Will iPad Pro finally enable pro photo workflows?

Back in 2010 photographers could not stop telling me how much they wanted to bring an iPad on trips, plug in a card, import raw images, pick the good ones, apply presets, and later have everything synced to the cloud. But I wrote last year of my sad disbelief at the “bizarre failure of our industry” to make this work well.

But now, maybe—maybe—the iPad Pro’s huge screen, crazy battery life, and MacBook Pro-class performance will change the equation. And here’s a very quiet but potentially critical change: The device supports 10x faster (theoretically) data import. Engadget writes,

[T]he iPad Pro is capable of transferring files at speeds that reach 5Gbps, whereas a USB 2.0 connection can only reach a max speed of 480Mbps. Apple had a good reason for not making a big deal out of it, though: you’ll need to get an extra USB 3.0 adapter to be able to take advantage of the capability, since the tablet only ships with a cable that can handle USB 2.0 speeds. Problem is, that adapter doesn’t exist yet, so you’ll have to deal with slower file transfers for a while longer.

We’ve collectively been let down (and let ourselves down) so many times here—but hope springs eternal!

8 thoughts on “Will iPad Pro finally enable pro photo workflows?

  1. John… I’ve been doing that on vacations for a while now with my iPad Air. The connection kit imports my raw photos from my Canon DSLR just fine. And the photos app displays them in all their glory. It’s great for showing them to family members who really can’t see the photos on the tiny Canon screen.

    The weak link in all of this is Lightroom Mobile. It won’t import the raw files from the iPad camera roll. It will import jpegs and let me rate/flag them. But, for some strange reason, it won’t import the raw files.

    The only rationale I’ve ever heard from anyone at Adobe is that the iPad is too slow to create the smart previews. But, given that my iPad handles the full raw files from my Canon’s SD card just fine, I have a hard time believing this.

    Do you still have any pull at Adobe with the Lightroom Mobile group?

    1. Heh—what makes you think I ever had pull with the Lightroom Mobile group? 😉 If Tom Hogarty pops up here, he’ll confirm that I’ve been banging on this drum for 5 years. I’ve never understood the rationale for not creating DNG proxy files. On a device whose CPU rivals that of a MacBook Pro & whose GPU exceeds it, the process just isn’t gonna be that slow.

      What I really want is to import raw files as DNG proxies, optionally at lower resolution, and to keep the original images on my card. Let me make edits on the device, sync those plus the DNGs, and then reunite the edits with the original images if & when I upload those later (e.g. overnight from my laptop when I get home).

      1. So… I’m assuming a) that there really is no explanation as to why the current LR mobile won’t import the Raw files and/or create smart DNG proxies? and b) Tom Hogarty’s not likely to drop by this blog’s comment section to make an announcement about an Adobe product’s future direction and feature set.

        Ah, well… I’ll continue to dream. And, maybe someday I will have enough extra $$ in the nights and weekends businesses to get a laptop that I’d only use a couple of times a year on vacation. (’cause I love my 27″ iMac for both Lightroom and Final Cut Pro X)

        1. I don’t expect Tom to spill any beans here. I’m guessing that the answer is simply “It just hasn’t been a high enough priority yet.” The LR Mobile team has thus far favored adding Android support, porting the editor to run in a Web browser, etc.

  2. The industry has already solved the problem, the Surface is a perfect companion to the travelling photographer 🙂

    Would be nice if someone solves all the issues with the iPads; competition is always a good thing. But if they don’t it’s not really a showstopper.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.