iPad Mini for Photographers

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The launch of the iPad mini is not a surprising one as the community demands for a smaller size tablets such as the Google Nexus 7 and Amazon Kindle Fire HD. Apple came out with a smaller version of its iPad, the iPad mini to counter. The iPad mini is basically an iPad 2 in a smaller housing but with some upgraded features. It has the same A5 dual CPU, 512MB of Ram and a 1024×768 resolution display but at a higher 163ppi. Both front and back cameras get a boost to the same one used in the new iPad, 1.2MP and 5MP respectively. The much improved front camera will make facetiming much more pleasant.  1080p HD video recording is now possible with the iPad mini. The iPad mini also get a new lightning port and Siri too.

The iPad mini is a balance between portability and power whereas the iPad with Retina display is a much more powerful hosting a dual core A6X coupled with quad core graphics CPU to power the amazing 2048×1536 Retina screen. The iPad mini is thinner and lighter, half the weight of the iPad with Retina display (308g vs 652g),

This brings us to a difficult question, iPad mini or iPad with Retina display?

If you want portability, iPad mini hands down, even though the iPad is small,  it is quite heavy and bulky to carry around compare to iPad mini. It is all relative, if you are travelling with a D4, various fast lenses, speedlights then sure, the iPad with Retina display is pretty small and you won’t have any problem putting it in your already huge camera bag anyway. But If you are travelling with a D800 and a couple of lenses then you will feel the benefit of the smaller size iPad mini.

On the other hand if you are planning to do intense work on the tablet, like photo and video editing or gaming, then you are better off with the iPad. In general, everything runs faster on the iPad. If you can get away with its size and its price, then get the iPad, it is about 30% more expensive than the iPad mini.

As a photographer, most of us already travel with a macbook air/pro which we will go to for any intense work. In my opinion, complimenting the macbook with the iPad mini makes more sense. Some photographers like to travel light, especially for photographers using m4/3, mirrorless and APS-C cameras, the iPad mini will not add to much space to your pack.

You can get your iPad with Retina display even the 128GB iPad and iPad mini at B&H.

There are so much things that you can use your iPad to help with your photography work.  To be honest, I do not do much serious photo editing with the ipad,  but I do use instagram, as well as keeping my social network facebook, twitter or google+ up to date.

Here are some of the useful photographer apps that I use.

Camera+ or 645Pro – My go to camera apps which are known to many.

Photo Transfer App – For some specific photo editing, I like to edit on my iPad so I use Photo Transfer App to transfer it to the iPad. The editing process is usually only a few clicks with Snapseed or Instagram. For something serious, I will use Photoshop Touch, but I try to stay away from any serious photo editing using my iPad.

WordPress – For blog posting, I use WordPress app. It works brilliantly on iPad.

Google Drive – I keep my important documents such as contracts, booking form on the cloud using Google Drive. You will be glad to have access to your documents anywhere.

Easy Release and ASMP Release – Model Release apps that I use to keep everything legal.

DSLR RemoteA handy app to remotely control your DSLR camera. I works just like a remote trigger, but you can be far away from the camera and still see what the camera see via the screen of the iPad.

Sun seekerThis app is for those who shoot on location, it shows you the travel path of the sun, so you know when and where the sun will be. It is very useful when you need to know how long you have till the sun set.

Trails  and GPS Recorder  If you take photos from your iPhone, all the photos are geotagged. If you want to do the same with your DSLR and don’t have a GeoTag adapter or simply just want to track where you have been, you can use your iPhone or iPad to record your trail. It outputs a .gpx file of your coordinates which  you can geotag your photos with via Lightroom.

Leave a comment below and share with us some of your favourite iPad apps.

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About Kent Yu

Kent is a professional wedding and portrait photographer based in Wellington, New Zealand. He and his team specialise in modern and contemporary weddings. Kent has his work published in international magazines and is a regular author to a number of photographic publication. He is fascinated by photographic equipment and enjoys showcasing the gear used in creating his images. You can find him on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Google+
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