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

145

2012 Apple iPad (current generation a.k.a. iPad 3)

Specs

  • iOS 
  • Weight: 23.3 ounces / 660g
  • Screen size and type: 9.7-inch 2048 by 1536 retina display
  • Camera: 5 megapixel rear camera
  • Battery life: Reports of the iPad’s battery life vary; testing showed about 8 hours of battery life—but that’ll depend on your brightness, volume and data settings.
  • Price:
    • Wi-fi only models: $499 (16 GB), $599 (32 GB), $699 (64GB)
    • Wi-fi and Cellular models: $629 (16 GB), $729 (32 GB), $829 (64 GB)

Best Feature for Photographers

The hype around the high-resolution retina display on the iPad 3 is justified. Simply put, this is the sharpest looking tablet display on the market. Whether you’re showing off your work with a client or editing your latest creation, this display is vibrant and crisp in a way that no other tablet matches. You won’t see any pixelation when you zoom in on a screen and looking at high-res photos on this tablet is a joy. With almost double the resolution of any other tablet on the market, the iPad3's display alone does a lot to justify its price.

Camera and Display

The iPad’s built-in 5 megapixel camera takes high-quality shots with little fuss. You won’t find a lot of native features, just an overlay grid, basic zoom and tap-and-hold focus settings, but that’s okay: with an Apple device, you also have access to the largest and most prolific app market in the world. 

You may feel a little funny holding it, but the iPad 3’s 5 megapixel camera can produce a high resolution image, and also record 1080p video, ideal for making one of those cool time-lapse videos of a shoot in progress, which has quickly become a popular marketing tool for many photographers to share a behind-the-scenes look at their business.

Usability and Portability

Apple’s award-winning design is known for making waves, and for good reason: Apple products are some of the easiest consumer electronics to use. The new iPad is no exception. All the familiar swiping and tapping functions that you’ve come to love in previous iPads and iPhones are here. The native camera lets you swipe between the camera screen and your photo album, which is a welcome usability feature. However, I do think there’s merit to the Samsung Note’s multi-tasking feature, and would like to see something similar in future iPad products.

In the meantime, you get a dead simple interface that leaves no guesswork as to what you should do next. I also love the reintroduction of the physical home button on the bottom of the iPad’s frame. It does wonders for switching quickly between apps in lieu of a multi-tasking function. Because Apple basically invented the tablet market, online functions like sharing photos and finding apps to support your business (like apps that digitally sign documents and release forms) are quick, intuitive and second-to-none. Combined with a gorgeous screen and enough space for editing photos, the iPad is a serious contender for the most valuable addition to your kit.

 Core to the iPad's photographic potential is the Apple Camera Connection Kit. The kit itself is fairly basic, and consists of two adapters for the iPads's connector port, one to attach an SD card, and the other a standard USB port. Despite appearances, the USB adapter is only designed to connect the iPad to a digital camera (or iPhone). 

It loses a few points on portability, though. The new iPad weighs more than previous versions, and you can feel it. Reading text, and viewing or taking photos can become cumbersome if you’re holding the device up for long periods of time. That’s the real drawback to the iPad as a photographer’s companion. It’s not a deal-breaker by any means, but it doesn’t help.

Other Considerations

Apps, apps and more apps. The App Store is a photographer’s best friend, with thousands of apps for editing, retouching and taking photos (though the Google Play store for Android apps isn't far behind).

And if you’re using a Mac for at-home photo editing and manipulation, the iPad’s native integration and iCloud file storage functions just make sense. Android systems may be more open and customizable, but Apple is second to none when it comes to a seamless ecosystem across its product line. Because it’s so useful for keeping all your photos and edits synced across devices, it might tip your decision towards the iPad if you’re an Apple user already. You may also be tipped in the iPad’s direction by the available 3G/4G models. Photographers who can afford a 3G/4G model need to take it seriously: the iPad is the only tablet here that can truly liberate you from relying on a wi-fi hotspot.

The Verdict

On quality alone, the only real contender to the iPad is the Samsung Note. Both are fantastic choices. If you’re a little light in the wallet, the Note is the better play. With the wi-fi and cellular-enabled iPad (if you need connectivity when you’re on the go), you’re looking at spending significantly more money on Apple’s tablet. If you can afford it, that money is well-spent. The iPad is the highest quality tablet on the market, sports a stellar camera and even better apps, and seamlessly integrates with other Apple products. 

Rating:


Toshiba Excite 10 LE

Specs

  • Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • Weight: About 19 ounces / 535g
  • Screen size and type: 10.1-inch 1280 by 800 display
  • Camera: 5 megapixel rear camera
  • Battery life: About 9 hours
  • Price: $529.99 (16 GB model), $599.99 (32 GB model)

Best Feature for Photographers

The Excite 10 LE wins points for presentation: it mimics the display and camera functions of the Note 10.1, but improves on the camera’s interface. Instead of the standard arrangement of icons and functions seen in the Note, the Excite uses a smart and functional option wheel to present many of the photo features in the Note: flash settings, white balance, exposure (+3 to -3, compared the Note’s +2 to -2) and a few screen settings (night shots, sunset and party shots).

Camera and Display

It’s clear Toshiba wants to produce a tablet that rivals its Samsung counterpart. They’ve made it part of the way there, but not on camera features: after taking the Note for a test drive, I’m sold on the panoramic functions, additional filters and settings like the Smile Shot—none of which appear in the Excite. Toshiba’s tablet does look great: pictures are crisp, clear and vibrant, namely because it’s got the exact same resolution as the Note.

The Excite’s intuitive option wheel lets you toggle everything from white balance and exposure to flash and lighting settings.

