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Tablets for photographers: Best options for on-the-go workflow

145

When you’re in the field, whether shooting on location or just meeting with your next client, gear that’s powerful and portable is a must. This is where tablets come in to make a photographer’s job easier. With high resolution touchscreens for easily sharing portfolios or proofs, the capacity for dozens of dynamic apps that provide photo capture and editing capabilities, typically lightweight construction and built-in cameras that are quickly improving in megapixels and performance, tablets can be an attractive supplement to a photographer’s bag of tricks. Add in larger screens that offer more versatility and control than smartphones and ready access to online resources through a data connection (if you can get it), and you’ve got a device that can supercharge your photography workflow without draining your wallet.

But with all of the tablets out there, it can be difficult to figure out which one to buy. And the criteria is way different for photographers than it is for your average Best Buy shopper. Even though the built-in cameras on these tablets won’t be your first choice when you have your smartphone and DSLR with you, it’s nice to know what they could do when you’re in a pinch.

We field tested five of the most popular consumer tablets currently on the market to determine which ones make the best mobile photo accessories, and which ones are only good for flinging colorful birds at those meddlesome pigs.


Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1

 Specs

  • Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • Weight: 21.1 ounces / 598g
  • Screen size and type: 10.1-inch 1280 by 800 LCD screen
  • Cameras (type and megapixels): 5 megapixel rear camera and 1.9 megapixel front-facing camera
  • Battery life: About 8 hours
  • Price: $499 (16 GB model); $549 (32 GB model)

Best Feature for Photographers

The included stylus adds versatility to this tablet. Pressure-sensitive, the stylus makes editing and more robust photo retouching not just possible, but enjoyable. You can even split the screen between several apps, the perfect addition to multi-task out in the field. It won’t work with every app, but it’s a welcome addition when you need to take notes or check out tips online while reviewing your photos. This kind of functionality really sets the Note 10.1 apart from the iPad, instead of making it an Apple clone that runs an Android system.

Camera and Display

The native camera options rival those of paid photography apps we’ve reviewed in the past. From the main camera screen, you can choose to use the rear camera (5 megapixels) or the front camera (1.9 megapixels), but that's not a decision that's likely to take long. Turn the LED flash on or off (or set it to automatic flash), adjust the exposure (from +2 to -2 EV), set a timer (to 2, 5 and 10 seconds), apply a filter or toggle the scene settings, which adjust shooting parameters based on your environment (think nighttime, indoor and landscape, to name a few).

The Note’s native camera offers a variety of pro settings, including a variety of light settings depending on your scene...
...and the ability to adjust exposure between a range of +2 and -2 EV.

Various shooting modes offer further versatility. The “Smile Shot” mode only takes the picture when the subject is smiling (and it works well). More practical and just as impressive is the panorama mode. Hold the tablet up and the onscreen arrows guide you through leveling your shot and making sure each of your eight shots stitch together seamlessly. Other features include photo sharing that recognizes friends who are in your shot and lets you share the picture with them with a few taps of the screen.

Helpful onscreen cues show you exactly how to move and adjust your tablet to line up the perfect set of shots in panorama mode.

While the display isn’t HD like the Nexus 7, the 10.1-inch screen size is generous. Shots look great (helped by that 5 megapixel rear camera and 1280 by 800 resolution) and photo editing is a breeze with this much space.

Usability and Portability

The Note 10.1 is the second heaviest tablet in our roundup, but the weight doesn’t feel cumbersome. A simple, thin design distributes the weight well when you hold it up to shoot. I would have liked to see a rubber-grip back like on the Nexus to make this tablet feel a little more rugged. Instead, you get a smooth, gray back that looks like it would scratch easily on the go.

In camera mode, the menus and options are clear and easy to use. You can even tap and hold onscreen icons to customize what settings appear on the viewfinder screen. With so many features to choose from, that level of customization helps make navigation simple for those using the same settings over and over.

The Note’s multi-tasking functionality lets you compare pictures while surfing the web, or take notes on your most recent creation (while looking at it).

Other Considerations

The Note has one problem that’s big or small, depending on your needs as a photographer: there’s no 3G or 4G support. That means you won’t be able to access the Internet without a wi-fi hotspot nearby. If you’ve got apps and information pre-loaded, working in less wired areas won’t be a problem. But if you want to take advantage of instant photo sharing or multi-tasking between websites and your photos—then you have a problem if shoots take you away from wireless Internet. Your needs will determine how much of a deal-breaker this is for you: if it is, the closest analog to the Note is the iPad 3, which has a wi-fi and cellular 16 GB model that’s $100 pricier.

The 1280 x 800 resolution comes in useful when using one of the many Android image editors such as Camera Zoom FX, pictured here.

