iPad Pro Review: Photo Editing w/ Lightroom, Photoshop, Affinity Pro

We switched from using a laptop to the new 2017 12.9″ Apple iPad Pro ($450-$1,200 on Amazon http://help.tc/ipad), and we love it. Lightroom Mobile is FAR faster than our desktops, and the Apple Pencil ($100 on Amazon http://help.tc/pencil) works better than our Wacom. In particular, Affinity Photo (http://sdp.io/affinity) is a great value, though it’s not as capable as Photoshop (yet).

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Basic Starter Camera ($280 used at Amazon): Canon T3 http://help.tc/t3
Better Starter Camera ($500 at Amazon): Nikon D5300 http://help.tc/d5300
Better Travel Camera ($500 at Amazon): Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II http://help.tc/em10ii

Good ($550 at Amazon): Sony a6000 http://help.tc/a6000
Better ($1,400) at Amazon: Nikon D5500 http://help.tc/D5500 & Sigma 18-35mm f/1.8 http://help.tc/s35
Best ($3,150) at Amazon: Pentax K-1 http://help.tc/K1 & Pentax 24-70 f/2.8 http://help.tc/p24

Beginner ($950 at Amazon): Canon T6i http://help.tc/t6i & Canon 50mm f/1.8 http://help.tc/c50
Better ($3,000 at Amazon): Nikon D610 http://help.tc/d610 & Tamron 70-200 f/2.8 http://help.tc/t200
Best ($5,300) at Amazon: Nikon D810 http://help.tc/d810 & Nikon 70-200 f/2.8E http://help.tc/n200e

Starter ($1,100 at Amazon): Canon 7D http://help.tc/7D & Canon 400mm f/5.6 http://help.tc/c400
Great ($3,200 at Amazon): Nikon D500 http://help.tc/d500 & Nikon 200-500 f/5.6 http://help.tc/n500

Beginner ($500 at Amazon): Panasonic G7 http://help.tc/g7 & Panasonic 14-42mm http://help.tc/p42
Better ($1,400 at Amazon): Panasonic GH4 http://amzn.to/2p5dAmD & Panasonic 14-140 f/3.5-5.6 http://help.tc/p140
Best ($4,300 at Amazon): Panasonic GH5 http://help.tc/gh5 & Metabones Speed Booster XL http://help.tc/mbxl & Sigma 18-35 f/1.8 http://help.tc/s35 & Sigma 50-100 f/1.8 http://help.tc/s100

Beginner ($400 at Amazon): DJI Phantom 3 http://help.tc/p3
Travel ($1,000 at Amazon): DJI Mavic Pro http://help.tc/Mavic
Better Image Quality ($1,500 at Amazon): DJI Phantom 4 Pro http://help.tc/p4p


PwnedByyaMar says:

What i think i am getting at is storage space, i edited other day files from a simple D800, 227 pics in total edited and my laptop was dying a death. In LR mobile on a crappy ipad i still did the work flying, but its the dam storage on the device, copy across to Dropbox or Adobe CC which i have is great, but its the removal of those files after that bothers me. Even the idea of using it with capture one gives me a little shiver with respect to having a quote “fit for work flow” or “just does basics and need finishing off on a desktop or laptop”….awww so confused right now. However thanks to all the comments on Surface Pro, at least thats out the window.

Andrew Tran says:

You should buy the USB C fast charger 29 w from Apple, you’ll also need the cable, but it will charge your iPad up from 0-100 in about hour in a half, instead of like 4-5 hours

Mark Janes says:

Great review, and you rightly highlight some really useful (but not obvious) benefits.  I’m continuously blown away by the speed, not just of processing, but the fact the iPad pro has a USB3 lightning port (in terms of speed).  The other factor is overall weight when you take into account the power supply.

One benefit I’ve found over a laptop; I shoot a lot in portrait format.  Flipping the iPad round into portrait orientation gives you a lot more screen real-estate for a portrait-oriented photo.

