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iPad Mini Doesnít Cut It For Images

This is a discussion on iPad Mini Doesnít Cut It For Images within the iPad Mini Forum forums, part of the Apple iPad Discussions category; Originally Posted by lecycliste I spent a couple hours at my local Apple Store checking out the iPad Mini and iPad 4 yesterday. (Yes, I ...

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Thread: iPad Mini Doesnít Cut It For Images

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by lecycliste View Post
    I spent a couple hours at my local Apple Store checking out the iPad Mini and iPad 4 yesterday. (Yes, I know itís officially the iPad with Retina Display, but no one calls it that except Tim Cook.)

    For a photographer, looking at the iPad Miniís screen could make you think you need glasses. Critical sharpness of faces, trees and rock features becomes hard to evaluate. Text on Maps and web pages looks fuzzy. Details are just unsharp enough to make you check a couple more times to be sure theyíre there.

    You may also be sick of feeling like a packhorse. Most pros and serious amateur photographers carry multiple camera bodies and two or three zoom lenses, usually with wide, constant f/2.8 apertures across the zoom range. More heavy gear like an iPad 4 you really donít need.

    I like the Mini's small size, light weight and usability. The 7.9 inch screen gives you a keyboard with all commonly-used characters showing.

    I also like Apple's huge app selection compared to the tiny one for the Nook Color I wish I'd never bought.

    But for critical image evaluation on location, this photographer will wait for the Mini with Retina display we should see next year.

    That Mini could have been made right now. It would have had an A5X processor, 2048 x 1536 display in IGZO that would burn sufficiently low power to use existing battery technology in the same small size, and pricing similar to the debut model. Apple instead chose higher profit margins on inferior technology.
    I hate to be the Grinch as well as a disagreeable old sot, but I disagree. Do not take what I say as a personal insult; I am in my Rage Against the (pro photographer) Machine phase. I have found the iPad 1 to be just fine for images and I spent many moons in a custom lab and shooting professionally, so I absolutely understand the art, craft and science that is photography. Not sure any iPad will let you evaluate the rocks and trees in a meaningful way. Hell's Bells, I do not need to focus in many cases, and i can tell you specifically and precisely which areas will be a sharp as the film/processing/lens/equipment will allow. But that is for the Amazing Bobbo Photo Thread.

    I know my equipment and I know for a fact if I need the rocks and trees to be sharp, they will be, indeed, sharp.

    I knew with out any question how my images would look before I processed and printed them. Old school 8X10/11X14 and much larger film and only needed two shots at the most. Sorry, but I must chortle when I listen to some "professionals" justify their reasons for wasting time.

    NOT YOU - TAKE NO OFFENSE!

    Every photographer demands something they will never get from the systems they setup and use. I just think there are too many inexperienced photographers out there that have few real skills and they worry about things that a through grounding in the art and science would immediately stop the brain bleeds they often suffer because they just do not understand.

    NOT SAYING YOU ARE ONE OF THOSE.

    Just a general observation about most photographers--working pro or advanced amateur--that my skill, knowledge and abilities let me say with impunity, the Mini is likely fine if you want a smaller device; the iPad is just fine if you are as blind as Bob.

    Again, sorry for the apparent insult. No insult was intended.

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  3. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by mgpitt View Post

    Given the clamour for an iPad mini with a retina display it is only a matter of time as to when Apple introduce such a product. Technically of course it is possible since a 7.9" retina display would have about the same pixel density as in the iPhone 4 and 5. Any yield issues can be solved given time. However, I would wonder whether it would be wise to introduce a new product with only a 15-20% yield as aside from the impact on cost this would be a major bottleneck in ramping the product (from what I read I think that Apple already sold something like 3 million minis).

    Why would an iPad mini that had a spec essentially that of the iPad 4 be significantly cheaper? Having a higher resolution display predicates having a bigger battery and a faster processor. The end result would be a product costing maybe $50 more to build and therefore selling for significantly more than $400.