The Verdict

If you’re an Android fan and looking to augment your photography kit, this is the tablet for you. The price is competitive: $499 for a 16 gigabyte model (the same as the 3rd generation, wi-fi-only iPad), and while the display may not be as gorgeous as Apple’s, the features, apps and ease-of-use make the Note worth the money. Buyer beware: if you need ready access to the Internet on location, go with the iPad.

Rating:


Google Nexus 7

Specs

  • Android 4.1 (Jelly Bean)
  • Weight: 12 ounces / 340g
  • Screen size and type: 7-inch 1280 by 800 HD display
  • Cameras (type and megapixels): 1.2 megapixel front-facing camera
  • Battery life: About 10 hours
  • Price: $199 (8 GB model); $249 (16 GB model)

Best Feature for Photographers

Picking up the Google Nexus 7 tablet and looking at the crystal clear display, I thought: this is what a tablet should be: lightweight, sleek and sporting a beautiful HD screen. While a 10-inch tablet like the Note might give you more space to edit, the visual clarity of the Nexus 7 makes this an editing contender in the 7-inch category, and an ideal tool for showing off your work. Photos are crisp, and apps run without any noticeable slowdown.

Camera and Display

The Nexus’s camera is where it’s lacking.

For one, it took some time to find it, namely because there’s no native camera app. Yes, you have to download a third-party application to launch the camera. It’s an annoying extra step right out of the box. I used Camera Launcher, a free app that includes some nice features like white balance settings that adjust the picture for daylight, incandescent lighting and fluorescent lighting. It also gives you exposure settings and a basic zoom function.

Pity you won’t be using them much. The Nexus only has one camera: a front-facing one. Unless you’re a connoisseur of self-portraits, chances are you’re going to look elsewhere for a tablet camera.

That’s a shame, because even with just 1.2 megapixels, the shots look fine and you can simply swipe your finger to look through your photo album, then swipe back to the camera without leaving the app.

Usability and Portability

The lack of a viable camera might not be enough to turn off photographers looking for a fast, slick tablet to use for all other purposes at an unbeatable price. 

But I’d recommend getting a good stylus if you’re editing on the device. Without it, the 7-inch screen is just too small to do more intricate work. But with a stylus, you can do everything you want on a bigger Android tablet for about half the price. While the screen dimensions impact editing, the small size can also be a big asset. The Nexus 7 is the lightest of the tablets we reviewed, but it doesn’t feel cheap or delicate. Its rubber, ribbed back provides a great grip and makes it feel that much more rugged. You could easily slip it into a large jacket pocket. 

The Nexus 7 has a gorgeous screen that displays crisp images, even though it’s a 7-inch tablet. That could come in handy if you think you can edit photos on a smaller tablet.

Because of the $199 price point, the Nexus 7 could offer real value as a way for photographers in the field to preview photos and share them with others online, while using apps to take care of business functions like signing digital release forms and contracts. You might not spring for a 10-inch tablet for those functions. But the Nexus 7 is a surprisingly good middle ground option.

Menus and screens look crisp, and the purpose of menu buttons is usually apparent. I would have liked to see a physical button that returns you to the home screen (a la the iPad), but its omission is understandable given the small size of the Nexus. The end result? A tablet that you won’t be taking photos with, but could offer convenience at a low price for photographers who need to support their shoots with apps and sharing functions.

Other Considerations

Transferring any photos you do take to your computer is dead simple. Connect the USB, enable the camera connection function in the setting menu and drag the photos to your desktop.

Unfortunately, you won’t connect using anything other than wi-fi with the Nexus. That shouldn’t be a problem, since if you’re looking for a photographer’s tablet, you really should be looking elsewhere.

The Verdict

The Nexus 7 is light, portable and stylish, but ultimately worthless as a camera. However, as an accessory that might have some useful capabilities on location in terms of apps and photo sharing, if wi-fi is available or connectivity doesn’t matter, the price is right: the 8 gigabyte Nexus 7 that I reviewed costs $199. The 16 gigabyte model is $249. 

Rating:


BlackBerry PlayBook

Specs

  • PlayBook OS 2.1
  • Weight: 14.9 ounces / 422g
  • Screen size and type: 7-inch 1024 by 600 LCD screen
  • Cameras (type and megapixels): 5 megapixel rear camera and a 3 megapixel front-facing camera
  • Battery life: About 10 hours
  • Price: $199 (16 GB), $249 (32 GB), $299 (64 GB)

Best Feature for Photographers

The PlayBook isn’t the lightest tablet out there, but it’s over a third lighter than something like the iPad 3 (8.4oz, to be precise). The device never feels cheap or breakable, though. It’s easy to slide the PlayBook in a purse, backpack or even a large jacket pocket, making this one of the more portable tablets reviewed.