Chris Williams says:

Fantastic walkthrough Tony … thx for sharing your experience. One hiccup I’ve run into is the photo app only displaying lo-res images when importing raw from an SD card. Have you experienced this as well and do you have a fix for this? Trying to review selects is impossible with this issue. Please help!

Andrew Sturgess says:

oh man, I want one!

Michelle Turnbull says:

what if you have presets that you use in LR on laptop – can you apply those presets when using the iPad app?

Cristian seiceanu says:

Very informative as usual. Thx!

prescription underground says:

what a great product …will buy it today

Cristian seiceanu says:

For people with Nikon cameras, like D7200, D750 and generally any Nikon cameras with WiFi connection there is Nikon WMU app which allows wireless download to the IPad or IPhone. I found this to be fast enough to quickly download pics in the field to see them on a bigger screen and email if required.

moira chalmers says:

Can you send it back to LR mobile from Affinity photo? So that it will save your edits? Thanks

Jeffrey Porter says:

I add cutlines, resize the image etc etc all in lightroom. Basically everything you would use photo mechanic for.. Can I do that with lightroom mobile? I generally use photogene for tight deadlines, but their current version doesn’t work with the newest version of IOS.

Delane says:

Creative Cloud only comes with 2 GB of cloud storage, doesn’t it? So what if I have a shooting with 30 GB of photos. Won’t it sync then?


Thanks for a great review. I have two loaded up mini macs and 27 inch monitors and till recently had two functioning 2012 build 15 inch Mac Book pros. Both MacBook Pros decided to take a dive into oblivion with both motherboards going bye-bye forever. (Apple wanted a lot of money to fix). So being up in years and no longer really needing MacBook Pro machines to run my workshops I decided to get the Ipad pro 10.5 for my out and about photography and gave a lot of thought to the 12 inch, but size matters and the 10.5 is big enough. I do not miss a couple of inches.

And now with you reaffirming what I already believed I have my loaded up Ipad Pro from Verizon together with the card reader, pencil, keyboard, power adapters, and extra external battery just in case but will probably never need it. All of that coupled with LR mobile, creative cloud, Photoshop Fix and the other mobile apps from Adobe, Affinity mobile, Polar, WordPress, and the basics.

With all that I cannot believe the speed and app capability and the convenience. I know that for a lot of my students they will never need a MacBook Pro in the future because the Ipad Pro will suffice for the majority of the work the will be doing on images. If one needs to get really fancy then they should also have a desktop I suppose but with the apps getting more and more capable on the Ipad Pro even some of the “fancy” work will be able to be accomplished as well. 🙂

Steve Zinski says:

I just started using Lightroom Mobile on my new iPad Pro (12.9″) with Apple Pencil and let me just say that Tony is 100% correct in saying that it’s simply amazing. It’s so fast and responsive, and the Apple Pencil makes editing a breeze. I was able to cull through 3,000+ images from a recent shoot in just a couple of hours. After culling, I was able to crop/rotate and use the adjustment brush on the keepers with amazing speed and accuracy. Loving this solution, it has completely changed my workflow.

EPHS says:

Thanks Tony & Chelsea Northrup: Neat to see what the iPad Pro is capable of for editing. I will say I was distracted for part of the video watching your camera slip dangerously close to the edge of your patio furniture. No! no! no! DO NOT FALL! 🙂

Steve K says:

Mobile Sync seems rather difficult if you have a 32gb-64b portrait session of 500-1000 photos to cull through and sync with desktop. That’s would take a ton of time and hog up bandwidth. Does anyone know if you can sync with desktop using a cable or external hard drive as a go between? Or is there another better method.

Orio Menoni says:

Any news on a Lightroom new release for desktop computers? I’m more and more migrating to Capture One every passing day. There are two things that prevent me from switching completely: 1) Catalog management is still better in Lightroom 2) Capture One misses a few editing tools that I find to be crucial in Lightroom, especially the ability to custom color profile my cameras.
Aside from those little plusses, the experience in Lightroom, especially with the large files of my A7R2, is becoming more and more painful!

