As people around the world criticise or write off the newly-announced Apple iPad that they have yet to touch, I’m starting to envision how it might turn out to be the dream machine for photojournalists on the move.
A photojournalist needs a memory card reader, a laptop and a 3G modem in order to transmit pictures to the newsroom. Of course, he needs software to add captions, size images and FTP them back to the office.
For a start, Apple makes it friendly for photographers. The inclusion of an optional iPad camera connector and an iPad SD card reader allows you to import your photos using the camera’s USB cable and from an SD card respectively. In fact, if you have an Eye-Fi SD card, you can even directly import the pictures via WiFi.
In the past, I have experimented using my then Palm smartphone to transmit pictures using Idruna Software’s Pocket Phojo. But the high cost of Pocket Phojo and the small screen of the phone made me dump the idea.
With the iPad, it is a different story. The big 9.7-inch multitouch screen allows the photojournalist to easily edit his pictures on his lap wherever he goes. Editing using the conventional touchpad of laptops can be strenuous for the photographer’s wrist. Of course, it remains to be seen whether the virtual keyboard on the iPad will be intuitive enough for captioning.
The iPad’s weight, at 1.5 pounds (or 680g), will certainly delight photojournalists as it significantly reduces the weight of their camera bags. Even the lightest laptop in the market, the Sony VAIO X, weighs about 780g but costs twice as much.
Plus, there are already free iPhone photo apps like Photoshop.com to allow you to crop and adjust the colour of your pictures. So, you probably can use it for the iPad to do simple cropping and file the pictures using another free app called PhotoManager (which is available in Japanese only).
I think it’s a matter of time before an iPad app, which mimics the functions of Photo Mechanic where you can crop, size, adjust colours, add captions and FTP your pictures, will be released.
If such an app is released on the iPad, I think the iPad will be the perfect machine for the photojournalist!
That’s not the end of it. You can already do remote capture with onOne Software’s DSLR Camera Remote on your iPhone. Just transfer this to the iPad and you get an even bigger picture of what you are shooting remotely.
The iPad is also a perfect machine to view pictures when you shooting tethered if photo equipment manufacturers like Nikon, Canon, or PhaseOne, release such an app.
Finally, the iPad will be a great device to show off your portfolio to future prospective employees wherever you go!
Now, when can I lay my hands on the iPad again?