I stopped by the Apple Store this evening to check out the iPad. The ultimate gadget geek that I am, I just had to pick one up and play around. And, being the gadget geek I am, my mind churned over all the possible reasons I needed one. Those of you with your own photography or videography business know the drill, another piece of equipment your heart yearns for, so you desperately begin searching for a reason, any reason, to expense it.
Alas, I didn’t come up with a significant justification for buying one to actually fork out the money. (Wife would have killed me anyway) But, I did get a better understanding of how it would benefit me, particularly as a photographer and videographer.
*Thanks to Michael Sherlock for the video demo.
Salesperson’s best friend
The iPad, with its convenient size and shape would be a great sales tool. The display and touch interface make it fantastic for flipping through photo portfolios, zooming in and out with a pinch. I can’t imagine a bride or commercial client that wouldn’t have fun flicking through your best work with this tablet in hand. I met so many of my brides, along with the fiancees and mothers, at local coffee shops. This tablet PC would be perfect for looking through proofs and sampling my best wedding videos. The 9.7 inch (diagonal) display is a perfect compromise between portability and a comfortable viewing experience. The iPad also features speakers, though in a noisy environment you’ll need headphones.
You can download photos directly to the iPad from your camera using the iPad camera connection kit ($29). The iPad supports standard picture formats including .jpg and RAW. This would make it ideal for proofing photos on the go and sharing them with friends, clients or fellow photographers.
On the job
I figure the iPad would serve as a great digital notepad on photo shoots, video projects and wedding days. I could back up photos to the iPad, maintain the wedding day schedule, lists of photos a bride wants me to shoot, find directions to and from the shoot site or wedding ceremony and reception (using the great maps app which displays nicely for glancing, not gawking at, on the road), and display my portfolio or business website at the reception site along with a set of my business cards.
I can also imagine reading e-books about photography and videography on the iPad with ease and comfort. I never even considered buying a Kindle, but the iPad would be an even better e-book reader plus all the trimmings mentioned above. Email would also be convenient on the iPad, as would surfing the web.
One of the biggest initial drawbacks I noticed, and this is because I do a ton of writing in my professional life, is that the keyboard is very clumsy. I’m sure with some practice I could get better at typing on it, but I’d rather spend the $70 for the Apple wireless keyboard or special iPad keyboard dock to do any type of typing on the iPad.
Then of course there’s the price. It’s cheap if you consider this a replacement for your computer (which I don’t recommend). But, it’s pricey if this is just a sales tool. You may have justified buying the MacBook Pro, the iPhone and an iPod for your photography or videography business, but it’s pretty tough to justify the $499-$699 you’d need to fork out for the iPad. I’m hoping the price comes down in a year or two the way the prices did for the iPhone and iPod Touch.
Well, that’s my take on it. So, are you sold? If you’re using the iPad for your photography or videography business or work, let me know how that’s working out.