Suchet B says:

Thank you for such a great video – I do a lot of video editing, vfx and photography on PC so it was nice to see you use affinity and mention video apps. I will now consider getting affinity and lightroom for iPad. Would you recommend a good video editing app?

kYankeedoodle says:

With you having used this for so long… Do you think it would be a nice supplement for a laptop on a 10,000km long bicycle tour across Asia and Australia?

littlerayblue says:

How do you calibrate the ipad screen to get accurate colors for photography?

Alex St Mick - Gaming - says:

Hi! Can you ensure the refresh rate is over 60Hz all the time in the settings, for Pro-motion? I get eye strains looking at the screen. and how do you know if your sRGB and Adobe RGB are correct?

jerred gomez says:

Where do you STORE all these files? I had an iPad pro but it quickly ran out of space when I imported RAW files over and over.

Joe A7Rii says:

Tony would you please do a vid showing us how to get photos on the card into the app of our choice? Mine goes to Photos and I can’t get out.

Przemyslaw Jasinski says:

HI, could you share the transfer speeds for image import on USB3 equipped iPads (Pro 12,9 and 10,5)? Some initial testing I did show they max out at a rather slow-ish 50 mb/s… which is not exactly what I expected from a pro device, as the cards and readers are perfectly capable of sustained 140mb/s transfers on both mac and pc.

Darren Hayward says:

Hi Tony. I downloaded affinity photo for the iPad Pro but the edited versions on the iPad do not match my calibrated pc monitor in terms of brightness, any suggestions how to match this

Scott James Lewis Storm Videos says:

Tony where did you purchase the keyboard for the new iPad Pro model I’m hoping Verizon had it thanks

Lee Cason says:

Would love to see the comparisons in speed to the new Lightroom vs Mobile now. The new Lightroom Classic is really fast imo

Trevor Matthews says:

Tony, I bought the app after watching the video but one thing bugs me. When I click “open in” and select Affinity nothing happens. Same for several other apps – “open in” Facebook or Notes works but many do not. You or any of your viewers hear of this? Tried it on iPad, iPhone 7Plus, and friends equipment and all the same result. Maybe it’s an iOS 11.0.1 bug? Started a thread here. Love to hear any feedback https://forums.adobe.com/message/9857359#9857359

Tim Mark says:

How can I preview the files in the SD card before importing. Reason is the storage is very expensive on the ipad.

PwnedByyaMar says:

Hi Tony, if you mind me asking, i am stuck between IPAD PRO 12.5″ 512gig unit and MS Surface i5 Pro 4. I have creative cloud also. I am used to laptop editing and worried about the storage part. Surface has 1TB SSD drive, i will get a NAS drive for storage, so will you be able to add images locally to the device and export to NAS drive, then free up the local space? Just want to make this process the least painfull as possible and not waste money. II use mostly LR/LR mobile as i have an ipad already but i found its local storage being used up pretty quickly etc as i take a lot of pics outside of my work.

Steve K says:

Can you export your edited files from lightroom mobile to an external hard drive? For storage and to upload to internet from a separate computer?

Michael Palmer says:

How do you colour calibrate an iPad ? . I Use a colour Munkie on imac..

Joel Ingram says:

Hey, just a positive shoutout for your vids. Always informative and downright enjoyable to watch. Keep up the GREAT work. Hi to C from someone neither of you know – lol.

Wing Lee says:

I saw a lot of review saying that the lightning to SD adapter does not work with iPad Pro 2017 running IOS 11. Could someone please confirm whether this combo is working with the official IOS 11. Thanks.

yizhi du says:

hi~ can you tether directly through lightroom mobile with no internet connection? because i’m buying a new laptop for tethering on location and the new MBP just seems so bad at this moment.
ps: ofc i will do any major edit back in office.

Mike Lewis says:

It’s really the perfect tool except when you use the healing tool after it save, it’s a copy and smaller size, plus you have to find your new photo, do you know if there will be a fix for that ?

