tablet for mobile editing?

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by soopadoopa, Nov 29, 2015.

  1. soopadoopa

    soopadoopa TalkEmount Regular

    Jun 3, 2015
    been doing a lot of out-and-about long days or even overnights with my camera recently. i find myself twitchy and anxious about wanting to see if my pics are worth a damn and so i'm considering a tablet as a solution to get a better look at em on the go.

    things i know i'd like -

    -NFC for those middle of nowhere transfers from the camera
    -SD card slot for easy bulk transfers
    -enough memory to actually store pics, at least temporarily. maybe 100gb or so
    -powerful enough to do a little exposure checking on LR mobile
    -i don't wanna spend a lot. maybe $2-300. less would be better

    if anyone has any suggestions that suit the above criteria, and/or including stuff i dunno if i'd like yet (since i'm a noob), that'd be great.
  2. davect01

    davect01 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Aug 20, 2011
    Fountain Hills, AZ
    Don't ever do photo editing via tablet, but am somewhat familiar with tablets.

    The big thing that I can say is that Apple products do not allow for SD card, you have to use the available memory onboard.

    My personal tablet at the moment is the 8" Samsung Note. I just love the attached pen, use it for note taking and a bit of doodling.

    For photo editing, you will want an HD Screen. You will also need to decide what size. There are the smaller, very portable 7" tablets, the moderate 8-9" tablets and then the monster, might as well be a laptop, 10-12" sized tablets. The 8" is my sweet spot. Big enough for comfortable viewing, yet still does not require too much room and fits in one hand.

    Here are a couple of nice resources:

    Best Android tablets with the highest-resolution screens for watching videos - The Droid Guy

    These are the best damn tablets in the world, right here
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2015
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  3. soopadoopa

    soopadoopa TalkEmount Regular

    Jun 3, 2015
    thanks, dave. i'll dig into your lists. that HD thing wasn't even on my radar.
  4. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    IMHO, tablets are good for info-tainment. None of them are configured properly for a photographer's needs.
    As mentioned, once you move up to a 12" beast in order to have enough resolution to edit, might as well stick with a proper laptop. Bigger screens and higher res, plus none of the I/O and storage limitations. Not to mention the software.
    I considered using my 9" Lenovo tablet instead of a notebook. Realized it's the wrong tool for the job. An SSD equipped notebook was a better solution for me. The reliability of a tablet, with the I/O and storage capacity of a laptop.
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  5. Sucofni

    Sucofni TalkEmount Regular Subscribing Member

    Nov 8, 2015
    I have iMac iPhone iPad. I like Apple. But if i had to choose a tablet for photo editing use I wouldn't recommend an iPad.
    I would want a device with removable storage. And NOT anything that depends on iTunes !!
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  6. soopadoopa

    soopadoopa TalkEmount Regular

    Jun 3, 2015
    my idea with this is just for 'on location' spot checking or noodling when i'm on a car ride home or whatever. not srs bzns, but maybe it can keep from from thinking the light is good when it's not, or seeing a sharpsih pic in my viewfinder only to get home and find it blurry as hell. drives me nuts...
  7. WoodWorks

    WoodWorks Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 12, 2012
    Ashland, OR, USA
    You can use a little adapter (Apple's Camera Connection Kit) to plug in an SD card directly into an iPad and upload your photos from the card to the iPad, or use Sony's WiFi implementation to upload them directly from your camera. And there are plenty of file management apps to move them around, copy them, etc. Plus plenty of good photo editing apps, including raw editors. There's no need to use iTunes for any camera-related task, ever. An iPad can have up to 128GB of internal storage, and though I suppose it's possible to need more than that, I've never come close to needing to store that many photos while away on a trip.

    Now, it's true, you're not going to find a 128GB iPad for $200–300. But then, as with most things in life, you get what you pay for. ;) 

    Edit: I'm sorry, that opening sentence was unnecessarily snarky of me. So I nuked it. But I apologize. I hate to feed the Android/iOS thing.
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2015
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  8. bdbits

    bdbits TalkEmount All-Pro

    Sep 10, 2015
    I am not a fan of Apple devices but not a basher either. But I do think you will get more bang on a budget with an Android tablet.

