Some basic advice on using iPad (8 gen) with LR for photoediting

Community Beginner ,
Jan 12, 2021 Jan 12, 2021

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Hi folks, bit of an IT dunce/Luddite looking for some advice please on iPads and LR.
 
I’m looking to update my photo editing kit and workflow kit and tech most of which is about a decade old.
 
I use (and will continue to use) a Nikon D800 camera for most “serious” (ie non-iPhone) photography which is mostly wildlife and landscape pictures. 
 
The D800 which creates files around 50Mb and have been editing them on a ten year old old iMac using either Photoshop CS6 or LR. I know I should be using LR more for most photo editing but had access to CS6 first and got used to that but would like to move over to LR.
 
I don’t always have access to the iMac and have got out of the habit of editing my photos which has resulted a large archive of photos backed up onto hard drives that I want to edit.
 
I have about £500 on kit (and my old ipad needs replacing) and would be grateful for some advice as to whether what I am thinking of will work for editing fairly large Raw/Nef and jpeg files.
  1. Ipad gen 8 10.2”, I would like the bigger screen of  a large Pro model but the budget won’t stretch to that! 
  2. Ipad pencil (1st gen) always used a mouse with the iMac but looks like this is the way to go with editing on an iPad? 
  3. The other option within my budget would be something like the Wacom bluetooth tablet - I’ve not used one of these before and am not sure whether this would be better for photo editing than the pencil?                 https://smile.amazon.co.uk/dp/B079Q4QP4Z/?coliid=I3BJYW0ZA2809C&colid=8DI42961S90J&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_...
  4. To get the photos from my back up hard drive I am hoping to use one of these lightning to usb female connectors which I am assuming will let me access files on a hard drive just like plugging it into an iMac?                               https://smile.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07CFX7G54/?coliid=I1A866TL1Q4NQ&colid=8DI42961S90J&psc=1&ref_=lv_ov_l... 
  5. There seems to be a free “mobile” version of LR available, the alternative seems to be a version with a monthly subscription of GBP10 but comes with 1Tb of cloud storage. Presumably if I want to use the latest version of LR on my old iMac, I would need the paid for version.
Apologies if this comes over as long winded and a bit dim but I’m desperate to get back into editing my photos and would welcome some feedback on whether what I am thinking of will create a simple but functional system. 
 
TBH, the Luddite in me is struggling to get my head around the idea that something as compact as an iPad could have the processing power to manage what were back in the day considered the huge files created by the D800!
 
Your thoughts would be very welcome, but please be kind.
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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 12, 2021 Jan 12, 2021

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Assuming that your old version is the disc based Lightroom (now called Lightroom Classic) then the main thing to be aware is that Lightroom Mobile (on iPad and iPhone) does not work in the same way.


Whereas Lightroom Classic references files on a local disc, Lightroom Mobile imports the files into its local storage (you can from an SD card with an adapter). If you have a subscription these upload to Cloud Storage and after a while the full res images will be purged from the IPad leaving thumbnails, however if you have the free app, the full res files will sit within the app on the iPad filling up storage.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 12, 2021 Jan 12, 2021

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Thanks, that makes sense.

 

The version of LR I have on my iMac is a disk one.

 

I do currently use an SD card adaptor to import jpegs from trail cameras but have not tried importing any Raw/Nef files from the D800 partly from concern as to whether the older iPad could cope with multiple 50mb files and partly because I AFAIK none of the basic photo editing apps I have currently have on the iPad would work with Raw files.

 

Am I corrct in assuming that with the lightning to usb female adaptor, I would be able to import and export files from and to an external hard drive?

 

The impressI am getting is that my concerns as to whether an 8 gen iPad has the necessary processing power to run LR for D800 files are unfounded?

 

Thanks, again.

 

Does anyone have any thughts on the Apple pencil vs Wacom tablet comparison?

 

Cheers, DK.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 12, 2021 Jan 12, 2021

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Hi again,

I honestly think some kind of subscription is worth it, and the main question is where do you want to store your photos?

