Apple have chosen to introduce the new iPad3 to the world by showing off its ‘stunning retina display’. The iPad3 is obviously being sold on its video and photography capabilities – but can the iPad line succeed as a real photographer’s tool? Consumer research in 2011 suggested that a better camera would convince 29% of current iPad2 owners to upgrade their device, and attract 25% of first time buyers to the high-end of the iPad range. Recent research has shown that 19% of those surveyed were attracted to the retina display. It is, of course, a given that the iPad 3 will sell incredibly fast to the average consumer due to the promotion of the retina screen as a market leader as well as the unparalleled cache of being the newest in Apple’s line.
The retina screen is a 9.7-inch, 2048×1536, display with a staggering 264 pixels per inch. With this standout feature alone the iPad 3 blows away – well, everything on the market in terms of display. The camera (which was nothing special in the iPad 2) has been upgraded to a 5 megapixel and renamed the iSight. Not quite as powerful as the 8 megapixel camera included in the iPhone 4s (of which more later), perhaps Apple are shy of putting a very powerful camera in an ergonomically imperfect ‘camera body’. iPhoto has also been added to the iOS to add the much needed image editing power. There’s also HD 1080p video and a quad-core graphics card. All of these new features help to mimic the detail and clarity of human sight.
Stats from photo sharing giant Flickr show that the iPad 2 barely features in a list of Apple devices most frequently used to upload photos to the Flickr network. It seemed to fall far behind the iPhone 4 and 4s as a photography device. Only 12,811 photos were taken on an iPad 2 and uploaded in 2011. With these bolstered capabilities, Apple is obviously hoping that the iPad 3 can elevate the iPad line into the first generation of desktop-replacing devices.
Will the retina display attract consumers who are looking to use their device for e Books and gaming? The Kindle Fire might feel the pinch of the iPad 3’s retina screen and backlit lighting. Serious gamers might also be attracted to the fast graphics card and portability. The lack of a USB port for camera connection might continue to discourage photography professionals, even with the addition of iPhoto. The iPad is already a favourite portable portfolio for photographers and designers. Perhaps if it allowed users more flexibility to move their images around, as well as to view them, then it might truly be the perfect tablet for photographers. In the mean time, the average consumer with an interest in photography might want to keep checking out iphone 4s deals.