Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Tablets For Photographers

Download, edit and shape your images on the go with one of these popular mobile devices

Labels: GearTablets

Mobile computing has come a long way in a few short years. Many photographers—even some professionals—are finding they can leave the laptop at home and travel lighter with their tablet. The creative possibilities are huge. Out of the box, tablets offer the ability to import and view your photos on gorgeous displays. Apps let you edit, enhance and share your images from practically anywhere in the world. With some tablet and software combinations, you even can use your pad as a live viewfinder and remote control for your camera.

There's more competition in this space than ever before, and while Apple's iOS and Google's Android continue to dominate, Microsoft jumped into the game since our last Buyer's Guide, and there are more models to compare than ever before. We don't have the space here to cover the full range of what's available, but we can talk about the key considerations of each platform and touch on popular models from those ecosystems, so you'll be better informed when comparing devices online or in stores.

Still the most popular line of tablets since creating the market in 2010, Apple's iPad is now in its fourth generation at the time of this writing, with an update expected soon, perhaps before you read this. We know for sure that iOS 7 is due this fall, and it's no stretch to expect new hardware alongside the OS update.

iPad mini
The iPad is currently available in two form factors: the iPad and iPad mini. The key distinction between these two models, as their names imply, is that the mini is roughly 20% smaller than the full-size iPad. iPad mini's screen size is 7.9 inches, while the iPad's is 9.7 inches. The fourth-generation iPad features Apple's Retina display, with a resolution of 264 pixels per inch for amazing clarity. The iPad mini doesn't yet incorporate a Retina display, but its resolution is still an eye-pleasing 163 pixels per inch.

In terms of software and capabilities, the two tablets are essentially identical. Both include the same default iOS apps, including the Photo app, which allows you to make some very basic adjustments to your photos. These capabilities can be augmented by the numerous third-party apps available through the Apple App Store, from developers like Adobe, Nik, onOne and other names you'll recognize.

Both the iPad and iPad mini are available in Wi-Fi only or Wi-Fi + Cellular versions. Unlike most of the competition, there's no built-in expansion ports for removable memory, but you can connect cameras or SD cards directly to iPad with optional adapters. The iPad starts at $499, and the iPad mini, at $329. Both current models will be compatible with iOS 7 when it's released.

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