 

If you want the final location to be on local discs or external drives, then a plan that includes Lightroom Classic is your best bet (the traditional Lightroom). 

If you want cloud based storage, where all photos sync to all devices then the Lightroom Plan is your best option. 


Lightroom Classic is included in the Photography Plan, which also includes the Cloud Based Desktop App and Photoshop. The Photography Plans come with either 20GB or 1TB of Cloud Storage (£10 or £20pm respectively).

 

The Lightroom Plan doesn't include Photoshop or Classic and has 1TB of Cloud Storage.

 

All plans include Lightroom Mobile

 

If you want to use Classic as the final resting for your photos, the a popular option for work on the go is to import into the iPad, let photos sync to the Cloud when connected to the internet , turn on sync in Classic and your photos will sync from the Cloud down to Classic. Once downloaded, these can be deleted from the Cloud. A good option if you only have the 20GB option.

 

As long as you can see the HD connected to the iPad in iOS Files, then you will be able to import direct into Lightroom Mobile.

 

As for the Wacom Tablet, I don't believe these work with iPads. Wacom do a stylus that does I think, but the tablet would only work with a Mac/PC.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 13, 2021 Jan 13, 2021

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Thanks, that all makes sense.

 

I think I will start with the free version of LR to see how I get on with it.

 

I am in a pretty rural area and broadband speeds are not the best so I will to see what size files I can upload before commitimg to a cloud storage system.

 

Either way, the ability to use an external HD will be a bit of a game changer for me! 😀

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 12, 2021 Jan 12, 2021

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Kunning Druger wrote:

Ipad pencil (1st gen) always used a mouse with the iMac but looks like this is the way to go with editing on an iPad?

 

The Apple Pencil can make photo editing a more satisfying experience, especially if you often paint to edit masks in Lightroom (in local adjustments) or in other image editors. Lightroom works just fine with the iPad alone, though.

 

Where the Apple Pencil really gets fun is when you use the many drawing and painting apps for iPad, such as Adobe Fresco, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop, or Procreate.

 

As of iOS 14 it is also possible to use an ordinary Bluetooth mouse with an iPad.

 

Kunning Druger wrote:

The other option within my budget would be something like the Wacom bluetooth tablet - I’ve not used one of these before and am not sure whether this would be better for photo editing than the pencil?

 

If you buy the type of Wacom tablet you linked to, the difference is that it functions only as an accessory to your computer, like a mouse. If you carry the Wacom tablet by itself into the back yard, it does nothing, because it has no internal computer and no screen. It draws on your computer screen.

 

The iPad is different because it’s a self-contained device with its own screen, powerful enough to be a home computer on its own. If you carry the iPad into the back yard or down to the beach, you can edit photos on its screen, becaues it can do it alone.

 

Because you work with large Nikon files, you should know that the current 8th generation iPad uses the same A12 series processor as the current iPad Pro, which is good. The previous generation iPad used an older and much slower processor (not recommended). Another important difference is that the 8th gen iPad has 3GB RAM while the iPad Air has 4GB RAM and the iPad Pro has 6GB. I am not sure how much difference that makes in real use, but in theory, more RAM means a better ability to handle large documents and multiple apps running at once with fewer delays.

 

Kunning Druger wrote:

To get the photos from my back up hard drive I am hoping to use one of these lightning to usb female connectors which I am assuming will let me access files on a hard drive just like plugging it into an iMac?

 

A Lightning to USB connector is the right type of adapter for the base model iPad. I have used a similar one to connect storage and card readers. Not all of them work well, but as long as the reviews say it works great with an iPad, then it’s worth trying, especially if the return policy is easy. To move files on and off the hard drive, you would use the Files app on the iPad, which is like the Mac desktop: You can view internal folders and external drives side by side, and drag and drop files between them.

 

A potential problem is if the hard drive is bus-powered and draws more current than the Lightning port can supply. If it can be powered separately, like with a mains power adapter, that usually solves that problem. Also the hard drive must be formatted in a way that the iPad recognizes. I think the iPad recognizes HFS+ (MacOS Extended) and FAT32.

