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The disapproval bandwagon toward Adobe, featuring the iPad

Discussion in 'Image Processing' started by L0n3Gr3yW0lf, May 19, 2019.

  1. L0n3Gr3yW0lf

    L0n3Gr3yW0lf Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 31, 2013
    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.
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  2. speedy

    speedy Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Nov 27, 2015
    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 :) 
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
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  3. Hypilein

    Hypilein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 18, 2015
    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.
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  4. L0n3Gr3yW0lf

    L0n3Gr3yW0lf Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 31, 2013
    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?
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