Karen says:

I set this app aside a while ago because I have trouble moving raw files from my photos library to Lightroom mobile. Tried again this morning – LR Mobile sees it, but won’t load it. I ran a diagnostic and sent it to Adobe – hopefully will resolve the issue. You seem to have no trouble moving a photo from Photos to LR, so I have hope. I have the original iPad Pro 12.9, and just installed iOS 11. My Raw files are sony.

Symen Jager says:

I use an iPad Pro for photography-on-the-go for over a year. Adobe sucks on iOS. Lightroom Mobile is very good, but they absolutely screwed up Photoshop on iOS. Luckily there is Affinity Photo. I can do everything in Affinity Photo on iPad, that I do with PhotoShop on my desktop, i.e. exposure blending, panoramas, focus stacking, HDR, star trails, frequency seperation (yes, you read that right), dodging and burning and you name it. In fact it works so well, that I bought Affinity Photo for my Windows laptop as well and I ditched Adobe with their money milking subscription. Great tip: use a PhotoFast One SD card reader/writer with accompanying app and photo importing is way easier and faster on iPad! You can even use it for transferring music, films, documents, etc. as well. Another tip: I use my ColorMunki Display to calibrate my iPad screen. But currently the app support for calibration profiles on iPad is still lacking. Hope this will change in the near future. But you can use the ColorTRUE app to display your photos in true color on your iPad. It even has paper simulation. Another tip: buy an Apple 29W USB-C charger and a USB-C to lightning cable to utilize fast charging on the iPad Pro 12.9″. This will let you fully charge your iPad Pro in about two hours instead of 5-6 hours with the standard iPad Charger. This 29W charger should have been the standard charger for the iPad Pro to begin with, IMHO. Shame on you, Apple! Disclaimer: NO! I am not sponsored by any of the mentioned apps and their companies, this is pure my experience with using the iPad Pro as my main photography-on-the-go solution for more then a year.

stefano giovannini says:

While I was researching more on this I came up on a post on a Mac forum where a photographer noticed that about 5/6 raw files are not imported by the iPad pro out of about 300 files total. That person stated it happens consistently and tried with different memory cards. That is with an Apple card reader. Apple support was not helpful. He had a wireless solution but stated wifi transfer is very slow.

J Shanko says:

I’ve beeb mulling over getting an iPad. This video has persuaded me to get one. It’ll be wonderful to edit photos on the go. I think the 10.5 will be just right for my needs..

CapcasikDU says:

can i use layers?

fifa22 fifa22 says:

Your desktop probably has a hard drive vs a solid state drive which are much faster, but also much more expensive. Try looking into getting a solid state drive and it’ll make photoshop load faster and even Windows will boot faster.

daviangel says:

Finally Tony has gone over to the dark side! Been telling him for years now how annoying it is to watch him struggle with how slow and long it takes Lightroom to import stuff even on his overpowered PC! As a coder he should’ve known that unlike a PC Apple has total control over the hardware so they are able to better code to the machine to get the fastest performance similar to gaming consoles. Anyways, Apple native apps are even faster like Apple Photos itself so I’d like you to test that next. After that probably want to check out Pixelmator since it’s always been one of the most popular and top selling Apple photo editing apps.

halfon87 says:

What about VSCO Filters – can you import Filters to your Mobile Lightroom like on a Desktop? Cheers

newskiion89 says:

YOU FUCKER!!! Your video just made me soend $1300 on a new iPad!!! lol

Steven Johnson says:

Tony, we would really appreciate one of your one hour plus tutorials on your workflow using LR-M and Photoshop Fix.

stefano giovannini says:

What about filling metadata fields like captions and keywords? can you do that on the iPad and LR mobile? That is an essential part of many photographers’ workflow as I need to transmit captioned photos after an assignment.

Also I use the star rating for selections, not available in LR mobile?

I have multiple LR catalogs, usually one for each year and I use a YYYY-MM-DD dated folder system to store the photos. How do the iPad pro and LR mobile deal with such folder structure?
Can I choose which catalog on my desktop LR mobile syncs to?

iPad Pro seems quite nice for video editing, but I do not see if organizing files and metadata might be an issue.

It would be nice to have part 2 video that informs about those issues.

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