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Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Hi-Tech Studio: The iPad

It’s not even available yet, but we think the new Apple tablet will be the next must-have tool for professional photographers

This Article Features Photo Zoom

There was no shortage of hype around the latest product unveiling from Apple.
The iconic company laid the groundwork for the buzz by quietly inviting journalists to a “product announcement” on January 27, 2010. Like dumping fresh chum in the water, the sharks of the media—news-papers, blogs, tech sites and even old-fashioned TV—all got into the frenzy. A new tablet had been widely anticipated for several months, but having a firm date attached to an announcement aligned the world in collective speculation.

We haven’t been privy to any advance information, so like everyone else on the planet, we watched Steve Jobs do his thing via a live blogger who was at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. As the weeks of rampant speculation gave way to the reality of the device (and the curious choice of iPad as the name), we immediately saw something that will become a must-have device for professional photographers.

There are three key design aspects that make the iPad a tool for professional photographers: the large screen (9.7 inches), the powerful new chipset (1 GHz Apple A4 custom-designed, high-performance, low-power system-on-a-chip) and the wireless connectivity. The screen looks to be beautiful. The iPhone and iPod Touch screens are excellent, but small. By all accounts, the iPad’s screen should be capable of helping your images look excellent. The new chipset should be up to the task of rendering image files well and without hiccups. Lastly, the wireless connectivity makes it possible to always have access to image files, and it gives you the ability to send them from just about anywhere. Your images won’t ever be out of touch.

Here are the ways we think you’ll use the iPad:

Showing Your Book
Viewed in the most simplistic way, the iPad looks to be an iPod Touch that has been made about five or six times larger. It features a multi-touch display with IPS technology. The combination of precise touch control (this screen has over 1,000 touch sensors) and the IPS screen (which gives the screen a nearly 180-degree viewing angle) makes it ideal for displaying images, as well as basic manipulation of images.

It used to be that a professional would spend hundreds of dollars making several custom books with expensive, elaborate bindings, each one a collection of images for pitching a kind of work. You might have one with fashion shots to take to a modeling agency, one with still lifes for pitching a product shot, etc. The iPad gives you a sleek, high-tech display for a limitless number of custom portfolios. Imagine walking into a pitch, setting up the device on the conference table and letting the slideshow run. The backlit display gives images the punch of large-format transparencies.


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