s awesome).

So……

After many many years of Apple iPhones which I absolutely loved it’s now time to say farewell to my beloved iPhone series. And even when you take out the idea of the gap the pricing Is just insane. 999.00 will be 1159 euros in the Netherlands which means the 256gb will probably be 1350. The note 8 retails for 999 plus a free dex station valued at 159.00. Saves me a lot of money.

What will I spend that money on…..

On the Apple TV 😉

Finally 4k and hdr and with Apple TV you know for sure that Netflix and youtube will be supported plus I found a good working remote on android 😉

So what are your ideas?

Don’t get me wrong. I still love the whole Apple feel and mood. And will probably always be an Apple fanboy. Only now without Apple products.

Man it feels weird.

One more thing….

4k 60fps is superb but my other video material is all 4k 25fps so I have to integrate it into that timeline. Also 1080p 240fps is great but I hardly use it for “real” material. But hey that’s me. Your opinion might be totally different.

iPad pro, Surface Pro4, Wacom Cintiq… which one…..

A while ago I posted a video online where I showed an app called Astropad.
This app is pretty awesome, it makes it possible to do some retouching in Photoshop/Lightroom etc. on your iPad pro with the Apple Pencil, and it works pretty well, although it has limitations (later more). This video got an amazing amount of views, actually it’s nearing the 180.000 views on YouTube. It also got some remarks which literally puzzled me but also motivated me to write this very short (well ok I’ll try) review on 3 amazing devices, but all in their own right. So…. ladies and gentleman hold your horses, buckle in and if you want to comment please read the article very well and read your reply before pressing post.

 

The weird, dumb, crazy remarks 
Now as you know me I’m a pretty laid back kind of guy, you can’t get me angry very quickly and I’ll always try to answer any question you guys have, but sometimes……

On the video on Astropad I clearly demonstrated an APP on the iPad pro that MIMICS what you can normally do on a Wacom Cintiq. I loved (and still love) this app, but it has limitations. First of all it has to be run on an iPad that is connected to your Mac, this means you ALWAYS need a mac close by, but as long as you are in the same network this means it can be anywhere in your home, this makes it possible to retouch in Photoshop while sitting on the coach.. pretty cool. Now that’s the app, and I think I was pretty clear in that video what it did….. Still MANY people asked me if it ran Photoshop and NO it doesn’t (clearly).

The thing that did get me a frustrated a lot were the many many people starting “wars” on that the iPad pro sucked, I was a fool and I needed to get a surface pro 4. Yeah well…. that wasn’t the idea of the video right? you don’t tell someone that owns a Volvo that he has to get a tractor or plane. But…. it did motived me to call up our friends at Microsoft and arrange an Surface pro 4.

And this…. is where I start this review/opinion on 3 great devices.

 

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iPad pro
Let me start with this one.
It retails for app 1200 euros and you have the familiar cool stuff that you are used to from Apple (or if you’re not an Apple fanboy, the bad stuff), it’s a great device to surf the web, you can watch a LOT of movies while traveling, you can use Lightroom mobile and now with the Apple pencil you can get incredibly creative with software like Pro-create and the Adobe suite or MediaBang etc. etc. there is a lot.

I got the iPad pro for one very simple reason, I LOVE to draw. I haven’t drawn in a long time because I never felt the digital way was my way and to draw on paper… well I don’t know why I didn’t do it but I just didn’t (end of story), with the iPad pro and the Apple Pencil I loved the way it felt and I was immediately sold, plus I like the larger display to watch movies on in the RV or while traveling, although in the plane it can sometimes be a bit too big, but then when you read a comic….. ahhhhh heaven, it’s amazing.

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Astropad I already mentioned and is a great app if you ALREADY have an iPad, you buy it for a very reasonable price and you can retouch on your iPad pro. However it’s far from perfect and for one simple reason… the hover over option. When you do street/travel photography it ROCKS and I dare to say you hardly need anything else, but if you need some serious cloning or selecting… well how much I love Astropad it…. well isn’t usable for that. With a Wacom you’re used to see where you place your pointer BEFORE you hit the surface and this makes cloning a breeze, with Astropad, it’s a matter of… well guessing it and trust me, that’s a BIG frustration. But again if you don’t clone a lot (or just need to remove some dust) it works like a charm.

Now for serious photography the iPad pro is not what you need, there is no way of working on TIFF 16bits, there is no good software for retouching although Pixelmator and Enlight come very very close the end result is still not pro quality. There is some action from Adobe expected and one of their competitors Affinity is claiming to have a great solution next year but let’s see what happens, if Affinity really delivers what they promise… wow.

Video editing on the iPad pro is awesome, you can start in iMovie or Adobe clip and finish it off when you’re home on the Mac/Pc, this workflow actually surprised me in how efficient and easy it was, I expected photography to be better.

