The disapproval bandwagon toward Adobe, featuring the iPad

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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Well, here I find myself, again. With all the latest disappointments and even, some might say, hate towards Adobe. I have been here before, I had my fair share of frustration with Lightroom, the most. From excruciating performance and/or bugs with Lightroom to the internet connectivity issues when I wasn’t able to log in and actually do my work.
I do understand the (strong) dislike of subscription model and Adobe’s (maybe overly strong) interest in keeping you in their system, much like Apple’s nature as a tech company, I found myself at an easy of the affordability of paying a (not so expensive) small fee every month for the bundle of Photoshop and Lightroom (I don’t need much more then this two to be honest). Photoshop used to cost more then 500£ back in the CS5 and CS6 days. I’m sure that professional can afford and justify such costs but for more poor artists out there it’s a lot to ask (YES, I do know there are free options as well, back then and still now, but is it not fair to want access to a industry standard software that you can find a lot of tutorials and learning courses?). Over the years Lightroom started getting more and more Photoshop features that makes my need for Photoshop almost unneeded. I don’t use Photoshop all that much, stitching panoramas, HDR, local adjustments, cloning/healing (mostly to fix panorama stitching problems or get rid of element a in images that I did not wish to have there but couldn’t do that at the moment of making the image) have all become integrated very well in Lightroom and I can do 95% of everything I need without having to leave Lightroom. I know every person is different, I am more of a halfway, I like to edit my images to get the most out of RAW files but I don’t want to spend half an hour or more building tens of layers in Photoshop. If I can get the look I want and like in Lightroom in a few minutes I’m happy to do so. And as I don’t need Photoshop much anymore I would like to pay one time for Lightroom like before, as currently it costs me 102£ a year for what I most use: Lightroom ... but I do get usages at least, and I do love the new Texture slider a lot actually.

It did take me a significant upgrade to get decent performance in Lightroom, quad core i7 overclocked to 4.5 GHz and 32GB of RAM for my bokehpanoramas and hundred MP panoramas but I do game on my PC as well so I don’t see it as the worst thing to do. I will upgrade again since the PC I build myself back in 2015 and it’s hitting the wall of what I would like to do (sensors will get more MP in the next couple of years so I need more RAM for my panoramas, as well as handheld pixel stacking).

I have been thinking of switching to a different image editor, I know a lot of people love Affinity and ON and others. But I found myself in a pickle, so to speak. Here’s where he iPad comes in. First of, I’m not a big fan of Apple in general. Don’t like their closed and very tight control of their ecosystem, Macs, iPads, iPhones. Especially their prices. Even at the high quality they promise to give I find their prices to high when they ask beyond 1500£ (that’s like i5 MacBooks and iMacs and that’s just so painful when I know for that price I can build a PC beyond those specs). Also the MacOS was never to my liking, I’ve been a Windows user since Windows 95 (not by much choice, I have plenty of frustration and hate for Windows and Microsoft) because of the gaming aspect (I don’t own consoles) so I am used to with a different OS environment (couldn’t get used to Linux either and with their less then stellar gaming and Photoshop/Lightroom support I found it hard to stay with Linux in years past).

But I found myself looking for a tablet for digital drawing and after 6 months of reading every single review I could find, against my prejudice towards Apple, I went with the iPad 9.7” 2018 32GB model because of the impeccable hand rejection support (I never had any issues with that), the best pencil accuracy and performance of any tablet under 1000£ and basically the price, I got the iPad and the Apple Pencil 1st Gen for 392£. I couldn’t get the cheapest Microsoft Surface and it’s pen for that price.
After months of trying I couldn’t manage to draw any good digital drawing, I think I lost my drawing skills and interest (for now). But instead what I have found is that I can edit images with the license I pay for for the Adobe Suite on the iPad. And to my surprise it can handle quite well the 16MP Olympus RAW file and not only that but the 60 RAW files from the little Oly E-M5 Mark II. More and more I find myself editing on the iPad as I love the intuitive and natural use of the pen, it even supports some of the local adjustments, like brushes, graduated and spot editing. I am actually having fun using Lightroom on the iPad while on PC it started to feel tedious (high I cannot explain why to be honest).
This Wednesday I went on a trip with a few of the camera club members and I made some lovely images and during the midday tea break I got my iPad from my backpack, imported my favourite images of that day, made a few adjustments and I shared them with my friends, they loved it. Today, while I was coming to work, I saw a few photo opportunities I liked, grabbed them, and now (I’m on my downtime at work) I imported them and (in about half an hour) edited them and exported them on the iPad, here are a few of them:
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I do love the random nature of finding small birds on my way to and from work