Camera and Display

The BlackBerry PlayBook sports a 5 megapixel rear camera, as well as a 3 megapixel forward-facing camera. The camera screen features a zoom function and a button to switch between front-and rear-facing cameras. With no magnification, the quality of photos seems serviceable, but nothing to write home about—especially with a 1024 by 600 resolution screen, lower than other tablets reviewed. However, it’s worrying that things appear to become grainy the further in you zoom. The same goes for the tablet’s general display: it’s mostly crisp, but the 7-inch LCD screen is nothing that excites at 1024 by 600 resolution.

The PlayBook’s photo capabilities are basic, but work for off-the-cuff shots.
Unfortunately, once you zoom in, the PlayBook’s photo quality suffers dramatically.

Usability and Portability

The PlayBook was meant to be held horizontally or vertically with two hands—and that’s it. The zoom function is controlled by a slider on the left side of the screen, while the shutter button sits on the right. To its credit, the zoom slider is perfectly calibrated: it’s easy to fine-tune it to your desired settings, which is a feature some other tablets and apps have trouble with. Once adjusted, simply move your right thumb over the shutter button and snap a photo. Easy enough, right?

Not if you’re using a stand or a mount with the tablet to stabilize a shot. With the tablet propped up, I found the zoom slider unwieldy and, frankly, a little illogical. Many tablets use the screen gestures popularized by Apple: pinch the corners of the screen with your index finger and thumb to zoom out, slide them apart to zoom in. That works reasonably well; this functionality doesn’t.

It’s a strange choice, considering all the PlayBook’s menus and navigation are controlled exclusively by screen gestures (there’s no physical Home button to return you to the main screen). Those come in handy: simply slide your finger from the bottom of the screen up and the PlayBook minimizes the camera and takes you to a dashboard with your recent apps and menus (including, in this case, the device’s photo album). That makes it easier to navigate between the camera and the photo album than on other devices that require you to close the camera down, and then open the photo album.

The physical buttons the PlayBook does have are a problem: the volume buttons don’t feel responsive, and the power button (which puts the device to sleep) requires quite a bit of pressure to work. That button gets used a lot, which makes this failing more noticeable than simply having to punch the volume button a few times.

Downloading apps and using online resources on the go isn’t simple: currently, PlayBooks are wi-fi only. A wi-fi and cellular network version is in the works, but until then, you’ll need to be near a hotspot.

The PlayBook might be a viable option because of its size: it’s not big enough or high-res enough for photo editing, but it’s cheap enough that it could be worth it for the ability to share photos or access the Internet. Unfortunately, the PlayBook doesn’t do those things any better than the Nexus 7. In fact, the Nexus 7 has a screen advantage over the PlayBook: it looks much more crisp and sports higher resolutions. If you’re really in the market for a 7-inch tablet, look elsewhere.

Other Considerations

Whatever other failings of the PlayBook, it suffers most from the relatively tiny BlackBerry App World store. At last count, Apple’s App Store had around 650,000 apps and Google’s Android store features half a million. In comparison, App World has just under 100,000. Less choice certainly isn’t a nail in the coffin, but the booming popularity and (relative) profitability for developers lies in iOS and Android. That means fewer high-quality apps.

The Verdict

The PlayBook is a solid tablet if you’re a BlackBerry nut—but it’s not a solid tablet for photography. The portability is there: the visual quality, versatility and usability of some other offerings on the market aren’t. Granted, at a sub-$200 price point for the 16 GB model and the reasonable $299 for the 64 GB model, it could have been worth adding to your kit for the size and portability alone—if it offered equal or better features than the Nexus 7, which it doesn’t. 

Rating:

Comments

Total comments: 145
12
JaideJitterbug

I agree with a few of the members. This has nothing to do with what a photographer is looking for when it comes to a tablet.

However there is a small device you can plug into the charge area on the tablet that is an SD/USB/Memory Card reader, it's like $5 and it seems to work pretty well.

Hope this comment helped!

1 upvote
MeMe

I couldn't live with out my Nexus 7:
- new one has a 1920×1200 IPS LCD display which is fantastic.
- GPS, sits on my dash just like a large factory GPS (but a lot cheaper).
- Using a "USB On-The-Go" cable on a nexus that is rooted allows for use of almost anything USB including powered ext drives and card readers
- Helicon and DSLRdashboard apps make for remote camera control using the above cable.
- Fits in my back pocket and makes a great e-reader.

0 upvotes
Eridan_Fetahagic

iPad all the way! I tried some Android powered tablets (Samsung included), I must say it was a lousy performance.

