Which iPad for Lightroom?

angusr

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I have found, as others have, that I enjoy editing on my iPad air 2 in my living room. I don't see myself going to an entirely cloud based workflow yet but I think it is nearly there for my uses and is fun and convenient.

My Air 2 works fine, but I would like a pencil (stylus/pen/whatever you want to call it) for making local adjustments. My finger is too fat to see what I'm doing. Of course, the Apple Pencils do not work with my device so I wish have to spend quite a bit on a new one.

How is the Air 3 (effectively a Pro 10.5 I think) with the Pencil 1 when compared to the new Pros with the Pencil 2? I could save quite a bit with the earlier versions if there isn't much functional difference specifically for Lightroom. Of course I can also avoid spending anything if I just give up on the pencil altogether!
 
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I have found, as others have, that I enjoy editing on my iPad air 2 in my living room. I don't see myself going to an entirely cloud based workflow yet but I think it is nearly there for my uses and is fun and convenient.

My Air 2 works fine, but I would like a pencil (stylus/pen/whatever you want to call it) for making local adjustments. My finger is too fat to see what I'm doing. Of course, the Apple Pencils do not work with my device so I wish have to spend quite a bit on a new one.

How is the Air 3 (effectively a Pro 10.5 I think) with the Pencil 1 when compared to the new Pros with the Pencil 2? I could save quite a bit with the earlier versions if there isn't much functional difference specifically for Lightroom. Of course I can also avoid spending anything if I just give up on the pencil altogether!
I haven’t used anything other than the iPad Pro 12.9 with Pencil 1. I love the pencil and the larger screen. The Pencil 2 will dock and charge on the newest iPads. Not having the Pencil 1 capable of doing this is just a major design flaw in my opinion. The Pencil 1 also looses it’s charge quickly.

I rarely process photos on my iPad for several reasons.

1. I hate the random file names automatically given by the iPad.

2. When I use Affinity Pro, it takes me more time to figure out where the hell the finished photo is than it does to edit it.

3. Lightroom never saves the largest file possible as far as I can tell.
 

tkbslc

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As a budget option, the base model iPad 9.7 (2018 version) supports the first-gen Pencil. 128GB model is relatively cheap ($100 off right now at Amazon and Walmart). It's twice as fast as your Air 2 for single core and 50% faster in multicore, so a nice performance upgrade too.

Next step up from there, I think a Refurb iPad Pro 10.5 256GB is an excellent value. It's cheaper than an Air 3 with the same space and it has a few "Pro" model perks the Air lacks.

If you want a laptop replacement to become your only (or at least primary) device, then maybe dropping big bucks on a current iPad pro makes sense.

Based on experience, I would definitely not try to save money by going with a 32GB, and probably not 64GB either. You'll be juggling photos on and off it all the time as you run out of space and that's miserable. Just upgraded my 32GB iPad for that reason alone.

FWIW, I personally do not like the 12.9" devices. They are just in a different size class and the experience is far different. It's not really a lay in bed or kick back on the couch kind of device. It no longer just slips into your bag for use on the train, etc. I am sure some disagree, but that's my opinion. If you think you want a 12.9", definitely handle one in person before buying, because they are a LOT bigger.
 
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Mike Wingate

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iPad pro 12.9” with the new pencil. With the promise of connectivity to all things good with the upcoming PAD OS. It is alot to spend on a pencil, but....
 

angusr

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As a budget option, the base model iPad 9.7 (2018 version) supports the first-gen Pencil. 128GB model is relatively cheap ($100 off right now at Amazon and Walmart). It's twice as fast as your Air 2 for single core and 50% faster in multicore, so a nice performance upgrade too.

Next step up from there, I think a Refurb iPad Pro 10.5 256GB is an excellent value. It's cheaper than an Air 3 with the same space and it has a few "Pro" model perks the Air lacks.

If you want a laptop replacement to become your only (or at least primary) device, then maybe dropping big bucks on a current iPad pro makes sense.

Based on experience, I would definitely not try to save money by going with a 32GB, and probably not 64GB either. You'll be juggling photos on and off it all the time as you run out of space and that's miserable. Just upgraded my 32GB iPad for that reason alone.

FWIW, I personally do not like the 12.9" devices. They are just in a different size class and the experience is far different. It's not really a lay in bed or kick back on the couch kind of device. It no longer just slips into your bag for use on the train, etc. I am sure some disagree, but that's my opinion. If you think you want a 12.9", definitely handle one in person before buying, because they are a LOT bigger.
Thanks. That's super helpful. I agree on the size and while I totally understand what everyone is saying about the 12.9" model being great for photos, I think it would be too big for me for everything else.

Useful info on the base model - I hadn't realised it will work with the pencil. And yes, I agree on the storage. You need it, and it ramps up the cost pretty fast.
 

mcasan

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Wait for iPadOS, Catalina, and all the other OSs to arrive this fall. Those plus new apps such as Photoshop for iPadOS could change many decisions about what constitutes a good tool set in the field and even for tethering in a studio.

Indeed iPad Pro makes a very nice magazine reader. It definitely my go to environment for magazines and news stories.
 
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Thanks. That's super helpful. I agree on the size and while I totally understand what everyone is saying about the 12.9" model being great for photos, I think it would be too big for me for everything else.