Usability and Portability

The Excite wins out slightly in portability. It’s a little lighter and a good deal thinner than the Note, which makes it an even better field companion. The Note’s main interface is a little better designed, with bigger icons and better use of home screen space than the Excite. The difference, however, isn’t dramatic.

The Excite’s physical buttons along the right-hand side of the tablet aren’t as easy to use as the iPad or Note buttons; they’re a little too flush with the tablet’s side. The Excite does win points for that option wheel in camera mode: it’s more intuitive and less distracting than buttons along the sides of the screen. You can’t customize your options, though—so the design comes with tradeoffs.

Other Considerations

Unfortunately, price is a “notable” feature—but not in a good way. The 16 GB Excite is $30 more than the 16 GB Note, and the 32 GB Excite is $50 more than its Note equivalent. Without 3G/4G support, those kind of prices bring the Excite near the price point of the cheapest wi-fi/cellular iPads. On the specs end, you’re getting the exact same camera and display as a Note for more money. For a little more than an Excite, you can buy an iPad that blows Toshiba’s tablet out of the water.

The Verdict

The Excite’s draw is its thin design and light body. It’s more portable than the Note and iPad, with a bigger screen and better visuals than the Nexus or PlayBook. Because you’re getting the same features as the Note (but for more money), it makes more sense to go with Samsung’s tablet or splurge on an iPad. If this tablet was priced lower, much lower, it would be worth taking a second look at.

Rating:


Logan Kugler is a technology writer based in Silicon Valley. He's written for more than 60 major publications. He's loved taking pictures ever since his parents gave him a giant plastic kid camera when he was 5. He vividly remembers the day he bought his first digital camera the very first year they showed up at Circuit City: a top-of-the-line Sony Cyber-shot with all of 2 megapixels.

Comments

Total comments: 145
12
JaideJitterbug
By JaideJitterbug (2 months ago)

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!

0 upvotes
MeMe
By MeMe (11 months ago)

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
By Eridan_Fetahagic (11 months ago)

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

0 upvotes
Selena C
By Selena C (Aug 1, 2013)

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

0 upvotes
DavidF
By DavidF (Apr 7, 2013)

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
By mas54 (Apr 2, 2013)

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
By mikeydread (Mar 25, 2013)

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.

1 upvote
stevechong
By stevechong (Nov 8, 2012)

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
By lastfreedom (Nov 4, 2012)

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
By Blaufeld (Oct 29, 2012)

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

1 upvote
Bervilat
By Bervilat (Oct 24, 2012)

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

0 upvotes
Bervilat
By Bervilat (Oct 24, 2012)

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
By elsier (Oct 24, 2012)

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
By ViseMoD (Oct 21, 2012)

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
By alfaflash (Oct 19, 2012)

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
By speculatrix (Oct 18, 2012)

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
By BitFarmer (Oct 18, 2012)

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
By BitFarmer (Oct 18, 2012)

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
By Camp Freddy (Oct 18, 2012)

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
By Rooru S (Oct 17, 2012)

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
By Bervilat (Oct 24, 2012)

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

0 upvotes
Goodmeme
By Goodmeme (Oct 17, 2012)

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
By mooney101 (Oct 17, 2012)

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
By 007D (Oct 17, 2012)

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
By Le Kilt (Oct 16, 2012)

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
By hoggdoc (Oct 16, 2012)

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

2 upvotes
jjlad
By jjlad (Oct 23, 2012)

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
By Jan Kritzinger (Oct 16, 2012)

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
By Jan Kritzinger (Oct 16, 2012)

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

0 upvotes
Thauglor
By Thauglor (Oct 16, 2012)

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
By wus (Oct 16, 2012)

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
By Guy Swarbrick (Oct 17, 2012)

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
By Kulverstukas (Oct 18, 2012)

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

0 upvotes
HeyItsJoel
By HeyItsJoel (Oct 15, 2012)

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
By Vinand (Oct 15, 2012)

Who no Xperia tablet?

0 upvotes
Geordiekeith
By Geordiekeith (Oct 15, 2012)

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
By larsbc (Oct 15, 2012)

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
By 3DSimmon (Oct 15, 2012)

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
By Weegee (Oct 15, 2012)

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
By JCBunga (Oct 16, 2012)

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
By LeBrancard (Oct 16, 2012)

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
By Ioannis Doukakis (Oct 17, 2012)

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
By Bruce Bracken (Oct 15, 2012)

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
By alfaflash (Oct 15, 2012)

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
By jorg14 (Oct 15, 2012)

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

0 upvotes
micahmedia
By micahmedia (Oct 15, 2012)

...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
By Brian Thomas (Oct 15, 2012)

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
By Eric TA (Oct 15, 2012)

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
By Suntan (Oct 15, 2012)

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
By Magnus3D (Oct 15, 2012)

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
By Cdog (Oct 15, 2012)

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
By cunguez (Oct 15, 2012)

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
By Cdog (Oct 16, 2012)

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
By farisam (Oct 15, 2012)

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
By Kim Letkeman (Oct 15, 2012)

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
By David Hart (Oct 15, 2012)

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
By costinul_ala (Oct 15, 2012)

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
By larsbc (Oct 15, 2012)

@ 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
By NikonGuy1234 (Oct 16, 2012)

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
By Guy Swarbrick (Oct 17, 2012)

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
By jorg14 (Oct 15, 2012)

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
By DoctorJerry (Oct 16, 2012)

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

0 upvotes
SemperAugustus
By SemperAugustus (Oct 15, 2012)

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
By Septuagent2 (Oct 15, 2012)

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
By Fredy Ross (Oct 15, 2012)

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
By RC (Oct 15, 2012)

@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
By Fred Briggs (Oct 15, 2012)

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
By Fred Briggs (Oct 15, 2012)

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
By Nikonworks (Oct 15, 2012)

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
By MrScary (Oct 15, 2012)

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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