The iPad pro and the already mentioned Pro-create and other drawing solutions make that part alone already worth the money to spend on the iPad pro, it’s really VERY VERY good, if not the best device for creatives.

Watching movies, reading comics, playing games, surfing the web, all as we are used to from the iPad/iPhone very solid and great to kill hours on a plane or evenings at campgrounds/home.

The disadvantages are many if you compare it to a laptop or surface pro 4.
No USB ports, although the USB/Lighting sticks solve this pretty well, but still also there you miss a real file system where it becomes possible to open up comics for example from a stick or copy them to a certain app, now it’s all very basic, great for movies and video/photography but that’s about it. BUT if you know this it’s a “perfect” working solution. Also no full blown photoshop or lightroom, Lightroom mobile ROCKS but only if you have a great internet connection which when traveling well let me say this… sometimes sending a letter is faster than sending an email.

The advantages are more in my opinion.
The apps are made for the screen, they are rock solid, they start very fast, they do what they have to do and the touch interface is better on Apple than on any other device I every tried add to this the Apple pencil and you will know why I (and so many) love our Apple iPad.

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Surface pro 4
Microsoft was so kind to send me their Surface pro 4
The version I got retailed for app 2400 euros, twice the price of the iPad pro, and I loved it.
Running full versions of Photoshop and Lightroom and Capture One is great of course.
But that’s on paper…..
And I know I can’t run them on the iPad pro but somehow I know that, on the Surface pro 4 I can so I expect to be able to use them, right?
Well that’s where it goes wrong.

Let me first tell you that I’m NOT an Apple Fanboy, I own a lot of Apple gear, but if something better show up I’m switching without any problem, they are just tools, but somehow when Apple makes something it always seems to work. That being said I also know the limitations and that also means I would LOVE a macbook with a touch screen or an iPad Pro that runs MacOsX (APPLE!!!!) but that’s not here (yet). The Surface pro 4 promises to be just that… so I expect that, this is very important to say before I continue because although I love the product I also find some problems with it.

First off all let’s look at the software.
I love to shoot tethered in Capture One, and that works like a charm, awesome freedom, just walk around with the tablet on a stand and shoot.
Now the retouching part, the display is too small to use Capture One comfortably, and this trend continues with Photoshop, you can scale Photoshop but when you scale it up the work area is WAY too small, when you scale it down it’s more than enough but for the best of me I can’t control the settings or click the right buttons, it’s just too small (Adobe make a zoom function thats flexible or just in between, that would solve this).
Lightroom works ok, although also here zoomable interface…. thank you very much that would be handy.

The touch in Photoshop is awesome, you can easily zoom, rotate and drag around while retouching with the stylus, now this is what I want, this rocks, this is awesome this is…….. hmmmmm battery empty…. yep that’s the main thing I have against the Surface Pro 4, I could retouch 4 images and my battery was dead, now I retouch FAST, but I use 3 plugins that are pretty CPU hungry on my shots and this meant that after app 1 hour my battery was dead as a rock, totally empty.

By the way one quick side step.
The thing I did miss in Photoshop were the keystrokes, and attaching a keyboard… well that didn’t work for me, I choose a tablet to draw on for a reason and than attaching a keyboard doesn’t make sense, I was about to give up when I found a cool little app called tablet pro, this gives you an extra floating or locked keypad where you can program your keystrokes, like the Wacom has it’s expresskeys, this REALLY made the difference for me between sending it back and using it with loads of fun.

Now when an iPad/iPhone is nearing it’s empty state there is not really a problem, you just connect it to a 12V outlet, or a spare battery like the HyperJuice, Mophie etc. there are plenty of them out there, for the Surface Pro 4….. NONE, meaning if you take this baby with you on a 10 hour flight the fun stops at app 9 hours to go, probably already before take off if you are so lucky they have to de-ice the plane and the rest of the time you… well just sit.

Of course it’s not that bad… watching movies the battery actually copes pretty well, it’s not as good as the iPad pro (which I never emptied not even on the longest flights (10+ hours)) but it manages pretty well and if you also take something else with you for entertainment you will probably love the Surface Pro 4, but don’t start retouching because you will run into problems with the battery and there are no external solutions (unless I miss something).