    I guess one question is how Apple want to position the Mini in the future. Going to a retina display would likely bump up the price and from a marketing perspective I imagine that they wanted an entry level device at around the $300 mark. It may well be that when (if?) they introduce the iPad mini 2 they will continue to sell the original iPad mini (as they did with the 2 when they introduced the iPad 3). Hopefully, they would also be able to shave $50 or so off the price! Personally I do think there is a market for a (relatively) cheap, entry level device.

    Speaking purely for myself I don't feel the need for an iPad mini with a retina display and am happy to spend my money now, rather than wait 6-12 months for something that will be of marginal benefit to me (and for which I would not want to pay a significant amount of money for). I fully appreciate that other people have other needs.

    I don't think it is a question of marketing "winning out" over engineering. All products are compromises. In the case of the iPad mini I imagine that other factors such as weight, thinness and sales price won out over the display spec. It is also possible that Apple was wrong sided by the introduction of the Nexus 7 and Kindle Fire HD. Remember that it takes a considerable time to introduce new products and at the time that they started development of the iPad mini they hadn't realised that there would be higher resolution, cheaper 7" tablets available from competitors by Q4 2012.
    The wifi only 16 gb iPad mini wifi is $329.00, iPad 2 is $399.00. The 2 may possibly have more battery (I don't know), the mini has updated camera and lightning port. The screen on each has the same number of pixels so the battery - to produce the same life, would need to be about the same (about due to non-video issues). I don't know if the mini is using the smaller process A5 and the 2 using the previous generation or original generation A5, but if this is the case there is less power consumed performing the same functions with the newer chip (at 45 nm for the original and 32 nm the next version and now the newest is at 28 nm). Clearly there isn't a $70.00 premium for components or construction between the two...

  4. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by scifan57 View Post

    Believe me, if it would have been possible to produce a retina display iPad Mini at this time, Apple would certainly done so. It would be much more difficult to produce a smaller retina display, with a greater pixel density, due to its smaller size. It would draw more power, needing a bigger battery, resulting in a heavier and thicker iPad at a higher price.
    If it were as easy as you suggest, to make high resolution displays as cheaply as you imply, Apple would have one it. You underestimate the technical challenges involved in producing such a display.
    Apple will produce a retina display iPad when it becomes technically feasible to do so at a price that results in expected profit margins and sales. Producing one now won't do any good if it costs so much that sales result in little or no profit for the company.
    Newer more efficient chipsets, better backlighting control and better and integrated comm chipsets with an updated antenna design all will help the new mini reduce power requirements letting Apple use a smaller battery than if they put a Retina on the first generation mini.

  5. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by lecycliste View Post
    Apple's competition has high-resolution screens in 7" diagonal sizes in their tablets at lower price points *already.*

    Amazon's Kindle Fire HD 7" has a 7" screen at 216 ppi and 11 hour battery life, priced at $199.
    Barnes and Noble's Nook HD has a 7" screen at 243 ppi and 11 hour battery life, priced at $199.
    Google's Nexus 7 has a 7" screen at 216 ppi and 8 hour battery life, priced at $199.

    Just for comparison with larger-screened devices,
    Amazon's Kindle Fire HD 8.9" has an 8.9" screen at 256 ppi and 10 hour battery life, priced at $299.
    Barnes and Noble's Nook HD+ has a 9" screen at 256 ppi and 10 hour battery life, priced at $269.

    You may argue that these prices give the companies no profit, that they rely on content sales to support the prices. or that the iPad Mini's screen is slightly larger and more costly than other 7" tablets at 7.9". OK, Apple's costs for higher materials quality and larger screen size are likely somewhat higher. if it costs, say, 1.2 times these amounts to build tablets with the same high-resolution 7.9" screens to Apple's quality level, then Apple's cost would be around $238.80.

    At the IPad Mini's $329 price point, that still gives a per-unit profit of $90.20. I don't know what Apple's profit models are, but that's a 27% profit, pretty good for consumer electronics.

