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09-12-2014, 12:36 AM   #1
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iPad - useful as a photo browser? (or anything really)

OK, I have the quintessential first world problem: being "the iPad - what is it good for and can it be used as a photo browser?"

Well, the advertising says it's a revolutionary device that can do anything ... but ...

I was 'given' an iPad retina with 128gb for work. (No choice - I would have just taken the cash, to be honest.) At first I thought it was pretty cool, but the honeymoon is totally over baby!
It doesn't have a filing system, so it pretty well fell flat on its face at the first hurdle. The only time I've used it for work was to verify our our company website looked OK on the iPad.

MS office for iPad came out, but the lack of a keyboard and having to use your finger to move the cursor makes editing files arduous, so fail again.
So after a few months it's pretty much been regulated to 'couch web surfing' and it's pretty good for viewing youtube videos of funny cats. I guess this was the intended market.

In summary, I now have a very expensive device that's darn near useless and it has a lot of free storage and a brilliant screen.


It should be a great photo viewer.

Alas, I have been trying to upload photos onto the device (from windows), but it's a fail - again no filing system. I can copy photos using iTunes, but they arrive without subfolders. I want my folder structure preserved. I have tried PhotoSync app and Photo Manager Pro app- both of which promise to have a folder structure, but are slow and unreliable as they 'rely' on wifi. They both crash during transfers and transfer at too low a speed anyway. 3000 photos would take about 24 hours to send to the device - but anyway they usually crash within 5 minutes of use, so i only get a few dozen photos across at a time. I'm getting a bit loath to keep buying apps that don't work, so I'm doing what I should have done before and asked PentaxForums for help.

So - anyone successfully and quickly getting photos onto the iPad, preferably with the following features:
  • Transfer via usb? (Just from computer, I'm not even dreaming of direct from camera...)
  • Photos arrive in folders - mirroring the folder structure on your windows computer.
  • Transfer at scaled size (i.e. 2000x2000)
  • No, I don't want my photos on the cloud, thank you. We've seen what a great idea that is recently.

Best regards for any help.


Last edited by calsan; 09-12-2014 at 01:11 AM.
09-12-2014, 03:05 AM   #2
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For me the iPad turned into my main home computer and I hardly turn on my PC anymore, other than for work. But everyone has different requirements, so...

Sadly, as with many or all things Apple, the workflow is nice and easy when staying within their ecosystem. So your easiest, albeit not cheapest option would be to just get a Mac computer.

Isn't there an option to set up file and folder syncing with its Windows version? I've just checked the support pages for iTunes. Supposedly you can move all/some folders and albums if you use Photoshop Album or Elements: iTunes 11 for Windows: Add photos to iPod, iPhone, or iPad. That at least sounds like it keeps the structure.
If you don't use Adobe, possibly another option: have you tried adding your folders individually to be synched by iTunes? Maybe, if you don't just add the main folder but individual subfolders, the structure will be kept?

For other iPad uses there's the Flu-card, of course. It is a nice option, but I must say I haven't used it all too much yet.
With a triggertrap dongle you could also use the iPad and all its sensors for remote controlling your camera. You could get quite creative with it and it's rather cheap.

I hope any of this helps.


P.S.: Cloud ain't too bad if you use two factor authorisation. I guess those "stars" should remember to not use a feature (for nude selfies) if you don't know how to secure it. But I only use cloud sharing for iPhone snapshots (of dressed objects/people), not for any work related things or something to rely on.
09-12-2014, 03:34 AM   #3
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I've read previously (about 2 years ago) that iTunes resamples JPEGs transferred to an iPad as part of the transfer process. So there will be some degree of image degradation. Don't know if this is still the case. The recommendation at the time from discerning photographers was to use a third party transfer program, but I can't now recall what was the flavour of the day.

