For those who want a tablet for photography purposes – both viewing and editing – there are many choices out there. There’s of course the iPad, with the new iPad third-generation (referred to as the iPad 3 for brevity’s sake), the year-old iPad 2 which is now $100 off its original price, and a variety of Android tablets in many sizes. I for one recommend the new iPad 3 to those with an interest in photography, for these three reasons.
1. iPad Has More Tablet-Optimized Apps Than Android
The App Store is risky, but it’s generally less risky for developers to release apps on than Android, so there will be more iPad photography apps than Android tablet photography apps. In fact there are going to be very few cases where an app releases exclusively on Android, but not on iOS. There will be some cross-platform releases – Photoshop was actually released for Android tablets first, before making its way to iPad – but few apps that don’t release on iPad at all. Android is just such a risk for developers that an app will generally hit iOS before it hits Android, if at all. Photographers looking for a tablet should go for iPad over Android just because there will be more tools to work with.
The iPad 2 may be $100 less, but its screen is only 1024×768. Most Android tablets range in resolution from 1280×800 (such as the Motorola Xoom) to 1920×1080 (such as the Asus Transformer Prime). The iPad 3, while the same size as the iPad 2, has a 2048×1536 screen, which is a higher resolution than many consumer-grade monitors. Photography especially shines on the Retina Display, and up-close details come through especially well thanks to the doubled pixel density. This alone may be justifying the iPad 3 for photographers.
3. The iPad 3′s Camera is a Real Camera. A Really Good One.
Want a tablet to be able to take some occasional photos – maybe not to replace a camera, but just as a supplement for convenience? The iPad 3 is the best choice. The iPad 2′s camera can only take 960×720 photos because it essentially is just a 720p video camera that can save still snaps. The iPad 3 camera uses the same camera lens as the iPhone 4S, with the ability to take 5-megapixel photos. Android tablet cameras boast similar resolutions, and even have LED flash in some cases, but the iPhone 4S optics are highly regarded as some of the best in class for smartphones, and with similar hardware in the iPad 3, it’s a no-brainer.