0 upvotes
Selena C

Waw! I became a fan of that :) I should have one soon.. Thanks for sharing such a great content.

0 upvotes
DavidF

I have been looking for light-weight device I can travel with, and use it to view, and maybe edit and store the images I've take (with my camera, not with the tablet).

This means a device I can plug my memory card into (and not a microSD card), maybe transfer files between the device and my card, and possibly hook up another storage device (a flash driver or hard drive) and transfer my image files to it.

I agree with many others here: this article largely misses the point--and the features--needed by photographers when they are out in the field.

Many of the devices mentioned here don't do any of this, or only in a very limited way. So far, I've only found a few tablets (like the older Iconia versions with a USB port), and the iPads that I can do what I want with. The iPad also has the limitations that you can only save images to a specific place on, and can't download off of, the device.

Clearly, this article was not written by a photographer.

1 upvote
mas54

Photographers don't care about the built in camera. The things they might care about are not even discussed here. Can you use the tablet to transfer photos from card to hard drive? Will it run a catalog program? Will it display RAW files?

Really!

3 upvotes
mikeydread

This is a really POOR article. I was really hoping for a much higher standard on this site, but this is not nearly well enough researched or relevant to photographers.

2 upvotes
stevechong

I am surprise that these review units can't even offer a basic memory card-tablet-external HD connection.

So much for your: Best options for on-the-go workflow

1 upvote
lastfreedom

Not mentioning any PC based tablets in the above article is a travesty. Not only can you run the full version of Photoshop, but with a tethered USB connection, using PC based software often included with the camera (in my case 5D MKII), I can exert complete control over many of the camera settings (eg. aperture, shutter speed, shutter release). Effectively making it a remote control on steroids. What a puff piece (http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/puff_piece).

0 upvotes
Blaufeld

@BitFarmer: I currently use RawDroid (free app) to connect my camera to the tablet with USB cable and import .raw files.

1 upvote
Bervilat

Wrong way you are heading here Dpreview. Just. Plain. Wrong.
We dont need another Gizmodo,

0 upvotes
Bervilat

You guys didn't go into ANY of the cool interations between our real cameras and the tablet we all were hoping to be discussed when we read the article's title.

Comment edited 48 seconds after posting
1 upvote
elsier

This is odd. Contrary to what the review states, I bought a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 in Brazil and it does offer 3G (it is a cellphone and a tablet and a lot of other things I have barely scratched the surface of)... And another user commented, correctly, that connecting this tablet with a smartphone through wi-fi is as easy as it gets

0 upvotes
ViseMoD

This review makes no sense until it compares displays of tablets in terms of contrast, gamut, gamma, etc. From my analysis, the only tablet on the market that covers sRGB gamut is the latest iPad.

1 upvote
alfaflash

Been using Windows 8 Beta on a Samsung Series 7 tablet for almost one year. It is fast, reliable (no crashes or freeze ups so far). CS5 opens in 8 seconds and runs brilliantly. A bit tough to use in open sunshine, but just find a bit of shade and its OK.

1 upvote
speculatrix

there is a galaxy note 10.1" with 3G, and soon to be LTE, and I think it will be a killer device for a photographer on the move.

although phone and tablet cameras are hugely better than they were, and still improving, photos taken with them will be disappointingly low grade compared to pictures taken with the DSLR.

1 upvote
BitFarmer

I suggest this setup:

A nexus 7 (200$) with a USB OTG cable adaptor (5$) and a card reader (10$?) attached to it, so you can browse your DSLR files just plugin the card (or a 1GB USB harddrive), and the tabled coupled with your phone via wifi to be able of sharing.

Dropbox installed and configured to copy new media files to the cloud if you need instant backup or instan gallery creation (if you creates a folder for the sesion and copy there the selected shoots from sd-card, you have an link to your gallery ready in seconds -while uploading the shoots will take some more time- and looks quite nice: real example https://www.dropbox.com/sh/vrjojcn2a4e1aw4/FTZiH-JZPS#/).

Add photoshop retouching and others to be able to retouch (very limited).

And, btw, there are some apps to thetter your DSLR from android, with stronger support for canon over nikon (on screen preview, time lapses, focus stacking, etc.) but in my experience not all tablets support it properly (search if interested).

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 8 minutes after posting
1 upvote
BitFarmer

Tablets without 3G capabilities are not a problem in real world, as you can pair them via wifi to your smartphone, being it an iPhone or an Android, very easily, so the phones act as wifi hot-spot for the tablets.