I too got my hands on an iPad via work recently. Yes, the lack of a file structure sucks if you want to bring over pre-sorted collections of images. Also, the standard Apple photo viewer has determined that seeing EXIF data is waaaaay too geeky, so none of that please. So no way to see any details about an image. Good news is that photos can look stunning if you can find a way to get them onto the device at something at or about the native resolution of the Retina screen. I have used a circuitous route via Picasa Web Albums (which I use to sync my better photos to an Android phone and tablet) to get photos onto the iPad one at a time (use Safari to view a photo on-line in Picasa and then use the Picasa download tool. Real clunky process but it got me by when wanting to evaluate the iPad display quality using known photos. There are some free Picasa Web apps on the Apple store but haven't found one yet that really does what I want (and none to keen to fork out $$$'s on a wing and a prayer what something might or might not do what I want from it). Whereas I have a great little two or three dollar app on my Android devices that syncs to the Picasa Web albums, downloads at the resolution the image is stored at on Picasa* and is a better image viewer app than the standard Android Gallery app as well.

* at least to 2560x1440 or so. Not sure if a full 24 megapixel K-3 image is being downloaded - need to do a little more analysis on this question.
09-12-2014, 04:20 AM   #4
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using the $29 USD camera adaptor kit, it is actually pretty quick and painless to transfer jpeg's (can't speak for RAW, i have no idea) right to the iPad. and the iPhoto app (was free, not sure if it still is) is a halfway decent field editing tool. I believe adobe also has some CC apps for the iPad, but i've never used them.

09-12-2014, 04:42 AM   #5
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iPad: Using the Apple iPad Camera Connection Kit

Automatic cloud syncing can be turned off. There are also third party card readers. It's not a perfect solution, but it works.
09-12-2014, 04:46 AM   #6
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Hi,

my main target to view photos is the iPad. In my opinion it is a really great photo viewer!

You can load your photos to the iPad using different ways. Some are:

Camera Connection Kit. Being on journey I copy the jpg- and dng-files directly from camera (Pentax K-5) to the iPad - for this you need the Apple Camera Connection Kit or something that is compatible with this adapter. On the iPad you see the photos in the Apple Photo App where you can organize your Photos into folders. Unfortunately the iOS Photo App seems only to support folders on one level - nesting not possible. When I discovered this I also wasn’t pleased.

Sync with iTunes: The usual way when I’ve developed jpg’s from dng with Capture One Pro 7 on a Mac Mini. I generate the jpg-files into folders according to the iOS philosophy on one level and sync them using iTunes. If you want to sync some of the folders you have to mark that and then mark all the folders to be synced. Other folders on the iPad are then deleted. I think this should also work with iTunes on a PC.

GoodReader. If it’s necessary that you sync or organize your folders the same (maybe nested) way you have it on your Mac or PC or Dropbox or … you get it with this great App. The App involves a photo viewer and allows to use different ways (protocols) to connect to servers and sync them with the GoodReader file structure. This App doesn’t use Apples photo structure. So you don’t see the synced photos in Apples Photo App. But you can transfer the photos to the Apple Photo App - with the same restrictions as described earlier.

Most of the time I don’t use the Apple Photo App. Because I like to see exif data or add meta data I mostly use the App PhotosInfoPro. It works on the Apple Photo structure. So if you have your photos within the Apple Photo App, you also have them in PhotosInfoPro. If you work with Adobe Lightroom, the App Photosmith can be a nice alternative. To rapidly optimize photos on the iPad, I use Snapseed. It’s very easy to use and fast and you get good results.

Maybe I could help in some way.

Regards, acoufap
09-12-2014, 04:46 AM   #7
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I bought the iPad along with my iMac for photo editing, figuring I could use the iPad as a portable photo album to show work to clients. I found it absolutely impossible to manage what was transferred or how it was displayed until I purchased Aperture for the Mac to replace iPhoto. If catalogs are created in Aperture, they can be addressed as separate collections on the iPad. When using the camera adapter to import files directly to the iPad, that functionality is lost again. Attempting from the PC seems like trying to bang one's head through a very pretty wall.

I have since switched to a Galaxy tablet. It, too, lacks any sort of catalog or structure, but I can use a micro-SD card to get JPGs directly from the camera to the tablet. Like the iPad, it just displays them in whatever order it feels like.

