Lightroom mobile has been out just a week and already there’s evidence that what we’re using now is very much a 1.0, with new features in the works. This shouldn’t be surprising: the original Lightroom started fairly bare and aggressively added new features after its release.
One of the top surprises I’ve heard from people is the lack of a way to edit metadata for photos in the app—star ratings, keywords, IPTC data, and the like. I suspect those were probably planned for the app but held back so Adobe could ship the first version on the schedule they set for themselves.
Now, it’s clear that star ratings and other probably other metadata features are being worked on, following a tweet posted by Adobe’s Tom Hogarty this morning:
LrMobile eng mgr(Torsten) and design lead(Kai) talk star ratings over dinner in SJ.(And yes, that's an iphone) pic.twitter.com/doMoJWDTXT
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.
Adobe has already pushed out a version 1.0.1 of Lightroom mobile, fixing little bugs but also changing one behavior that could be costly if you own a Wi-Fi + cellular iPad. Initially, the default was to sync photos and adjustments only over Wi-Fi connections. You could turn that off if you wanted to allow syncing over a cellular connection if Wi-Fi wasn’t an option.
Now, Sync Only Over WiFi is disabled by default. If you set up a collection to sync but didn’t launch Lightroom mobile while on Wi-Fi, those images are sent over the cellular connection, eating up your monthly bandwidth allocation. Depending on your cellular plan and the amount of photos you’re syncing, that change may not be an problem. But it seems like an odd change to me.
To sync only via Wi-Fi, open Lightroom mobile, tap your name in the top-left corner, and move the Sync Only Over WiFi switch to the On position (to the right).
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.
Apple released iOS 7.1 today, finally conquering the dreaded crashing bug that would force the device into what appeared to be a restart (actually it was the app that lists the applications, internally called Springboard, that was crashing and bringing up the Apple logo screen). Macworld runs down some of the other changes, but as far as I can tell nothing else directly applies to photographers using iPads. The only camera-related improvement is a new Auto HDR setting, but it applies only to the iPhone 5s, not the iPad.
However, the folks over at C2 Enterprises note that iOS 7.1 introduced a bug that crashes Photosmith when importing images from the Camera Roll. The crash doesn’t affect the images you import—everything completes successfully—but you’re kicked back to the applications screen. They write:
This app crash isn’t as catastrophic as it appears – It’s a display-only bug, and your photos and metadata are perfectly safe. No data loss will result from this crash. Restarting Photosmith after the import crash will show all your previously imported photos in Photosmith’s catalog (including the photos imported just prior to the crash). You may continue working as your normally would in Photosmith.
More importantly, Photosmith will continue functioning as it did prior to updating to iOS 7.1. Importing photos via Eye-Fi, FTP, iTunes, or when syncing with Lightroom, isn’t impacted by this issue. This is an issue specific with how we’re handing the import dialog window after the import is completed. Instead of closing the import window and displaying the normal Photosmith interface, the entire Photosmith app shuts down.
Part of the issue is that Apple didn’t release a “final” build to developers before releasing iOS 7.1; the devs discovered the bug in the shipping version.
Nonetheless, iOS 7.1 has been in the works for a while, and I’m glad it’s here.
That title is now available as a $2.99 ebook: Meet the iPad & iPad mini. It’s the perfect introduction to any iPad running iOS 7 or later (that includes all iPad models except the original one), and at just $3 is perfect to give as a gift to someone who’s just getting started.
Harry McCracken at Time has been using an iPad as his primary computer for a couple of years now, and he still gets guff about it. But that’s nothing compared to the general consensus that taking photos with an iPad is worthy of ridicule. When Apple added cameras to the iPad 2, it was pretty amusing to see people taking photos with the tablet. Don’t they realize they look like dorks? was a common refrain. (I thought so, too. Although my bigger complaint was with the image quality of those first cameras.)
But since then, I’ve changed my mind because in the real world, people are using iPads as cameras all the time. I linked to Shawn Blanc’s post last week about how the iPad has given his legally-blind grandfather a way to capture photos. And that’s just one example.
With all due respect to such people, they seem to have some form of cognitive disorder that leaves them believing that what’s right for them is right for everybody. But if somebody is doing something with a computer and is happy doing so, it’s usually a good sign that the person in question has found something that works. Not for you, not for me — for that person.
But the thing is, none of this matters. If a meaningful number of people choose to use an iPad as a camera, those people have found something that works for them. Why any of them should care about what anybody else thinks, I don’t know.
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.
[Alas, the deal has expired. However, you can still get the 45% off print books using the code CMPRI2013 and up to 60% off ebooks and videos using the code CMDIG2013 for Peachpit's Cyber Monday deals.]
For this week only, The iPad for Photographers, Second Edition is Peachpit’s Ebook of the Week! Get the book at 50% off, just $9.99, through December 1.
The purchase includes EPUB, Mobi, and PDF files, so you can view the book in glorious full-color layout (PDF) or as reformatted flowed text with full-color photos (EPUB and Mobi) on any device.
The ebook version is also great as a reference in the field—you already have an iPad or iPad mini available while shooting, so you can read the book while you’re waiting for the sun to come up!