You just need to activate it on the phone, give it a name and pass, and let it active. Then your tablet find this wifi and allows you to connect with the pass, but only the first time, as it will auto connect as soon you re enable the wifi hot spot in your phone in the next need.

Really simple and usable, and you only need to pay for one data connection on the phone, not two.

0 upvotes
Camp Freddy

Which is the best PP software for tablets now though? If it is best value for money on Android from the market then I would look there myself. iPad's resolution is tempting, but you are paying " premium poser price" for the glory of the bitten fruit logo.

0 upvotes
Rooru S

Tablets for photographers: Best options for on-the-go workflow...

Misleading title or is it just me? I was expecting they were focusing on connectivity with dSLR/SLT/Mirrorless cameras (to serve as a remote viewfinder for either monitoring or capturing), reviewing images (for example, in a photoshoot in a remote site, using the tablet to review images without interrupting the workflow) or processor capabilities to make small edits of full size pictures (and how long it takes to do the same photographic tasks between tablets), serve as backup unit for images (how long it takes to write a certain amount of data) and what tablets offer the best option serving as digital portfolio.

The most difficult thing here is, most tablets use the same apps. So how they perform with the same apps is the critical question.

4 upvotes
Bervilat

My exact thoughts. They didnt even mention using it as a second camera screen. Wtf was this artice?

0 upvotes
Goodmeme

Reviewer and audience. Do not fall for the nonsense in the market about 3g/4g connectivity. So long as you have wifi on your tablet most smartphones with 3g/4g have the ability to easily become a wifi hotspot, meaning your tablet can use the data connection of your phone.

With an Android phone this comes as standard for free and takes 20 secs to set up each time. Don't know about Apple but I presume its possible.

I also have to agree about Windows 8 for lightroom compatibility. With 64GB SD cards becoming popular, we really need options for multiple SD slots, not to mention a CF slot or attachable small adapter.

A stylus is obviously going to be useful for lists etc.

2 upvotes
mooney101

Something every photographer should keep an eye on the the tapestry app (currently android only) powered with a few nice nexus 7s. Use that when showing your uimages in your next meeting. This is the future...

1 upvote
007D

Have not found an easy way to remove the whole album once the iPad 2 connection kit has imported files.

Big draw back.

0 upvotes
Le Kilt

And how about the Acer A500, the only one that has a USB connector directly on the tablet that you can connect ANY USB card reader (e.g. a CF one) to or even a 2.5" external USB hard disk drive...
(in addition to a micro USB slot)

2 upvotes
hoggdoc

What about the Asus line of Tablets, with the ability to add their dock adds flexibility and battery life.

2 upvotes
jjlad

I got Asus TF101 last Dec & next prob free 10 min will be the 1st prob free 10 min. I got it back from 4th 'fix' a month ago and still haven't opened the box asit is so hard on the brain to fight with something that just wants to fail. I have the keyboard too & despite good shutdowns it nearly always opened dead. Junk IMHO.

0 upvotes
Jan Kritzinger

Why do this article /before/ the launch of W8?

After the launch of W8 nothing will beat an x86 slate for photo editing. It's less than two weeks away.

0 upvotes
Jan Kritzinger

Not to mention that you could've included a Samsung series 7 slate running the release preview of W8.

0 upvotes
Thauglor

Apple fan proselytizing.

This array of tablets is far too small a sampling to make for a good comparison.

Almost no-one gives a rip about on-board cameras. Least of all photographers. IMO.

With the Win8 tablets on the way, this article is too late or too early.

4 upvotes
wus

All tablets that I know lack a couple important features which I think are really mandatory before they "rightfully" deserve the term "tablet for photographers":

- a full size SDXC card slot (in addition to a micro sized one!), capable of UHS-1 speeds - and yes, I am aware that this requires accordingly fast and big internal memory (SSD), this is a sub-requirement which follows as a conclusion,

- an HDMI input plus app allowing to use the tablet as a larger (full HD) monitor on a DSLR when shooting video.

There's a couple more requirements but as long as these 2 aren't available I won't buy a tablet.

Did I overlook a tablet which offers these features?

Comment edited 2 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
Guy Swarbrick

HDMI input's useful for videographers - hardly a requirement for photographers. My Asus Transformer has a full size SDXC slot in the keyboard, as well as a full USB port alloing me to connect a card reader and CF or XQD cards. Does the job brilliantly.

0 upvotes
Kulverstukas

MSI WindPad 110 - fullsize SD slot + full size USB port + Win7 capable of PS and LR running.

0 upvotes
HeyItsJoel

I'd take an 11-inch Macbook Air out in the field over an iPad any day. Lot more you can do with a laptop than a tablet for practically the same size and weight.

0 upvotes
Vinand

Who no Xperia tablet?