I would pay a premium price for an ap that would bring this much-needed functionality to either device.
09-12-2014, 05:13 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by southlander Quote
I've read previously (about 2 years ago) that iTunes resamples JPEGs transferred to an iPad as part of the transfer process. So there will be some degree of image degradation.
I can confirm this. Within the App PhotosInfoPro I can see the size in KB of images on the iPad. When I compare the synced images on iPad vs. Mac Mini, I can see the difference of the files sizes. Examples - generated image size 1920x1272 Quality 8 in Capture One Pro 7 (Mac vs. iPad - KB): 840/405, 995/534, 1100/613, ...
On the other hand I never had to complain about the image quality shown on my iPad Mini (1st Generation)! So I value it positive because it saves a lot of space.


Last edited by acoufap; 09-12-2014 at 07:32 AM.
09-12-2014, 05:20 AM   #9
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I have a folder called iPad in the pictures file on my computer, at some point, I told the iPad to sync with that folder, now whenever I turn on the computer, the iPad copies the images from that file into it's photo viewer library... so essentially I maintaining the folder structure I want on my computer, and the same folder structure is copied to iTunes
09-12-2014, 05:28 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by AquaDome Quote
I have since switched to a Galaxy tablet. It, too, lacks any sort of catalog or structure, but I can use a micro-SD card to get JPGs directly from the camera to the tablet. Like the iPad, it just displays them in whatever order it feels like.

I would pay a premium price for an ap that would bring this much-needed functionality to either device.
Just create folders. Each folder will become an 'album' in album view.
09-12-2014, 05:34 AM   #11
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Taken this morning in Antalya Turkey on my K3 and F*300 4.5 , processed on Ipad on the bus just now with snapspeed....



by Noelpolar, on Flickr

Last edited by noelpolar; 09-12-2014 at 10:31 AM.
09-12-2014, 05:52 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by noelpolar Quote
Taken this morning in Anatalya Turkey on my K3 and F*300 4.5 , processed on Ipad on the bus just now with snapspeed....



by Noelpolar, on Flickr
If that was a little blurry, you could say it was the Loch Ness monster.
09-12-2014, 07:37 AM   #13
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I too get frustrated by the organization and lack of exif data on the iPad. But I have to say, with the Apple card reader adaptor and the excellent and totally free SnapSeed editing app, you can really turn out some nice results really quick and easy anywhere you are. Then for like $40 on amazon get the RavPower wifi device and you can zip your edited and fully viewed work right back onto a thumb drive or SD card using its internal wifi to transfer back onto any other computer or device. All that and you never touch the cloud.

SnapSeed really is cool. I know next to nothing about PP work and I figured it out super fast and can do basic and good editing of a photo in about 60 seconds. This setup is nice out on the road or to see what shots worked and what did I not, and you still have all your pix on the original SD card for when you get home and want to take some time. But then you have an idea of which pix out of the 100's you want to focus on.
09-12-2014, 08:54 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by normhead Quote
If that was a little blurry, you could say it was the Loch Ness monster.
I had EXACTLY the same thought!
09-12-2014, 10:11 AM   #15
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I have iTunes pointed to a special folder where I store my Albums (folders) I want to see on my iPad. I have a special export in LightRoom that sizes the pictures to fit the iPad 2048-by-1536 resolution and exports them to that folder, and if needed, create subfolders . These subfolders all get imported as Albums. Essentially this allows me to have a shadow copy of these pictures on my iPad.

In addition i will regularly import RAW images when I am travelling using the Apple card reader. This serves two purposes for me: A backup (somewhat limited capacity, though), but more importantly allows me to review pictures and do some initial evaluation of the pictures. I use Photogene to edit and check out say B&W options, though I rarely use the output other as ideas on what to do in Lightroom.

Yes - if you insist on managing pictures and folders they way you are used to in Windwos, you will get very frustrated. Same, btw, holds true for Lightroom.

I am actually a long time Microsoft/Windows person (i still have like 6 regular Windows PCs, including Windows Home Server etc.), but you will hardly ever see me without my iPad - simply to convient and useful.
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