So now, what do you think of travelling with an iPad 4? Are you ready to plan for your next journey?

Everyone sees the biggest benefit of the iPad is its size and weight. Netbook is in fact not a bad option. But you cannot complain the fast start-up of a tablet. Lightly press the main switch, the iPad 4 is ready. If you have set up the WiFi or cellular connection in the background, you will receive all notifications on the screen instantly.

If you have stored some images on your iPad 4 and configured (or by default) the Picture Frame function under Settings, you can tap the icon (a flower symbol) on the bottom right side of the logon screen to run a automatic slideshow without logging on. Tap the icon to stop it. The settings also allow you to choose between two ways of transition: Dissolve or Origami (like a random collage of several images), decide the duration of slideshow and some other options. This is really helpful from a photographer’s perspective. If you have selected the album which contains your best images, then the iPad will work like a digital photo frame in a more versatile and flexible manner.

The Photos app on iPad is showing JPEG images only.  You need some other apps to show RAW format files. I use a free app called PhotoRaw Lite. What I find is that PhotoRaw Lite is restricted to a single camera model (selected when the app is used for the first time), and does not support image editing or JPEG output. Only singe images can be viewed at any one time. If you really want to do serious RAW converting jobs on the iPad, you best go for the full version called PhotoRaw. This app supports many common RAW formats (including the Leica M9) and costs US$9.9. I am yet to test this app fully to see if it works very closely to other applications such as Adobe Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop on a PC or Mac environment.

One thing worries me is the storage of the iPad 4 as I take mainly RAW format and take Black and White JPEG at the same time as backup.  So in the trip I did not use the iPad 4 for storing all my images and I have not even performed a sync in iTunes. It was only used to review some of the photos taken. I processed all the files on my Mac later at home.

Since the trip was really short, I brought along six 16GB SD cards. The capacity of SD card is getting massive. In the case of the Leica M9, one 16GB can store about 575 uncompressed RAW format +JPEG. But if you solely take JPEG format, it can store up to about 1744 files. How good is that? I did not need backup stored on other devices. The iPad 4 is only able to store all the images captured on 3 to 4 SD cards.

There was a small glitch about the SD cards.  I normally use Toshiba SDHC 16GB (Class 4) and Transcend SDHC 16GB (Class 10).  Occasionally I found it saved the files very slowly.  I thought it was the problem of the camera at the beginning. After a check, I was told SanDisk is the official SD card supported by Leica. But hold on, I do not intend to take many continuous shots. So I don’t think I should bother switching to SanDisk cards unless I have such a genuine need to take many continuous shots.

At the end I would conclude that the iPad 4 is a great companion to a short trip. I was so delighted to show some images on the retina screen and share them easily with friends and family. As for a longer trip, I have not decided whether to stick with my current netbook or go for a Macbook Air.

Featured image: The frangipani. Summicron-M 50 mm, ISO160, f4.0, 1/750 sec

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