Does the New iPad Pro Offer Anything New for Photographers?

The new iPad Pro certainly looks slick, but we’re not sure it’s ready to replace your laptop just yet.

We’re not going to lie; we have been eagerly awaiting the launch of the new iPad Pro for a while now. Yesterday, Apple finally delivered. The iPad has grown from its early days of being a content consumption device into a capable content creation device. Apple’s slogan for the new iPad Pro is ‘your next computer is not a computer,’ but is it really ready for creatives to use full time?

Apple has been trying to get us to ditch our laptops and Windows-based computers for years, and while Apple and their iPads have come close to being full-blown laptop replacements, there have always been a few things holding them back. In recent years, especially since the launch of the original iPad Pro, this started to change. Thanks to new hardware and improvements in iOS for the iPad, which have been discussed in this Reddit thread, these portable powerhouses have become much better, and they can do about 90% of what a regular laptop can do. According to Apple, the new iPad Pro is ready to make you pack up your laptop once and for all. Let’s take a quick look at the specs.

Image Credit: Apple

The new iPad Pro, as you would imagine, comes in a variety of flavors. All of the new iPad Pro models feature the same impressive pro cameras as the iPhone 11 Pro Max. As cool as that is, it would still be weird to see people using a huge tablet to snap pics. As well as the pro cameras, the new iPad also packs a Lidar scanner for improved depth mapping and enhanced augmented reality features. The new iPad Pro models also feature the new A12Z Bionic Chip. This chip is Apple’s most powerful iPad processor to date, and Apple goes as far as saying that the new iPad is more powerful than most Windows PC laptops. Battery life is estimated at 10 hours for both the 11-inch and 12.9-inch models, which also support gigabit LTE.

“…while Apple and their iPads have come close to being full-blown laptop replacements, there have always been a few things holding them back.”

new iPad Pro
Image Credit: Apple

There is also a new keyboard with a built-in cover, which can add a ton of functionality thanks to a built-in trackpad and, for the first time, an on-screen cursor. Yes, it really has taken this long to get that simple feature, but as simple as it may seem, it will be a game-changer when it comes to navigating iOS and perhaps even editing images. The new Magic Keyboard also lets you attach the iPad magnetically, and you can adjust the angle to your liking, which will make it more comfortable to use.

The Magic Keyboard also supports USB-C charging, and is backlit as well. Be warned, though: the new iPad keyboard will set you back another $299 for the 11-inch version and $349 on top of the price of the new 12.9-inch iPad Pro. Ouch!

Image Credit: Apple

Looking at the new iPad Pro, I do not see anything new when it comes to it being able to help out photographers. The previous-generation iPad Pro had its place and was a fine tool for photographers and creatives who needed something for when they were away from the office or on location. Still, the new iPad Pro hasn’t added anything on top of that which would make it a better choice.

For creatives, it’s definitely not the hardware that is holding us back when it comes to adopting the platform, its the lack of professional-grade software, like Capture One for instance. From a convenience standpoint, I would love to be able to use the iPad Pro as a full-time editing platform. But until more software companies develop the software I need for the work I (and I am sure many countless others) do, then it is still not a viable option, and a dedicated computer is still a must.

new iPad Pro
Image Credit: Apple

The new iPad Pro comes in a variety of flavors. The base model with Wi-Fi starts at $799, and that will get you 128GB of storage. The 256GB model will cost $899, the 512GB comes in at $1,099, and the 1TB will cost $1,299. If you want the LTE version tack on another $150 to those prices.

The 12.9-inch model with 128GB costs $999, the 256GB is $1,099, the 512GB will be $1,299, and the 1TB model is $1,499. Again, add another $150 for LTE connectivity. So, if you want the top of the line 12.9-inch model with 1TB of storage and LTE, and you want to add the new Magic Keyboard and the Apple Pencil ($129), you’re going to have to drop $2,127! What do you think about the new iPad Pro? Let us know in the comment section below.

Brett Day

Brett Day is the Gear Editor at The Phoblographer and has been a photographer for as long as he can remember. Brett has his own photography business that focuses on corporate events and portraiture. In his spare time, Brett loves to practice landscape and wildlife photography. When he's not behind a camera, he's enjoying life with his wife and two kids, or he's playing video games, drinking coffee, and eating Cheetos.