    So we have at least three other companies able to build high-resolution 7" tablets with comparable battery life and sizes below Apple's price point. (At least two companies build tablets with larger 9" displays priced below Apple's iPad Mini). **That shows feasibility - it's being done right now.**

    Apple chose to produce an iPad Mini with a significantly lower-resolution, slightly-bigger display and a comparably-fast processor at a price 65% higher than the competition.

    Those are the facts.

    As an integrated circuit design engineer and design manager for 25 years, I understand the challenges of producing semiconductor and system-level electronic products quite well. I.C. development can take many months. I worked with Cisco and HP to supply network interface circuits meeting their product cost requirements for many years.
    The mini has a physically larger screen so if you only look at pixel density you miss the picture. The Kindle Fire is 1280x800 while the iPad Mini is 1024x768 for a 24% less pixel screen not the 37% pixel density would lead one to believe.
    The iPad Mini is 3mm thinner and 87 grams lighter - both very noticeable while using.
    The Kindle Fire does not come in a 64gb size but does have 1gb memory compared to iPad Mini's 512kb
    The A5 chipset supporting the cortex-A9 in the Mini is a much more modern chipset than the Fire's and it runs at a faster speed
    The cameras don't even belong in the same planet, with the Mini having two (a 720p 1.2 MP front facing and a 5 MP main) to compare with the 1.3 MP 720p main (only) camera on the Fire.
    The Mini has available cellular (4G-LTE) while the Fire only has wifi

    The Fire does have a couple of ports that the Mini doesn't, a micro USB (can't say that is an advantage over Lightning) and a HDMI where the Mini requires a $29.00 adapter.

    Edit: sorry, the purpose wasn't just to throw specs around, but to show that the Mini is clearly a superior product. I can buy a Yaris for less than $20,000.00 but it doesn't have the performance or quality that a Corvette or Ferrari have. These two don't have $80,000.00 to $150,000.00 more in parts inside them, and the cost doesn't just pay for the material and construction, but the time and resources to design something you will feel real passion for both owning AND using.
    Last edited by zstairlessone; 04-28-2013 at 08:54 PM.

  6. #35
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    The ipad 2 has ios 30 pin dock connection and the ipad mini has the 8 pin dock connection. Basically depending on your need for accessories, your decision could be already made. As for the yaris vs the ferrari, yaris has the far superior carbon emission performance. It depends on what you're using it for. The ipad mini 2 with presumably new retina display may not have the same weight and battery performance as the original ipad mini.

    Anyway, today I took some pictures outside in the sun and I could not see through the display to properly frame the pictures that I wanted. Granted I had screen protectors on, shooting pictures in the sun is not well supported by ipad mini. But the pictures luckily turned out awesome. Even the framing came out just right, luckily. I don't know, maybe there was a gyro in the ipad mini that help steady my hands while I was shooting the pictures and properly framed the photos without me knowing it, who knows... Apple does these things.
    Last edited by Magnetic1; 05-01-2013 at 03:16 PM.

  7. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by Magnetic1 View Post
    The ipad 2 has ios 30 pin dock connection and the ipad mini has the 8 pin dock connection. Basically depending on your need for accessories, your decision could be already made. As for the yaris vs the ferrari, yaris has the far superior carbon emission performance. It depends on what you're using it for. The ipad mini 2 with presumably new retina display may not have the same weight and battery performance as the original ipad mini.

    Anyway, today I took some pictures outside in the sun and I could not see through the display to properly frame the pictures that I wanted. Granted I had screen protectors on, shooting pictures in the sun is not well supported by ipad mini. But the pictures luckily turned out awesome. Even the framing came out just right, luckily. I don't know, maybe there was a gyro in the ipad mini that help steady my hands while I was shooting the pictures and properly framed the photos without me knowing it, who knows... Apple does these things.
    Yeah, all Apple devices are VERY hard to see in the sunshine. I agree the Yaris does have a much better carbon footprint, but the Ferrari may have a better emissions to Work ratio (lb/HP-hr or g/kW-hr). Good point of discussion somewhere.


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