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“Howard The Duck” cloud ... or maybe it’s Simpson cloud :p

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I do love flower shots, even if they may not be the most interesting flowers

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My workplace is next to a field filled with wild bunnies, there almost no day where I don’t see one or more bunny and I never get bored of making images of them

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Same with squirrels... I even used local brush to brighten up the squirrel by one stop EV and used a grad ND of -1 EV on the grass because it was overexposed

I even use the iPad to share my images with the camera club on our weekly evenings, which is more efficient and cheaper then having to print on mass. I have come to realise that this way of use gives me so much freedom and immediacy of sharing, something that smartphone shooters have. Going from film to digital had a huge advantage of knowing and sharing the results easier and on the spot, and this setup feels a big improvement from digital to the internet. I am even considering it as a more permanent solution, at least when it comes to travel backup. I know that some might not consider it as best solution for more professional use, but for something easy to quick way of getting quite food results I am more then happy.

There are some, frustrating, limitations though. Might be deal breakers for you, for now I am managing best I can so it’s not end of the world:

1) No file system, which makes it very hard to manage lots of images so you don’t get desktop like level of catalogue management. Still, I would not hesitate to back up a holidays worth of images if I have too, it would be a hassle to transfer thousands of images from the iPad to a computer but better then losing them in worse case scenario. An alternative might be selecting only the best or your preferred ones, that way you can make it more manageable.

2) Some features are missing from the desktop, like HDR, Panorama stitching, which is very disappointing because I due love my panoramas and I always make some whenever I can, but I do have to wait till I get home to actually get them done.

3) I can’t seem to find a way to stop Lightroom from sending the images to the cloud, so whenever I have my iPad connected to WiFi (which I do with WiFi tethering from my phone) so do be careful if you have limited Data, especially if you import RAW files, and it can chuck down your internet connection if you multitask with social media needs, like Discord, Facebook Messenger, web browsing, emailing, etc.

4) Lightroom does work well with 16MP RAW files but going higher MP count does take a while to load the file 1:1 or preview your changes. Thought that may come down to the less RAM he basic iPad models have. You will get better performance with the Pro versions.

5) Lastly, if you want to backup your images (even temporarily) on the iPad, go with the higher capacity models, expensive yes, as you won’t get more storage like micro SD cards (like on Microsoft Surface) or more USB ports. Mine has only 32GB and that wouldn’t be enough for trips and vacations longer then 1-2 days. I might get the Pro version iPad with at least 128 or 256GB in the next few years for that.

There are other tablets out there, with Wacom like pens, that might perform better and even get full Desktop versions of Lightroom and Photoshop. I don’t have experience with them but they do cost above 1500£ for the high end enough to not chug down with RAW files or Photoshop with more them 5 layers. So it’s up to each persons budget and level of needs, some might afford the maxed out Surface Pro that can replace laptops even. But the level of intuitively and comfort of Windows 10 interface it’s pen at high resolution screen is not the same as one built from the ground up with touch screen support.

One of the funniest things I have found is that, a few days ago, Lenovo announced “the worlds first” foldable PC, which is basically a foldable tablet being “sold” as a computer. The holes PC community screamed: But that’s what laptops are and have been for decades. Why do we need this? I do understand that sentiment but I see it the other way too: if they can make it as powerful as a laptop but more compact then why not. The PC community love their physical keyboards, so they have laptops for that, when they need gaming or writing work. Touchscreen keyboard might not be the best for writers but for artists who mainly draw, edit images or edit videos it will be fine. So Lenovo announced a 13.3 inch foldable (basically) tablet, that is more portable then 13.3 inch laptops or tablets alone. It has 4:3 screen ration, like the iPad, perfect for our Micro Four Thirds format, so better hen 16:9 other tablets and laptops. It has 2560-1440 resolution which is higher then most 1080p tablets and laptops but not stupidly useless for such a device, size and battery life 4K like high end laptops (2K laptops are quite hard to find this days and with no good reason to why that is). And it comes with Wacom pen support too. I see only good things so far in this format. I can carry it easier with me everywhere, it’s bigger then my current tablet so makes editing even more easy. The only issues I see is the type of OS they will use: Windows 10? It’s not optimised well enough for pen and touch screen. Android? That won’t have good enough app support for needed, specific to me at least, tasks. iOS? Well apple has the best pen performance and implementation so far but we know Apple doesn’t let other companies make use of their OS, to be honest I wish Apple would come up with such a device, based on how well the iPad works for me so far, even with the limitations I mentioned. The other issue is, it seems, since this is the first generation of foldable screen they don’t seem to be as bright and as good as flat screens, yet. So I hope the next generations I’ll be better.