Useful info on the base model - I hadn't realised it will work with the pencil. And yes, I agree on the storage. You need it, and it ramps up the cost pretty fast.
Note that there are two different pencil models for different series iPads. Just don’t get the wrong one.
 

angusr

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Note that there are two different pencil models for different series iPads. Just don’t get the wrong one.
Thanks. I there any practical difference in use? The charging etc. I understand, but what about when you are actually drawing? From what I've read, there doesn't seem to be a major upgrade from one to the other.
 

robcee

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honestly, I find Lightroom CC pretty frustrating to use on my iPad. No RAW editing support for ORF, can’t import directly off a card (yet, that feature’s coming in iOS13), no virtual copies(!!!).

I think the best tablet computer for Lightroom is probably the Surface Pro. It should run Lightroom CC “CLassic” pretty easily.
 

tkbslc

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Thanks. I there any practical difference in use? The charging etc. I understand, but what about when you are actually drawing? From what I've read, there doesn't seem to be a major upgrade from one to the other.
The only real feature upgrade is that the new Pencil supports tap gestures. For example, you could tap the side of the pencil with your finger to toggle between pencil and eraser tools. The rest of the upgrades are all around charging and magnet docking for the new iPad Pros.
 

angusr

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The only real feature upgrade is that the new Pencil supports tap gestures. For example, you could tap the side of the pencil with your finger to toggle between pencil and eraser tools. The rest of the upgrades are all around charging and magnet docking for the new iPad Pros.
That's actually quite a nice upgrade, but probably not worth the extra I'd have to spend.
 

angusr

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honestly, I find Lightroom CC pretty frustrating to use on my iPad. No RAW editing support for ORF, can’t import directly off a card (yet, that feature’s coming in iOS13), no virtual copies(!!!).

I think the best tablet computer for Lightroom is probably the Surface Pro. It should run Lightroom CC “CLassic” pretty easily.
I actually have a Surface Pro 3, and it will run both versions of lightroom but since I also have a desktop, I've been using the cloud version on it for syncing. Of course, I'd really like something in between an iPad and the Surface. They are both frustrating some of the time, but unless I need to type, I will always pick up the iPad - it is just much more pleasant to use. I found a good clearance deal on an iPad pro 10.5 so I'm going to go with that and add a pencil and possibly a keyboard cover which might make the Surface redundant as I don't type much any more.
 

tkbslc

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10.5 Pro is awesome! that's what I upgraded to this year. Good choice.

and possibly a keyboard cover which might make the Surface redundant as I don't type much any more.
I just returned one of those. It's impressively slim, but it's kind of heavy to leave on all the time for an occasional typer. It also is prone to being knocked off due to being held on by magnets (which is why I returned it). It's also not really rigid enough for more than a few minutes of lap typing. And I can stand to do a few minutes of typing on the LCD keyboard.

It is on sale for $80 a lot of places though, which is why I gave it a try.

For occasional long typing sessions at home, I would get a less portable detached bluetooth keyboard and just stash it until you need it.
 

demiro

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I just picked up a second gen 10.5" Pro. Had the first gen 12.9. I agree that it was too big and heavy for a tablet. The gen 3 12.9 is smaller and lighter, but I think the 10.5 is the sweet spot for me.
 
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I have a 2nd gen 10.5 pro. It's a thing of beauty, and fantastic hardware. But I rarely edit photos on it. After 2 years, I still more often use my Surface 3 (non-pro, much slower hardware) if I'm away from my desktop PC.

A bit like Harvey said, I still struggle with the hoops that Apple make me jump through with IOS. I noticed that in the most recent iPad pro refresh, many journalists/reviewers were starting to wake up and acknowledge that this OS just doesn't cut it as a fully fledged laptop replacement, no matter how good is the hardware.

I have great hopes for ipados or whatever it's called.
 
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I also have the 10.5 and the pencil... but I’m using Affinity Photo for iPad after dumping my LR subscription. I also use Affinity Designer to some degree and have been a Beta user of Affinity Publisher on the Mac for the last 9 months... just released today btw! Can’t wait for the iPad version of Publisher (fingers crossed next year as was announce need in today’s very encouraging Affinity Keynote.

So having said that, I’ve survived just fine with the 10.5, although admittedly I use Affinity Photo while on trips to edit some .orf files to jpgs for sharing with family and friends in a shared location. For that purpose the 10.5 works very well. I also use Scrivener for authorship of a coaching book I’m working on, as well as for travel chronicling while out and about. The 10.5 works fine for that too

One thing I really like is that the 10.5 fits in the inside pocket of my PD 10L sling. That is definitely I would struggle with the 12.9... maybe! I actually think the 12.9 might fit in there as well.

Would I like the 12.9? Yup. I’ve played around with it at the Apple store... and the extra real estate for Luma Fusion absolutely rocks. The more I get into video editing on the iPad the more I crave the 12.9. I can imagine if most of my photo editing were to be done on the iPad I would also have deep pangs for the 12.9. The final straw will no doubt be when iPadOS becomes available and external storage is more readily and more easily available ... and when Affinity Publisher for iPad hits the streets... yup... it will be beyond GAS and become a no brainer.
 

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