The New iPad for Photographers and Filmmakers

Posted in Equipment, News by Nathan Lee Bush on March 7, 2012

Probably the most compelling use of the iPad for Photographers and filmmakers, besides the endless array of workflow tools and business management tools like model release forms is as an image display device for portfolio or reel showings or to show previews for a client on a job. Looking at my iPad 2 screen after experiencing the full glory of retina display sharpness on the iPhone 4 and 4S, was such a dispiriting experience that I sold the thing a couple months back (luckily they hold retain their value very well).

So its welcome news that the new iPad, to be released March 16th, inherits the retina display of the iPhone, with a whopping 2048 x 1536 resolution, higher than 2K and 4 times that on the iPad 2. Also included is a 44% increase in saturation from the iPad 2 display. The demands of the display are met with the beefy new A5X processor, with a quad-core graphics module. It will be interesting to see if there will be any peripherals or apps that will turn this into a monitor for video shooters. A resolution this high in a form factor this small would be an unprecedented value for filmmakers on set.

Not that photo taking is many people’s main priority with the iPad, it’s nice to have in a pinch, and the last iteration was famously lacking in the camera department. The current version features a 5 element f/2.4 lens with a 5MP, backside illuminated sensor camera design, similar to that in the iPhone 4S, which also allows for 1080p HD video recording.

Apple will also introduce a $5 iPhoto iOS app, with simple image editing features, which could be handy in studio or on location to help clients visualize the post-processing potential, though the $10 Photoshop Touch app is probably a more compelling option for pros.

The other highlight feature, but of less import for photographers and filmmakers, is the speedy 4G LTE enabled devices, which can be had for an additional $130 for each model, plus monthly data fees.

Apple has taken a cue from its computer line and seemingly stopped upping each generation’s name, simply returning this version to the original moniker, “iPad.” Essentially the same form factor and weight, and landing at the same pricing structure as previous generations, the new iPad is a modest update, but thankfully for image makers, a lot of the upgrades will directly benefit them.


3 Responses

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  1. […] this blog, Through the Looking Glass, we investigate how the features on the new iPad could benefit photographers and filmmakers; we take an in-depth video tour of the incredible new 8K digital cinema camera, the Sony F65; and […]

  2. George said, on March 12, 2012 at 10:10 am

    Onlu problem is that it STILL won’t have USB or mini-HDMI IN ports. It would be nice to be able to use an iPad to allow it to act as a monitor (I’m thinking overhead shots where the camera back is inaccessible).

  3. jp0629 said, on March 29, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    You can still have a decent monitor workflow with the addition of the TeraDek Cube250 paired with the 4G/LTE technology. Still waiting to see some test results for this.

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