Now back to Adobe (sorry for the sidetracking). I might change from Lightroom and (the little used) Photoshop but I want a fluid and similar workflow for both Desktop and Tablet format, be it Affinity Photo, Phase One Capture One Pro, Skylum Luminar, ON1, DxO PhotoLab. When one of the companies offer me similar experience on both platforms then I will jump in, in due course with the learning process as well.
 

speedy

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I'd go some sort of tablet, but, there's always a but, I like a decent sized screen to actually view, and enjoy, the finished product.
I downsized/simplified from a desktop computer about 10? years back, to a 17 inch, i7 proper quad core, full HD laptop. Loved it. Got stolen, replaced it with a comparable 15 inch model, the screen is just not big enough. Hooking up external monitors is just messy, and unnatural.
I looked at the surface pro, but then you've got to fart around with external keyboards, and a monitor again, if you want to be able to view and enjoy the output that your expensive, high quality camera gear you bought, will produce. Otherwise, you may as well just shoot with your phone, as you'll never really see the difference you paid for. And it gets messy again.
So, my solution is a NUC. An Intel Skull Canyon. Look it up if you're not familiar. i7 quad core CPU, 16GB RAM, a 500 GB & 1TB internal M2 SSD, I can run Windows or Linux, (currently I'm running Windows 10, and 2 different flavours of Linux in a virtual machine) any software I want, and at the minute I'm really happy with a 24 inch monitor.
I can pick or choose whatever keyboard and mouse I want, it's tiny, fast, quiet, tidy, portable, upgradeable as far as RAM & SSD is concerned, and has a built in card reader, Thunderbolt 3, USB 3, blueteeth, mini display port, VESA mount, the works.
Love it. It just works. I can't see myself ever going back to a desktop, again.
I've still got my Toshiba satellite Pro i7 quad core laptop kicking around, but I simply don't use it. Whenever I do switch it on, it's a 4 hour or so process of updates and such, before it's back up to speed properly. I keep it around just for the DVD player :)
 
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Hypilein

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Affinity is indeed very similar between both OSX and iOS. Pretty much all functions are there (including Panoramas), but beware. The iPad version at least seems to use the embedded jpegs for Panos straight from RAW. If they could come up with some kind of DAM/Library where not every image has to be it's own edit file I could very much see myself moving over from Lightroom. For now, it has already replaced Photoshop for me as it's much more straight forward and the clone healing is probably the best in the industry.
 

L0n3Gr3yW0lf

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I don't have anything against owning a computer, I actually love building and modding them. Since I got my first computer when I was 7 (I dismantled it so many times until I learned how to put it back together) I was a hardware nerd. I would never give up on my 32-inch monitor for doing more serious editing, especially panoramas, (or just enjoying entertainment, haven't owned a TV in over 10 years and don't feel the need to anymore). The tablet idea came in as an alternative to a laptop (I had a few of them, useful at times, cumbersome at other times). Convertible laptops might work ... but the price is up there for i7 and 16GB RAM, which I would consider a minimum for Lightroom on Windows 10, to be honest, and I am not sure if any model out there has as good or better pen support then Apple (it feels like I will burn in hell for praising Apple so much :p ). One nice feature about iPads is that you can wirelessly screen share your tablet with a compatible screen, so you can work on the tablet and see your beautiful results in glorious "insert your compatible screen size".


I would love a DAM/Library alternative to Lightroom on iOS, especially after news came out that the next iPad update will bring file structure so we can organize and save in folders. I can only hope they will open up to external storage too, then we could backup images from the iPad to external hard drive ... and who knows, maybe mouse support through Bluetooth?
 

Paul C

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Lightroom is expensive, and as many frustrated posts to this thread have pointed out, can be slow and has many irritating software bugs.

Apple Photos
has come a long way trying to provide all the features that Lightroom offers, in terms of conversion and optimising the whole image colours, definition, contrast, S-curve, luminance etc....... From withinn Apple Photos I can call up all my other editing programmes for their special characteristics (SilverEfex, Aurora, Photoshop, DXO perspective, etc...)