0 upvotes
Geordiekeith

Pointless. I was going to read this until I skimmed over the first example and saw that the first specific concern was about in the camera in the tablet - wtf? If I have my camera and lenses with me, and this article is about " Best options for on-the-go workflow" why am I concerned about the crappy camera in the tablet?
Also guys, check your English: "And the criteria is way different..." is either "And the criteria are way different..." or "And the criterion is way different..." Without commenting on way different... are you second-grade journalists or Apple fan boys?

9 upvotes
larsbc

Speaking for myself, and as a photographer, I have zero interest in how my tablet's camera performs. When I travel, I use my camera for images, and am only interested in a notebook or tablet for what it can help me with AFTER the image is captured using a dedicated camera. I shoot in RAW and I wait till I get home before I edit images, so for me, the ability the back up images from the camera's card to an additional storage device (typically a portable hard drive) is far more important to me than the device's built-in camera. As much as I like my New iPad, I don't find it useful for backing up my images because it's storage capacity (64gb) is simply not big enough (especially when it's packed with files and apps that I typically bring on my travels). That's why my next smartphone will be an Android device so I'll have some way to backing up my images to a hard drive.

7 upvotes
3DSimmon

I will be gunning for a windows8 tablet, not for taking pictures with, but ironing out a few shots in transit with lightroom is just one reason it's appealing.

2 upvotes
Weegee

How about shooting tethered ( tied with a usb cable ) to an ipad? That's what I'd like. Instant 10 inch viewable screen. I don't like looking at the back of my camera's 3 inch LCD. Anybody else out there shooting tethered to his computer? Right now I'm using my Apple notebook but would like something smaller and cheaper.

2 upvotes
JCBunga

I don't know about tethering to an IPad, however I purchased a Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 yesterday for precisely what you mentioned--viewing the camera images on my EOS 7D. I went with an Android device because there are a couple apps that interested me. I had to obtain a USB adapter to connect the camera's cable to the tablet, but Samsung makes one that works flawlessly. I tried the setup today, works great. In the field I think I will need a strap to carry the tablet, but so far I'm excited about it.

0 upvotes
LeBrancard

I bought an Android tablet a few weeks ago (also) because it has a great app availeble for DSLRs (got a 7D also). Check the Android app: DSLR Controller. It works fabulously with that camera!

1 upvote
Ioannis Doukakis

All my latest night scenery and night sky photos are taken with my 5DMkII attached to my Galaxy Tab 8.9 using DSLR Controller.
One invaluable feature that this software has and no other software or machine has is to manually focus by zooming a detail at 10X and then to move the lens step by step using its own focusing motor. No hands can deliver a finer movement than the internal USM motor does, plus that you do not shake the camera by touching it.

0 upvotes
Bruce Bracken

The Windows 8 tablets are expected to begin being released in just a couple of weeks. You couldn't have waited a couple of weeks, or gotten your hands on a preview tablet, for a more robust review? But nice to see the "iPad" messaging plastered into the reviews of all devices. No Apple fanboi there.

And why does a "Photographer's Tablet Workflow" review describe in detail the subpar cameras on the tablets? Other than the Instogram and Hipstomatic "photographers", do you honestly think the tablet camera plays a vital role in a photographer's editing workflow?

And where is dpreview's Nikon D4 camera review? I'm starting to think that dpreview these days is more about selling gear to the Instogram crowd, and less about pertinent gear information for the serious hobbyist or professional.

4 upvotes
alfaflash

No Windows tablet was reviewed? I have been using a Samsung Series 7 tablet for one year using Windows 8 Beta and Photoshop CS5. The system is fassst, CS5 opens in 8 seconds, the system is stable, and the 12.1 inch screen is sharp and gives accurate colors. Connectability is excellent, and I use a 36 Gb micro-SD for additional storage. Battery life while running CS5 is approximately 3 hours. It's better than my iPad 2 and the Asus Windows tablet that I had.

1 upvote
jorg14

Plus you can download excellent free photo filing software like Xnview.

0 upvotes
micahmedia

...and the ASUS infinity, the proper Android competition to the iPud, with a similarly high res screen, is completely ignored? You're not doing well with these inaugural articles DPR.

I'd like to see you succeed, but you've just completely stepped out of your milieu and away from your existing audience. And utterly so.

6 upvotes
Brian Thomas

Once again the central question about the iPad for photographers is not addressed. How effectively can you use it to upload RAW files to the cloud? This is what traveling photographers need to do. Sort thru their pictures & upload the real keepers to a safe place.

The rest is pretty much in all the ads & spec sheets. I don't have an iPad to try this out.

