I bought the original iPad a few days after it was released, from Apple store number 0001. From the start Apple was on the right track, defining a new product category that was in many ways the most pure computing experience the world had seen.
As much as I loved that the first iPad (and the three others I’ve bough since then), for me it never become much more than a consumption device. Netflix and reading where it saw it’s use.
In 2018, the iPad Pro has it’s first redesign that really makes the 2010 model feel dated and it’s renewed my hope that this can become a serious content creation device. I was invited to a private presentation of the new features and Katrin Eismann of the School of Visual Arts walked us through some advanced photography work flows.
One of the key-takeaways is that Lightroom will be essential for this style of workflow. To manage a collection of raw images, and then have access to them across your devices, there is no better software out there at the moment. It uses the full power of Adobe Camera Raw to give you uncompromised image quality, even when working with a demanding camera like Hasselblad’s X1D. The iPad had no trouble quickly importing and the 50 megapixel raw files using and an off the shelf USB-C card reader, and never broke a sweat while processing them. The hardware is fully prepared to handle any images I throw at it.
If I do run into limitations, it will most likely be in terms of software. iOS has come a long way for iPad, but I do start running into some of it’s limitations right away. One example is that while it had no trouble with a card reader and HDMI adapter, it won’t have same the access to a standard USB drive that you would expect from a laptop. Storage and transpiration of high volumes of large images will still be an obstacle, so I’ll be looking for ways to manage data that can have the same flexibility I’m used to on the desktop.
In 2019, Adobe will be bringing it’s full featured version of Photoshop to iOS and I expect that will really change the landscape. For now, apps like Affinity Photo are presenting a great alternative to Adobe’s industry standards.
One day isn’t enough time for a full review, so I’m going to spend the next few weeks putting the iPad to work. I want to know how it performs in the real world and put together a practical Lightroom based workflow for working with your images on the go.