The other thing I experienced as negative was the ONE USB port.
Yes I know the iPad has none but that’s not a laptop….. (see why I told you to think about it before replying), and from the Surface pro 4 I actually expect to leave my laptop at home. Now why is one USB port bad… well you can’t make any backups. The unit I got had a 128GB internal memory and when I travel that’s not enough so we have to use an external drive for storage which…. is connected to USB, so if I want to make a backup of that drive……. yep no luck, unless you also bring your dock which gives you a minidisplay port, USB and some other goodies, so in all honesty it’s something that you CAN solve. But…. when I don’t bring a laptop I also expect my device to run all day during a photoshoot in the field, my MacBook Pro with Capture One running and tethering with full screen brightness can stay “alive” for app 4-4.5 hours, after which we connect it to the hyper juice (actually when it’s half empty), the surface pro 4 ran empty after app 2 hours, which means I can NEVER do a full workshop or even photoshoot with it in the field, unless….. we have power and in most cases we will have power but in some cases we don’t and certainly not close to the laptop.

Now it seems like I’m negative about the Surface Pro 4, but I’m actually FAR from negative. I absolutely loved working on it, Windows 10 is nice although I prefer the MacOs but it’s good enough. The stylus is pretty good and when used in Photoshop or Manga Studio (thanks to Smith Micro for supplying me with a test version for PC and Mac so I could compare) it’s a dream to work on. For drawing itself I still VERY MUCH prefer the iPad pro, the apps are designed for the iPad pro and this means you have the maximum space to draw and no clutter around the edges with menus like on Windows, let’s be realistic this is a full version you’re running and they are not designed to be ran on a small screen.

In essence I loved the surface pro 4 but the problem I have with it is the working space in Photoshop, the very limited battery life and the one USB port on the device. If they would add an option to charge via USB that would make the Surface Pro a MUCH better device for guys like me who really use the device in the field.

 

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The Wacom
Now this is a weird one in this list I think, but bare with me.
Due to the drawing experience on the iPad pro I wanted to do the same thing on the Mac, but in all honestly eye hand coordination with the normal tablet didn’t work out for me, for normal retouching I couldn’t life without my Wacom but for drawing it just doesn’t work, now there were two options for me.

  1. The Wacom Companion
  2. The Wacom Cintiq 13HD

In all honestly the Companion as it is now is pretty awesome but a bit too large for me to travel with and too limited because I also bring my laptop, so I can much better just bring a travel tablet and draw on the iPad pro which I also carry with me. The Companion idea is great and very similar in my opinion to the Surface pro 4 except it has all the express keys and when you connect it to your mac or PC you have a full blown cintiq, but it’s bigger than the surface pro 4, so for traveling…. well I’ll let you decide.

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When you get used to drawing on the screen with both retouching and drawing it’s very hard to leave that experience and go back to the normal tablet, so I knew I wanted a cintiq. My first choice was the 13HD but when I tested that one out at CameraNu.nl I had to be realistic with myself…. it’s just a bit too small, so in the end we decided to go for the 22HD touch. As you probably know we really ended up with a 27″HD demo model from Wacom which I can try out and show so I’m very happy.

Now when I look at my retouching at home I absolutely love the Wacom Cintiq, compared to Astropad it’s not limited by the hover function, it’s much bigger and it shows my selections crystal clear (Astropad does show some flickering with the marching ants), Thanks to Smith Micro I can also use Manga Studio on my Mac and has become my favorite drawing program for sketching and line work, after which I finish everything in Photoshop. The experience on the Cintiq is absolutely breathtaking, on the iPad pro the lag is VERY low and the overal experience is great, but… the surface can be a little slippery where the Cintiq really feels like a more tactile surface which I actually prefer, I do feel that shading with a pencil is MUCH cooler on the iPad, everyone I show this is just stunned, but…… psssst I never shade like that…….so I don’t miss it.

Traveling with the 27″ cintiq is out of the question, Annewiek told me so herself, so you better believe it.

 

so…… why all these devices in one post.
As mentioned before it started with a review of Astropad (a cintiq like app) on the iPad pro, which I bought to replace my iPad and to draw. Due to all the remarks about the Surface pro 4 I got one from Microsoft to compare and I think that there will be a Surface Pro in my future if they make it slightly bigger and add an option to use external batteries. Because I got so used to retouching on the image itself and drawing is something I’m more and more in love with plus I want to do some new stuff with my photography I actually ended up with a Cintiq, so I think this is the only place where you will find a review with these 3 together but I hope my insights gave you some ideas and maybe tips if you’re also looking for a solution.

 

Conclusion
There is no spoon….
Oops wrong blog….
There is no perfect solution.
I hope for the day we have macbook pro keyboard with an iPad pro screen, take the screen off and the iPad pro becomes an iOS device with all the apps etc. put it back into place and it’s a dumb screen for a laptop, this should be no problem at all for Apple so I wonder what they are waiting for…..If they would also make it possible to RETOUCH on the screen while connected it would mean I would have one device with me during travels.