0 upvotes
Eric TA

Reviews are always a moment in time but this review could have taken at least the Asus Infinity it has been out there for some time and the other reviews are very positive against Ipad3. The most important feature I miss on the the Android tablets are a way to get correct colours on the screen on an Ipad this is possible. Furthermore thethering in an easy way would be nice on my Asus in combination with my Pentax camera :-)

Eric TA

4 upvotes
Suntan

It seems kind of silly to write this article now, when we are days away from getting MS based tablets that may have the ability to run full-blown PShop or lightroom...

-Suntan

6 upvotes
Magnus3D

Well such an article would make the iPad 3 look bad which is why they had to write it now so they could elevate it to a holy level as reviews of that device always do for unknown reasons.

I'm myself using the Note 10.1 tablet and have no issues at all working with RAW files and delivering to clients on the fly.

3 upvotes
Cdog

You'll want to take a look at DSLR CONTROLLER. Works perfectly with the google Nexus 7. This combination sets THE standard for how we should be using these tablets in the field.
The app is android only, which is a shame as the Ipad retina screen is best but the form factor (and price) of the nexus 7 is actually preferred for this application. Here's some feature's, and it's only in Beta. (the light weight of the Nexus allows me to attach it to my tripod using a manfrotto nanoclamp and a belkin fat gecko.) The 7" tab actually fits in my pocket and camera bag so I actually take it with me!

Liveview
Lightmeter feedback
Mirroring
Focus
Remote manual focus
Bracketing (with AEB/HDR support)
A-B pull
Bulb capture (hold as well as timed)
Continuous capture
Video recording
Image review
CR2 support
Luminosity and RGB histograms
EXIF display
Exposure blinking
Follow shot mode
Mirroring
HDR capture (Auto Exposure Bracketing)
Bulb
Timelapse capture
Peaking (four modes)

1 upvote
cunguez

What fat gecko mount are you using for the Nexus 7? The only products I seem to be able to find are for the iPad. Thanks!

0 upvotes
Cdog

The DD mini camera mount.
Copy and paste this in your browser: http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/640311-REG/Delkin_Devices_DDMOUNT_MINI_DDMOUNT_MINI_Fat_Gecko.html

One thing to consider, wet the bottom down a little bit (spit will do!) to give it a better seal. Do a test run above a soft surface before committing too. If you attach it dry, it will fall off eventually, I did a video shoot for 4 hours today and had no problems (wet it down first).

They make a dedicated mount for the ipad Waiting/hoping DSLR Controller will find a solution for apple, there are many more options for mounts, cases etc for the ipad and offers a bigger screen.

It's nice to know if you have a cable and either a tablet or an android phone all you need is to carry a cable and you have a remote, timer for bulb, long exposure, HDR, time lapse etc and off camera monitor at your disposal whenever. Not absolutely necessary but handy, especially if your already on android.

0 upvotes
farisam

People, people, people. The Toshiba Thrive 10.1 has an SD card input and a gorgeous display. It's built like a brick s**t house too.

0 upvotes
Kim Letkeman

This article was nice, but ultimately really disappointing. I want to know how to replace a laptop and / or external storage with a tablet, as in the full work flow from transfer to storage to editing. Not how to use its crappy camera in place of the much better m4/3 cameras I am already carrying. Some of what I am interested in was alluded to, but unless I had a world-class brain fart, this article did not actually go into any depth on how it might be possible to live with a table and your cameras only while on the road. It ends up being a puff piece and unworthy of DPReview. I can get this kind of high level info on CNET or one of the many gadget sites :-(

7 upvotes
David Hart

I returned from a cruise a few weeks ago. I took with me an Asus Infinity TF700 64GB tablet (replaced laptop), an Asus port to powered USB adapter, a USB multi-card reader, and a 500GB Toshiba USB 3.0 Cavio hard-drive formatted with NTFS. The Asus also has a built-in microSD card slot.

My planned storage and backup workflow was to copy all photos, once a day, to the tablets internal memory then backup from the tablet to the hard-drive. Plan B was to buy some thumb drives. Plan C would be to backup the photos to a microSD card (I had 2x 32GB cards), but this would mean deleting movies that I brought for the plane ride.

I had no problems reading the hard drive, but Ice Cream Sandwich (Android 4.0.x) would crash when writing. I ended up buying 2x 32GB USB thumb drives and 1x 32GB microSD, which I used for backing up.

A week or so ago Asus rolled out Jelly Bean (Android 4.1) for the Infinity. It fixes the NTFS write issues. I'm now able to use my hard-drive storage workflow.