    -If you have WiFi and you can set your camera as a hot spot, most if not all tablets have WiFi, so you would not necessarily need NFC. (A6000 does this.)
    -SD cards - this used to be a given on Android tablets, sadly some makers are dropping them. So make sure before you buy one.
    -64G SD cards are relatively inexpensive, so if you have one, the internal memory will not matter as much.
    -I would avoid off-brand Android tablets. Might be OK, but some of them are pretty iffy and seldom get updated or patched after purchase.
  9. soopadoopa

    soopadoopa TalkEmount Regular

    Jun 3, 2015
    i have an irrationalish thing against apple stuff, myself, so those are out. plus the SD card issues. blackfriday/cybermonday was a bust. my camera bag has a slot that should hold up to a 10" tablet, but i think i'm more likely to carry a smaller one.
  10. WNG

    WNG TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Aug 12, 2014
    Arrid Zone-A, USA
    IMHO, if the desire is to just have a larger screen to chimp and later review the images when time allows, then a 7 inch tablet is the ideal size.
    After a 4.5" smartphone screen, an HD IPS 7" tablet, 9" tablet, and 10" iPad, the 7" won hands down for portable device. It has nearly all the features of a smartphone without the screen size deficit. The larger tablets gain considerable bulk and weight to power their screens. Most don't include GPS and gyros/accelerometers. As a portable travel device, the 7" was most versatile, it can still fit into a jacket pocket or cargo pants.

    As for storage, 128GB internal or SD slotted is only going to provide enough backup storage for a couple days worth of serious shooting and videos.
    Discussing it from an Android point of view, the micro USB port/OTG doesn't support external storage out of the box, from my experience. As mentioned earlier regarding the iPad, I think it's purposely disabled to prevent adding more storage capability to a low 8 GB model. None of the tablets or phones I've owned would access an external reader or HDD without the purchase of an app.
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  11. soopadoopa

    soopadoopa TalkEmount Regular

    Jun 3, 2015
    Gotta love companies that hate their customers :/
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  12. Amamba

    Amamba TalkEmount All-Pro

    Apr 13, 2013
    SE MI
    One thing that no one seems to mention (unless I missed it) is that on many tablets the screen is not color-accurate and it's not always possible to calibrate it.
    If I absolutely had to use a tablet for editing, I'd go with a nice large iPad. For these reasons:

    1) While it's impossible to calibrate the colors on an iPad (AFAIK), they are usually well calibrated at factory and the photos on my wife's iPad 3 Retina display close to my calibrated monitor. Every Android tablet that I used was much more off, but I never had a high end one.

    2) Given the proliferation of iPads out there, that's likely the device on which many if not most people would review the photos you post.

    3) This is my personal experience and as I said I never had a high end Android tablet (although a few high end phones) but every Android device I ever had was problematic in some way or another. Slowdowns, crashes, hardware failures. They would start out great and then the problems start popping up here and there. OTOH my wife's iPad is just churning on, and on, and on. This is why I finally gave up and bought an iPad Mini for myself (I used to hate the iOS). I would not recommend a 7" / 8" device for any editing, though.

    3) As WoodWorks mentioned, you can easily transfer photos to iPad using an adapter or software. I would use 5-6 GB at a time, work on them, copy back to SD and delete them from iPad. So the lack of a dedicated SD slot is not a big deal.

    The other alternative I'd consider is MS Surface Pro, it's supposed to be running a full version of Windows so in theory you should be able to calibrate it and to load any Windows software on it. I have no idea how it would work in real life, or how well it's built.
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  13. southy

    southy TalkEmount Veteran Subscribing Member

    Feb 5, 2014
    I've used my iPad mini for editing and viewing in the past. Not a perfect solution but certainly doable. If just for view the image to be sure you nailed focus and the like should work out fine. Mine is an older non retina model no doubt the new retina would be better.
    Over the last few weeks I also did a few edits and Facebook/Instagram uploads on my iPhone 6s using the Sync to smartphone app. For what it is it work pretty good and can see myself using it more often. This will work fine with any half decent smartphone of tablet.
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