Tablet vs Computer for Photography Work

Tip Tuesday

Technology has changed my workflow.  About ten years ago I swore by a desktop computer.  I started recieving more on-location shoots, decided to get a laptop. Thank  god forthe tablet revolution.  Now I use an iPad Pro.

  • I use a 2017 iPad Pro 12.9 to create and maintain this website.  I get to see how it will look on a screen size most of us use to consume media.  Add a Apple Smart Keyboard and you have a capable machine to do all your daily tasks.  I have a cellular connection and can access my files anywhere there is a tower in range.  The next tablet purchased will be WiFi only, I’ll just use my phone’s hotspot feature, and save the monthly bill.  This was done as a trial, but working anywhere is a joy!
  • I use an iPad for 100% of my photography work.  Something about culling and editing on an iPad, its very rewarding.   You are withdrawn with a mouse or a drawing tablet on a desktop or laptop.   I think the fact that you use the same amount of equipment to edit with either a laptop or desktop is my main drawback:  Weight.  For on location work, being as light as possible is a blessing,
  • I have gone to micro four-thirds cameras for the same reason.  Yes I lose some low light capabilities, but I have led lights and multiple flashes so nothing really lost.  The quality is still there.  Using an iPad has no trade offs.  The screen is scalable, sharp and the color gamut rivals that of the best desktop monitors.  The iPad Pro has a true motion enabled screen, also it has the P3 color range.  You gain usability and you lose bulk.  Win Win in my book.
  • Software is only an issue for Adobe users.  There is not a full photoshop app, nor a full lightroom app.  Well that is ok because there are a few apps that come close enough.  I have recently switched to Affinity Photo and Adobe Lightroom Mobile.  It is all that I need in my work flow.  There is no full lightroom app available for organizational type uses.  With a few thought out processes, like file management through cloud storage, it is easily worked around.
  • The main issue I have yet to find a solution for is physical file delivery.  The iPad doesn’t allow you to send files to a usb stick.  I have been using my computer to accomplish this.  My workflow has an added step.  I export the files to my Dropbox account, then provide a link to my clients.  For most clients this is more than acceptable. I have a few what want physical files.  When the need arises, I download the files to a usb stick using my computer. With increased internet speeds this isn’t an issue, but still a hassle.
  • Printing with the needed dpi and ICC Profile is no longer and issue, thanks to Affinity Photo.  This was my tallest hurdle.  Every client needs a better quality print than what their smart phone is capable of capturing.  I know this is the digital age and most people dont print.  I do and my clients always smile when I hand them a print.

So as you can see the days of the computer bag filled with lots of extra equipment is over, for this photographer at least!