4 upvotes
costinul_ala

Infinity IMHO beats hands down the others for functionality because of the docking option and available ports ... This is probably going to change with Win8 , I would wait before getting anything

2 upvotes
larsbc

@ David Hart
I thought ICS didn't support NTFS and that it required a hack or something in order for it to read/write to an NTFS device?

0 upvotes
NikonGuy1234

You can add a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse to any of these tablets. I have an Infinity and I did not get the keyboard. I did get a GT mouse and keyboard. Much more versatile for what I need.

FWIW, one could also pair a BT remote control to a tablet and use it to tell a camera to fire or adjust the lens, etc.

1 upvote
Guy Swarbrick

You can add a Bluetooth keyboard, but it doesn't double the battery life, add a full size SD card slot or add a full USB port... The keyboard dock on the Infinity lifts it head and shoulders above any other tablet.

0 upvotes
jorg14

I just bought a tablet from Costco
It runs all of my windows photo programs like Adobe. Plus it has a built in protective cover and an attached keyboard for quick typing. It also had a 256gb hdd, to easily store all the photographs I could ever take on a trip, and best of all, it only costs about $289.
It's called a netbook.

8 upvotes
DoctorJerry

It is nice to hear an informed user with a common sense reply.

0 upvotes
SemperAugustus

There is a place for a tablet in a photographer workflow, but IMHO IS NOT a replacement of a camera... this article is rubbish. I was expecting to read about functionality like back up, geotagging, review, transfer rates, expandability, battery life, not that the tablet takes photos.

10 upvotes
Septuagent2

RE : no 3G - The Samsung Galaxy Note 10.1 - 16GB WiFi + 3G (N8000, SIM Free/Unlocked, Pearl White) is availablein UK priced at GBP 467.99 at handtec.co.uk for example. If you go up to 32GB of memory the price goes up to GBP 539.99.

0 upvotes
Fredy Ross

I think you are too early with new ones coming on the market soon. I expect better from lenovo and microsoft with win 8. I need good wifi, good vision outside, ability to edit raw files and lots of rams and gigs. Oh yes a really good gps. I do not need to take photos with my tablet although I just came back from italy and I saw many tourists using an ipad to take videos and photos.

Comment edited 5 minutes after posting
2 upvotes
RC

@Maloy: A good photographer can use ALL means to produce decent photos, including a tablet or even a smartphone.
So how would you define a photographer? Someone using a DSLR? Or a Hasselblad? *LOL*
Yes, I have a new iPad and no, I would never take a photo with it, well...sometimes maybe in a plane because the kids look so cute when they watch videos or listen to music. I use however my iPhone very often for taking photographs and some of them are stunning. So stunning, that friends and family sometimes can't even tell they have been shot with a phone. ;-)

Comment edited 40 seconds after posting
2 upvotes
Fred Briggs

I don't disagree with any of that, in that I feel we are all photographers regardless of the gear we use.

However, the article specifically talks about "your next client" which strongly implies that they are talking about use of tablets with respect to professional photography, though you would find it hard to discern that from the content.

This being the case, the article does not address the needs of this segment and is therefore pretty much useless. I don't think it is even very useful for a more general non-pro audience.

Fred

Comment edited 1 minute after posting
0 upvotes
Fred Briggs

From the article:

"When you’re in the field, whether shooting on location or just meeting with your next client, gear that’s powerful and portable is a must. This is where tablets come in to make a photographer’s job easier."

The article completely fails to show how tablets in general, and this oddly restricted selection in particular "make a photographer's job easier".

In my earlier comment I noted how tablets are a non-starter for any serious backup or reviewing/editing tasks.

One area I do find this kind of device useful is for displaying previously edited photos, but almost any modern tablet or smartphone can do this. I use my Samsung Note smartphone and find the 5" AMOLED screen ideal for this.

I just link to my SmugMug galleries and it will download local copies to the phone so that I can view without using a data or Wi-Fi connection.

Fred

PS: Please fix the text entry box to stop it scrolling to the top of the post every time a character is typed once the box is full.

Comment edited 2 times, last edit 4 minutes after posting
3 upvotes
Nikonworks

This article is a bunch of fluff.

I used my Acer A500 and now my Nexus 7 on a daily basis for photojournalism.

The article should indicate that Microsoft's Surface tablets are near market. Their Pro can operate existing Windows programs for photography.

If you are a photographer hold your money until the Microsoft Surface Pro tablet is on the market.

2 upvotes
MrScary

Not quite useful is this..Tablets for photographers. is NOT quite correct is it. You never mentioned whether we can use an add on for to import our images from card to Tab and which is the Best one to do it.
You left out the "Samsung Tab 2 10.1" Asus Transformer" WHY??
Go back and test those two and come back with a Complete Review.

1 upvote
Total comments: 145
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