 

If you want something better than the iPad but the Pro is too expensive, the latest iPad Air is almost as good as a Pro in terms of performance.

 

If you choose an iPad Air or Pro, those models have moved on to the faster and more standard USB-C connector instead of Lightning. Also note that the iPad uses the first Apple Pencil, the iPad Air and Pro use the second generation Pencil.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 13, 2021 Jan 13, 2021

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Thanks that now makes perfect sense.

 

Looks like with the combination of the recently introduced ability to access external hard drives and the more powerful processor, this is a good time to be buying a new ipad! I'll see whether the budget will stretch to an air but probably not - it wuld be nice not to be behind the curve with the move to usb 3 but I guess there will always ge something.

 

FWIW, I was looking at the wacom tablet as an alternative to the apple pencil not as an alternative to the ipad itself.

 

Nce again, many thanks for clearing things up - just need to make some decisions! 😀

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 13, 2021 Jan 13, 2021

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The Wacom tablet won’t be an alternative to the Apple Pencil for the iPad, because I don’t think there is any way to plug a Wacom tablet and have it work. It can be physically connected to an iPad, but I don’t think there is Wacom driver software support for an iPad the way there is for a Mac or PC.

 

The USB-C connector is a lot more flexible, I think it can provide more power to connected devices. But my iPad still has the Lightning connector.

 

I’m rather budget-minded myself, so I got both my iPad and my 1st generation Apple Pencil at the Apple Refurbished store. If the configuration you want is in stock, prices are about 15% less than retail but still come with a full warranty.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 13, 2021 Jan 13, 2021

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Thanks again.

 

I think that there is a bluetooth version of a wacom tablet and I did find a utube vid of someone using one with an ipad pro but I think I'm coming round to the pencil idea.

 

Just about everything I have ever got from Apple has been refurbished and the stuff I've had direct from the store has been indistinguishable from new but apart from a frw ipad mini 5s, there is nothing available.

 

I might give it a week or two to see whether any post Xmas returns show up but the gap between the 8 gen ipad and the Air/Pros looks a bit big to justify.

 

I have just ordered a lightning to usb3 + lightning female dingle and powered usb3 hub to start bringing my set-up a bit more up to date. 

 

Thanks again. 😀 

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jan 13, 2021 Jan 13, 2021

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There’s one more thing that needs to be made clear. When you open a photo from an external storage device connected to an iPad or iPhone, most iOS photo editing apps will copy that photo into the app’s private storage on the iPad for editing. In iOS, it is not typical to be able to edit photos in place on external devices. There might be some photo apps that can do that, but I’m not sure which ones. If you use an iOS photo app that always edits using iPad internal storage, then the finished version must be exported back out to the correct folder on the external device. And the photo that was copied onto the iPad will take up space on the iPad until deleted.

 

This goes one step further with cloud-based photo apps such as Lightroom for iPad. With Lightroom on iOS, primary photo storage is always the cloud server, not local storage (internal or external). For example, if you imported 100 photos from an external hard drive into Lightroom on the iPad, Lightroom will copy all 100 into its temporary storage on the iPad and upload those 100 photos to cloud storage as soon as it can. All edits will go to the cloud, not to the external hard drive. Lightroom isn’t even going to look at the external hard drive again, until the next time you import from it. Again, to store the edited photos on the external hard drive you would have to manually export the edited versions from Lightroom on iPad to the correct folder(s) on the external hard drive.

 

Make sure all of that is OK with you before you spend the money on an iPad, and if you still do, make sure it has enough internal storage to hold photos being edited. If you require the same easy workflow with external storage that you have with Lightroom Classic on a computer, you might want to get an affordable laptop instead of an iPad. Or wait to see if/when Apple and iOS app makers simplify the external storage workflow for an iPad.

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Community Beginner ,
Jan 15, 2021 Jan 15, 2021

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Thanks again, that all makes sense and it is clear that I will have to modify my workflow processes but I am reasonably confident that even my Luddite brain and pedestrian broadband will make this work.

 

Inevitably there will be more numptie questionsvto follow once I've upgraded my ipad but for now, many thanks.

 

KD

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