Apple released the new iPad this week, and photography was right up there with all the new features. I purchased the iPad 3 this week and it was delivered on Friday. And I must say, I'm impressed. The camera on the unit isn't bad at all, and the screen is a thing of beauty. So will this new gadget be a boon for photographers and photography? Read on for my thoughts....
5 Megapixel Camera
The new iPad comes with a 5 Megapixel camera. It’s a huge improvement over the previous model. The camera with the new iPad gets a maximum aperture of F2.4, which isn’t bad at all considering it isn’t a dedicated point-and-shoot.
There are a number of other software features Apple has included with the new iPad camera. You get autofocus lock (i.e. “tap to focus”) and face detection to make taking photos a little easier. With face detection, you don’t even need to tap to focus because your iPad already recognizes the presence of faces. You just press the shutter button, and you’re done.
At 5 megapixels, this isn’t the best camera Apple has shipped with a mobile device (the iPhone 4S features an 8 megapixel camera). However, it’s still very good for most photographic purposes. If you’re on the fence over which device to purchase just for the purpose of taking photos, I’d say go with the iPhone 4S. It’s much more portable, and the image quality is a lot better. It also looks less dorky when you're trying to take photos!
However, don't purchase the iPhone or iPad if you only want to take photos with it. For a camera-only device, a regular camera is still much better.
Now onto image viewing...
For months, people have been expecting Apple to bring the better 'Retina Display' from the iPhone to the iPad, and that’s just what they’ve done. And that's the biggest strength of the new iPad. For those of you who are new to Apple lingo, a Retina display is a screen with its pixels so packed tightly together that your eye cannot see any individual pixels when you view it from a standard viewing distance. What you see appears as real as it ever could. In other words, your eye cannot tell the difference between what appears on the screen and real life objects.
And let me tell you, the screen on the new iPad is simply gorgeous.
And that's that makes the new iPad the perfect device for viewing and editing your photos. Because everything appears with so much more clarity, you get to hone in on all the little details of the pictures you take, even while out in the field. Literally speaking, there is no other screen on this planet that can produce better resolution, not even your expensive HDTV. The new iPad is the best device for showing off your photography. To get better, you'll need to print your photo.
iPhoto makes its way to the new iPad
Apple just released iPhoto for the new iPad as well. I’ve had a little bit of time to play around with iPhoto on my iPad 3, and I’ve got to say it’s one of the simplest photo editing apps I’ve ever used (and I mean that in a good way). Nearly all of the changes can be done by simply holding your finger down over the area you want to change. Apple predicts which changes you’re most likely going to need, and then you can make some slight adjustments to get it perfect.
One example is the sky. If you hold your finger down over a piece of sky, iPhoto guesses that you want to make the sky a little more blue. You can then move your finger to the left to make the sky more blue until you get the look you desire. This same technique can be used everywhere else in an image.
I haven’t gotten into all of the details of iPhoto, but there’s plenty in it for everyone. At $4.99, iPhoto is a remarkably cheap application that anyone with an iPad 2 and up can most certainly afford. I will be doing a full (video) review of very shortly.
A reason to rejoice?
When it comes to photography, I was only moderately thrilled about the first iPad. Sure, it was an okay device for viewing photos, but it wasn’t much more than that. Now I have no choice but to be excited about the new iPad. That’s because it currently has the best screen you will ever view any photos on. Nothing comes close in terms of resolution. As an actual camera, it’s not that bad either. It won’t make you a great photographer overnight, but if you already are a great photographer, the new iPad will make you look like an even better one. And for the best of both worlds, take photos on your regular camera and transfer them to your new iPad for viewing on it's superb screen.
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