At 500px: How an iPad Can Improve Your Photography

Premiere photo site 500px has just published an article of mine that takes a high level overview of what an iPad can do for photographers: How an iPad Can Improve Your Photography. Think of it as the ultra-compact version of my iPad for Photographers book, covering the options for using the iPad as a portfolio, importing photos to the iPad and reviewing them in the field, adding all-important metadata, editing the shots, sharing images, and more.

I’m actually quite excited to appear on 500px, not only because I like what the company is doing, but because the people who post and read at the site tend to be extremely talented photographers. It’s fabulous company to be in.

iPad 2 Replaced by 4th-Gen iPad

It looks like Apple’s supply of iPad 2s has finally tapped out. As of yesterday, the least expensive full-size iPad option is now the fourth-generation iPad instead of the iPad 2. That’s great news for anyone who wants an iPad but can’t afford the iPad Air.

The 4th-gen iPad comes in only a 16 GB configuration, in black or white, for $399 (or $529 for the LTE cellular-equipped model). The differences between this iPad and the iPad 2 is striking: the 4th-gen iPad boasts a vastly better processor, more graphics capabilities, more working memory (1 GB compared to the iPad 2′s 512 MB), and of course the high-resolution Retina display. This model will definitely have a longer useful life than if you were to buy an iPad 2.

(Source: Apple and TechHive)

Using Cameras’ Built-in Wi-Fi at CES

Derrick Story has an article at Macworld about how he used the built-in Wi-Fi capabilities of the Canon 70D and Olympus OM-D E-1 and their respective iOS apps to share images during the day when he attended CES (the Consumer Electronics Show) early this month. Manufacturers are finally getting the message that built-in Wi-Fi is useful and desired by photographers.

DPReview Compares Wi-Fi SD Cards

Eye Fi ProX2 16GB left view smDPReview compares two wireless SD cards, the Eye-Fi Pro X2 16 GB and the Transcend 32 GB Wi-Fi: Battle of the Wi-Fi Cards: Eye-Fi vs. Transcend. Although the Transcend offers more storage and costs less, the reviewer found that the Eye-Fi trounces it in performance, range, and software features. (The article doesn’t include the Eye-Fi Mobi card, which makes it easier to connect to a tablet or smartphone.)

But perhaps the biggest disadvantage of the Transcend card is its inability to easily transfer files to a laptop or desktop. Technically it can do it, but it’s a painstaking process and one that I wouldn’t consider practical. Basically, the card uses a computer to achieve the same thing it can do on a mobile device, only with twice the steps. Users must find the Transcend Wi-Fi card’s network from the computer. Next, the user launches a browser and enters a lengthy IP address into the url bar. At that point I was better off just plugging the card into the good old card reader. By comparison, the Eye-Fi can connect to a laptop in a matter of seconds and upload images and videos in real time.

[If you're thinking of purchasing an Eye-Fi, please consider buying it using these Amazon links, which helps support my work. Thanks!]

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More podcasting: I talk iPad photography on the Macworld Podcast

Hopefully you’re not sick of my voice yet: Chris. Breen invited me to talk iPad and photography on this week’s Macworld Podcast. We also went into some detail about capturing photos with the iPad and iPhone, and looked at the state of the current tech related to photographers using iPads (with speculation of what could come in the future).

Talking iPad Photography on Mac Power Users Podcast

I’ve had the great pleasure to do several podcasts and interviews about The iPad for Photographers, Second Edition. Last week I talked to the wonderful David Sparks and Katie Floyd for their Mac Power Users Podcast (listen to the episode here). In it, we talk about all sorts of iPad photography topics, but mostly I’m sure David just wanted some great advice before he left on vacation. (He admits to it several times.) It’s a fun conversation, and I hope you enjoy it!

Triggertrap Flash Adapter Enables High Speed Shots

Here’s a cool new invention: Triggertrap, which makes an iOS app for triggering a camera, just announced the Triggertrap Flash Adapter. I wrote about Triggertrap in the second edition of the book because it does much more than just remotely activating the camera’s shutter—you can set up long-exposure or intervalometer-timed shots and set them off by sounds, by vibration, facial recognition, and more.

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The Triggertrap Flash Adapter controls one or two (simultaneously) strobe flashes. That enables better high-speed photography (think popping balloons or splashing water droplets). Be sure to watch the video where CEO Haje Jan Kamps demonstrates how it works.

Introducing Triggertrap Flash Adapter from Triggertrap on Vimeo.

Macworld Reviews the Seagate Wireless Plus

Over at Macworld, Roman Loyola reviewed the Seagate Wireless Plus Wi-Fi hard drive. Although he doesn’t mention this specific purpose, the Wireless Plus finally delivers on the promise of being able to transfer files from the iPad so you can back up the photos you import. See “Seagate Wireless Plus Appears” for more detail. I’ve been using the drive and like it.

Neighborhood Blossoms

Walking around the neighborhood, I took advantage of the fact that the cherry blossoms are in full bloom and haven’t yet been blown off by the wind or rain. This was shot with a Nikon D600 and then, at a nearby café, I used Nikon’s WU-1b wireless adapter to transfer the image to my iPad. I then did some minor adjustments in Snapseed and uploaded it.

The Nikon app that communicates with the WU-1b is just an iPhone app, so it doesn’t take full advantage of the iPad’s screen. But it does have a really nice feature: I can selectively transfer images. (I think ShutterSnitch has this capability, too, but I need to test it out.)

Neighborhood Blossoms

Seagate Wireless Plus Appears

Well this is interesting. My iPad app updates today revealed an update to the Seagate Media app, formerly known as the GoFlex Media app. Aside from the name change and a new icon, the app reveals this little nugget:

Upload Photos and Videos Straight from iOS Device (for Wireless Plus)

The Seagate Media app enables you to upload photos and videos from your iOS device to your Seagate Wireless Plus drive in full resolution and quality, perfect for offloading files to free up space on your iOS device or keeping an extra backup copy.

I had high hopes for the Seagate GoFlex Satellite drive, which was originally designed so that you could store lots of high-capacity media (videos and photos) on the drive and wirelessly stream it to an iOS device. You wouldn’t have to use up all of your device’s memory to store that stuff, great for people who own 16 GB iPads. In the book I describe using Photosmith to go the other way: the developers worked with Seagate to transfer photos from the iPad to the GoFlex Satellite. It was a genuinely great way to back up the photos you import into the iPad from cameras.

But there was a problem. It didn’t work reliably. The Photosmith guys ultimately pulled the feature because files were getting corrupted in transit. And if even an occasional file was corrupted, it couldn’t be trusted.

Now, with this news Seagate is introducing a new device: the Seagate Wireless Plus (price not specified yet). The GoFlex Satellite is being renamed to the Seagate Wireless—no “Plus.” That means the new hardware will be able to support wireless media backups, but not the original hardware. I suspected that the problem might be in the Seagate firmware; I’m also disappointed that the company seems uninterested in updating the firmware to make this feature compatible.

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Still, I’ll be ordering a Wireless Plus when it’s available, since having an on-site backup for photos when you’re shooting without a laptop nearby has been the missing link of a good iPad photo workflow.

If you like the work I do, please consider signing up for my low-volume mailing list that I use to announce new projects and items that I think my readers would be interested in. (It’s hosted by MailChimp, so if you decide I’ve gotten too chatty in the future, you can unsubscribe easily.)