For now I’m using the following.
iPad pro for media consumption, drawing, reading comics, surfing the web, the perfect traveling companion.
MacBookPro for shooting in the field, in all honesty a tethertools table on a stand is not that much more work to carry around than a tablet on a stand.
Wacom Cintiq for studio use.

That last one I don’t see me replacing by ANY device, working on the 27″ cintiq is VERY addictive and going back to a smaller one…. well no way (well maybe but than it has to be a lot better), the iPad pro and MacBook Pro I’m afraid that for the coming time that will stay my combination up until ONE device can REALLY replace them both, let’s hope on the Microsoft Surface Pro 5/6/7 or if Apple wakes up and does something amazing 😀

Feel free to leave comments but keep it respectful please, this is MY opinion and only MY opinion.

 

First series edited on the iPad Pro

When new devices appear it’s always a challenge to find a way to use them just as easy/fast as your known devices.
Normally all my editing is done on my Mac with a mix of Capture One, Photoshop, Lightroom and plugins like DxO filmpack, MacPhun and Alien skin, this is the workflow I know by heart and I can work very fast and accurate with these tools.
One of the challenges I set myself to see how far I could go with editing on my iPad Pro.

 

Let me make one thing clear first of all…
YES I know about the surface pro from Microsoft, so please refrain from all the comments about “wasted money”, “get a surface pro” etc. I choose the iPad pro for other reasons and editing Photos is just something I ALSO do on it, but most of all it’s used for video editing, drawing and consuming media in which the iPad pro in my opinion is a superior device.

 

That being said…. it was pretty hard to get something that worked for my modelphotography workflow 😀
The biggest problem is not the software/apps, but the support for high res images, however with the last updates of Enlight and Pixelmator I was ready to test it, both now support 50MP+.

 

Let me start by saying that working on the iPad pro within both Pixelmator and Enlight is amazingly simple and powerful. The skin retouching process is awesome via Enlight and also the tinting is very useful via Englight. Still I preferred some of the looks of Pixelmator but for skin without a doubt Enlight wins.

 

Getting the images on the iPad pro is no problem, you can use airdrop or a stick like the iFast (USB/Lighting).
I used Capture One for developing the RAWs into 16bits TIFF files which openend on the iPad pro, however some images didn’t want to be copied, I still haven’t figured out what’s going on but when I switched to 8bits TIFF on these images they opened flawlessly. This is without a doubt something they have to look into…. on the other hand…. the final images are stored as 8 bits TIFF so to be honest I’m afraid it’s doesn’t really matter and I would even advise to just develop as 8 bits TIFF.

 

As soon as the images are on the iPad pro the editing, sharing and storing is very easy and the workflow is actually quite fast. Considering this is just the start of everything I have HIGH expectations for the iPad pro. At the moment it’s more than capable of delivering high-end results but it can’t beat the Mac/PC for storing in 16bits TIFF prophoto RGB, however one should also ask him/herself if this is really necessary for everything… Personally I always store my files in 16bits but 8bits TIFF is certainly not bad, but it does make the iPad pro in my opinion not a professional editing tool YET… that being said, when I’m traveling and need to retouch some images I took on trade shows or workshops I will without a doubt not hesitate to do it on the iPad pro and save me a LOT of time when I’m home.

 

The biggest problem that have to be solved is :
* Colormanagement, now most images are stored back as sRGB
* 16 bits support for TIFF

 

I however think this will be very well possible (although I’m not sure about it, I’m not an iPad developer).
App wise I think both Enlight and Pixelmator are very good editors with Enlight having a really good skin filter and “layer” support (not really layers but a tool to paint the effect in and out, something Pixelmator doesn’t have (but needs). Add a really good app for tinting and I could actually do everything I need on the iPad pro. For the moment I can label the iPad pro for THIS kind of Photography retouching only adequate to save time when traveling but not a professional device… now before the Surface pro people jump up and down from joy :D….. this is a HIGHLY specialized workflow, if you just retouch some images the iPad pro will rock your world, the touch interface and Apple Pencil is incredibly much smoother and better than just running Photoshop/Lightroom on a device that has touch. And this is clearly seen when drawing for example, where Photoshop brushes often lag, Procreate for example never lags and is incredibly fast and smooth.

 

As mentioned in another blogpost already for video I also label the iPad pro as highly usable for a professional workflow, you sometimes do have to finish the product on a Mac/PC but let’s say you can get 100% with 90% of the videos. For street and travel photography I use Lightroom Mobile by the way which is an AWESOME way to work (if you have fast internet), I’ll give some attention to this combination in a later blog post or video. And for drawing I never saw something that works faster and smoother.

 

Here are some of the results from the workshop with Ingrid, all edited on the iPad pro with Enlight and Pixelmator.
Even the logo’s and resizing are done on the iPad Pro.

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