For Heather Kelly
. – It’s the most controversial topic since people started shooting portrait videos. Should tablets be used as cameras?
Pulling out a tablet to take a picture is a practice that, like it or not, is becoming increasingly popular. Once owned by fathers who didn’t mind embarrassing their children, tablet photography has become so mainstream that Apple has added serious camera features to its new iPad.
Why, while they most likely have a smartphone with a better camera, do people use tablets to take photos and videos?
“I think people look a bit dumb doing this, but I can see why,” said Amit Gupta, founder of Photojojo.com. “It’s like the biggest spectator in the world.”
Traditional cameras have small viewfinders that, when you look at them, fill your entire view of a scene. Smartphone screens are delicate in comparison. Someone who has difficulty seeing the screen of a phone, especially when holding the device with outstretched arms, can enjoy the added real state of a tablet.
Editing is also much easier on a tablet. On a smartphone, post-production is usually limited to a few settings and an Instagram filter, but a tablet is large enough to be a decent canvas for editing.
Gupta’s site is a popular mobile photography props store. Since the release of the iPad, the number of people purchasing tablet-specific photography tools, such as the iOgrapher iPad Video Rig, has increased.
For critics, better eyesight isn’t enough to justify removing a tablet instead of a real phone or camera. Camera quality aside, there are several reasons for the stigma against tablet photography; including what photographer and personal instructor Steve Simon calls “the goofy postman”.
Holding a large, flat rectangle to take a photo is a strange thing. The sleek, slim frame is designed to be held with two hands or laid flat, not over your head when typing to focus a shot. The light bouncing off the large, bright display can create unfortunate glare, especially outdoors.
Shape and size can also have an impact on the final photograph. Cameras affect your subjects. A person will act differently in front of a large professional DLSR installation compared to a smartphone or tablet.
“As a street photographer where keeping a low profile is very helpful in capturing real moments, using a large tablet is the opposite of careful,” said Simon, who teaches a street photography class. invasive and aggressive holding this big camera in front of anything or anyone it is photographing. ”
It’s not just the person you’re photographing who might be put off. Events like concerts are already turning into a boring sea of smartphones held up in the air. The only thing worse is the person holding a tablet, blocking the view of others.
The early tablet photographers obviously don’t care what other people think or the limitations of the hardware. Apple’s update means the practice could be adopted by more people and create negative associations.
Remember, at first there was resistance with smartphone photography as well, but it took off because people still had their devices in their pockets and sharing was instantaneous. The photos weren’t of great quality but using a phone was convenient and, “the best camera is the one with you”, it became a rallying cry.
The iPad 2’s main camera now competes with the iPhone 6. It has an eight-megapixel sensor and various camera features previously only found on iPhones, including time-lapse video, slow motion, and burst mode. Apple says its new iPad Air’s screen has been redesigned and given an anti-reflective coating to reduce glare by more than half.
Inside there is a more powerful graphics processor, which makes the tablet a great editing tool. The number of photo and video editing apps for iPad continues to grow: Apple showcased the new Pixelmator iPad app at its press event, using it to remove an antelope from a desert scene.
There are still a lot of good reasons not to use a tablet as a camera, but iPad’s updated camera chips eliminate some of them. The increasing range of sizes for mobile devices is also helping to blur the line between phones and tablets.
“There’s going to be less stigma because everyone is wearing these bigger phones,” Gupta said. “It’s going to get a little easier to justify removing the iPad.”