For a mac computer owner, it is free software, and if you haven't used it recently - perhaps now is a good time to look it over. I have replaced LR for a large part of my work without regrets.
 

RichardC

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"Lightroom is expensive"

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Compared to what? Free stuff maybe, but that's about it.
 

BDR-529

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"Lightroom is expensive"

Compared to what? Free stuff maybe, but that's about it.

And if you select the prepaid annual plan you will save a staggering £0,55 every year! Now, thats what I call discount.
 

D7k1

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Photoshop is really for working professionals. I've used it since version 4. There is no substitute for the various functions in Photoshop if you are a working professional. The ability to save LUT's for using in NLE's is worth the $10 a month alone. Just photography? well there are quite a few options. But if you are a working professional (which means you provide images, videos, or graphics to your clients you would be mistaken not use PS, LR is a very nice Plus.

Honestly I would like my other pro level programs to offer a $10 a month for keeping current, especially my DAW and Video (you can for the video program but it is only offer with a few other PRO programs which I don't use for about $30 a month. Understand how small a group hobbyist photographers are and few lucky that a graphic industry giant like Adobe offers us the option. I often combine images and graphics and nothing does that like Photoshop.
 

Ranger Rick

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I wasn't happy with the change to subscription model (after having to switch out of Aperture when it was dropped). But in the end, $120 US annual for LR and PS isn't a bad price. Capture One is now $199 US for the annual upgrade. I'm perhaps fortunate in that I have few, if any, issues with the operation of the Adobe software- would I like some changes/additions: perhaps, but it is what it is and I can live with that.

I don't want to spend the time and effort to find/learn alternatives for very little savings. Then there is the matter of business continuity. I enjoy the offer of "free lifetime support/updates" for software from firms which may or may not be here in a few years. Obviously, YMMV. We do what makes sense for us.
 

Hypilein

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There are cheaper programs and there are more expensive ones (Capture one mostly). I refused to upgrade for a long time but synced editing from my iPad is worth the price and it simply wouldn't work without storage which will always and with every company require a subscription. I don't even use Photoshop because I prefer Affinity Photo.

Everyone has to decide on their own if it's worth it. Generally, I think subscription models are a bit of a dodgy business model and I try to get standalone editions where I can choose myself if I want to upgrade and if the features are worth it. For Example I've been using Sibelius (music notation software) on a perpetual license for way more than 10 years now. It's gone up multiple major versions but in the end it still just writes music and it was a professional level editor back then, so not much has changed. Of course it's not supported (and never got an upgrade to 64 bit) which is why I am stuck on an older OS version, but I don't care. The perpetual licence saved me over a thousand euros by now and when I am upgrading this year (gonna buy a new computer) it will be a new perpetual licence (they now have both).
 

RichardC

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And if you select the prepaid annual plan you will save a staggering £0,55 every year! Now, thats what I call discount.
I had a customer phone me to complain that his regular £30.49 order had increased in price to £30.70 (there was a three month gap).

It probably cost him more than that to phone me. The annual price plan is for him. I should give Adobe his email.
 

doady

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C1 Pro 20 runs decently on my 12-year-old Phenom II X4 945 machine with 4GB of RAM, but i7 and 16GB RAM is the minimum for Lightroom? Really? That's surprising.

Or maybe not. After all, in 2013, I did upgrade my video card to Radeon 7850, which is still more powerful than any integrated GPU in the market. Intel's integrated GPUs can't match the performance of AMD's current integrated GPUs either. So perhaps it is the GPU that the main limiting factor for photo editing software, rather than CPU or RAM. Certainly, GPU is the main limiting factor for video editing.

I am eagerly awaiting the upcoming Ryzen 5600G to finally build a new desktop PC after 12 years. With the ridiculous prices for discrete GPUs now, I have no choice but to settle for an integrated GPU. Although the integrated GPU will be much, much more efficient in terms of performance per watt than the Radeon 7850 card in my current machine, it will still be slightly weaker. Although it should be enough for photo editing, I will still need a discrete GPU for video edition. In the future, DDR5 RAM will provide a huge performance boost to integrated GPUs, maybe enough to make discrete GPUs obsolete. But for now, maybe you shouldn't expect too much out of integrated GPUs, or the devices that use them (i.e. tablets and laptops).
 

Hypilein

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Lightroom runs fine on my 2014 MBP with 8GB RAM. Obviously it's not fast and I make sure to do sharpening/noise reduction last but it's not so slow that it becomes tedious to work with.
 

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