Objects of Desire: Apple iPad

May 10, 2010
By Dan Havlik

Objects - iPad

As we write this, thousands of "early adopters" are gobbling up the first (non-3G) version of the Apple iPad which officially went on sale in early April. So what's left to say about Apple's much-debated tablet device as it relates to photographers? Just this: You've got to get one.

Lest anyone think we've been overcome by hype or our inveterate object lust, there's one main reason we think you'll want an iPad: the display. Remember portfolios? Yes, portfolios: those big clunky things some photographers still haul around to clients to show off their work. With even the entry-level, 16 gb, non-3G model ($499), you get the iPad's beautiful 9.7-inch, LED-backlit LCD screen with 1024 x 768 resolution for showing off your images.

Best of all, the screen uses IPS (In-Plane Switching) technology which, in contrast to the screens in most mobile phones and laptops, allows for an extra wide viewing angle of up to 178 degrees while maintaining a crisp image with accurate color. (Screens on most notebook computers and phones tend to wash out if viewed from over 110 degrees.)

The upshot is you can display your images on the iPad to several people at once—photo editor, art director and stylist, for example. Meanwhile, the screen has the same full capacitive, multi-touch interface of the iPhone, so scrolling through your shots is a breeze.

And think of the potential for portfolio-style apps! Though the operating system used by the iPhone may look like the Mac OS X, it's not, so good luck using that copy of Apple Aperture 3.x you just bought. We suspect though that Apple, Adobe, and others are working on "lite" or reworked versions of their image editing and management programs designed specifically for the iPad. And since Apple made the Software Development Kit (SDK) for the iPad available back in January, look for a boatload of new portfolio apps including many featuring both still and video capabilities to display all those movies you shot with your HD-DSLR.

Sure, the iPad has some serious photographic liabilities. For one, there's no built-in card reader and no USB so you'll need an ugly and overpriced Apple connector to transfer images directly from your computer. And yes, there's no built-in camera (yet) but do you really care about that?

What's important to your photography business is to get on the ground early with a device we feel will change multimedia publishing. So when your clients come calling for iPad-friendly content, you'll already be ahead of the game.

Cost: $499 for 16 gb, non-3G version; $599 for 32 gb, non-3G version; $699 for 64 gb, non-3G version (add $130 to each for 3G versions)

Further information: www.apple.com

Prod Reviews - Nikkor lens AF-S Nikon AF-S NIKKOR 24mm f/1.4G ED
May 11, 2010 - Nikon has produced the ultra-fast, wide-angle lens photographers have been waiting for.More
Objects of Desire: Spider Holster
Objects of Desire: Apple iPad
Humble Monkey 360-T2 Camera Truck
Objects of Desire: Red River Polar Pearl Metallic Paper
Objects of Desire: Wacom Cintiq 21UX
Tech Speak Don Dixon Technically Speaking: Don Dixon's Human Car
May 02, 2010 - Dixon shows that shooting stills of a car may require the proper mix of lighting and talent.