PhotoLab and iPad and Photos app

I realize that PhotoLab is not in any way compatible with the iPad, but I expect to soon be traveling to remote areas in India, perhaps sometimes only with my iPad. I may want to share my images with others, likely with email. I bought an adapter that plugs into my iPad, such that I can insert a memory card (with both photos and videos from my D750), and either copy them into the iPad as files, and/or import into the Apple Photos app.

Eventually I will get back to my laptop, and import all or some images into the laptop using PhotoMechanic, and then do my editing with PL5 as usual.

I do volunteer work at several eye hospitals, and while I used to mostly capture still images, this next visit will also include a lot of video work, again with my D750. I still need to find the appropriate video settings for recording, but that’s a separate discussion.

On my laptop, I will have PhotoMechanic, PhotoLab, Final Cut Pro, and all my tools.
On the iPad my current choices are Apple Photos and iMovie.

I suspect there is no good answer to my question, but I’m asking anyway, just incase I’m not aware of a better way to do things. Does anyone here have any suggestions on how to do this most efficiently?

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Traveling with just an iPad and DSLR, I usually did the following.

  • Set the camera to record RAW plus half size fine JPEGs
  • Copied the JPEGs to the iPad
  • Used Snapseed, when I wanted to tweak images
  • Shared images in a shared folder of Apple Fotos or sent them with email (to those who got a selection only)

Working with small jpegs saves a lot of time and bandwidth. As for the RAWs, I left them on the card(s) until back home. Treat your cards like film: carefully. Test things at home before you start out.


Obviously make sure that you have plenty of memory cards because both RAW images and videos take up plenty of room and, as @platypus says, treat them like film - you are going to need to keep everything until you can get back to civilisation. And don’t forget that taking both RAW and medium sized JPEGs is going to fill up your cards a lot quicker.

Whatever you do, don’t try to copy or move your RAW files to the iPad.

As for video, this is a forum for processing still images, you are going to have to seek out help from more specialised fora. Oh, and take even more memory cards and remember your iPad is going to fill up pretty quick if you try to transfer HD video to it.

Treat the iPad as a disposable “workbench”, where you copy something on to it, work on it, then clear it off once you’ve finished with it.

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Another typical @mikemyers thread :crazy_face: with entertainment guarantee. Which leads to (hopefully just one) JoJu reply.

There is no such thing as “the iPad”! Since Steve Jobs introduced it 2010(!), 25 different variants were made, with at least 3 different sockets for all kind of plugs (which now rot somewhere in a drawer), as long as Apple again wanted to make a bit more money with accessories and killed one plug after another :face_exhaling: Also, the “biggest” current iPad Pro maxes out at 2 TB while the first one had 16 GB, but of course, no need to tell details to a forum you’re asking for help. :shushing_face:
Some iPads already have an M1 processor which makes video editing at least doable. I better don’t ask why you take an iPad and a laptop, and I also better don’t state I’d rather take an external SSD drive big enough, plugged into a decent MacBook because as you are or were a professional photographer you for sure know your stuff. :rofl:


@Platypus - thank you, I hadn’t considered shooting in RAW+JPG, but that makes a lot of sense. JPG images go to iPad and Apple Photos, and RAW images wait several days until I get back to one of the hospitals I will be working out of (where my laptop is likely to be).

I don’t know much about Snapseed, but I figure I can do basic editing in Apple’s Photos app, if necessary.

I was unaware that I could create a “shared folder of Apple Photos”, and was expecting to use email. I will check that out. I normally give copies of the photos to the people working at these out of the way places, but if that idea works, I can simply share the folder. Apple Photos is so limited, but this might be very helpful.

I already had two SanDisk cards for the D750, one for stills, and one for video. I just ordered two larger cards.
SD 128 GB card

Thank you - very helpful ideas.

@Joanna, I will be “back to civilization” in a few days. The main hospitals I stay at have all the facilities I need, and reasonable WiFi. If I take a side-trip to a remote location, that’s when I will be using the iPad, meaning I can leave my other gear at the main hospital(s).

Original plan was to only shoot in RAW, and copy them to the iPad, but if I shoot RAW+JPG there is no need - I’ll only copy/move the JPG images.

I configured my D750 settings for video based on this:
Video Settings for D750
There is a section of this video specifically for “Movie Settings”.

Disposable Workbench… Sounds strange, but that’s what it will be, and once things are copied to my laptop, sure, I can remove them from the iPad.

@joju - The iPad is a iPad Pro (11 inch) with 64GB storage. Yes, I will have my MacBook Pro with me, along with several external drives, but I don’t want to take all this extra gear with me when I take a three or four day side trip to some remote location.


This I can understand very well. But wouldn’t it be better (in aspect of “less gear to look for”) to only take the camera and leave all the other gadgets at home? Back in the day, when you shot film, you also don’t go abroad with a big and small lab, no? If you need to remote control your D750, I believe an iPhone would do?

What gear am I taking that you feel I could leave behind? The external drives have videos and other things to be copied to people in India, including 24 hours of video of 1989 India and the hospital.

Film days? Camera, extra lenses, exposure meter, pole filter, cable release, and other stuff.

I didn’t know that my iPhone could be used as a remote release for the D750. If so, thank you.
Hmm… iPhone release for D750. Yes, thank you. Very handy.

…is all I ever wanted on a mobile device, and it’s easy to use too…

Well, it can, sort of. The free Nikon app is very basic and requires you to activate WiFi on your camera - something that can really hammer your battery.

For people without all the knowledge you are filled with, this has already been a wonderful thread for me, learning about things I wasn’t aware of before. If it bothers you, feel free to ignore it.

I knew nothing of “Snapseed”. I just went to check it out, and got here:
Snapseed Reviews
That second review at the right is awful.
Are you using Android or Apple? I suspect I will be better off to use the Apple Photos app, on my iPhone and iPad.

@Joanna - wi-fi - hadn’t considered that. I will bring along the small remote, just in case. Do you use a better app for your D850?

I don’t tend to use any remote apps unless I am in a studio setup, when I use a tethering app to my laptop. Nikon do SnapBridge for the iPhone that only works with certain models, including the D850. It can connect using Bluetooth, which consumes less power. I have it but have never used it yet because it is too much like using an electronic viewfinder :crazy_face:

I use Snapseed on iPhone SE (original model) and an iPad I bought a few years ago. I don’t expect Snapseed to work miracles as DPL and I think that you should just try it to get a first hand impression of what it can do and to see if you like what you can do with it.

Photographic expression is highly subjective and no review can replace first hand experience.

Snapseed is now downloading onto my iPad. …finished and installed. So far it looks like a collection of “filters” that it can apply to one of my photos on the iPad.

It’s not what I was looking for, but now that I’ve seen it, I’ll keep it. It’s very fast. I wonder where it stores the edited photos, if it does so. Until today, I’ve ignored “filters”. Maybe that was a mistake. Thanks.

check out the words at the bottom:

  • LOOKS - filters indeed, and I never use them
  • TOOLS - all the necessary tools fur customising
  • EXPORT - save edits, create a modified copy, etc.

An alternative image editing app for the iPad is Pixelmator Photo. It costs a few bucks, but you may have a look at it…

@chris43, last year, when I was given the iPad, but had no idea how to use it, I found and bought Pixelmator, got lost with it, and figured that I first needed to learn how to use the iPad. Last week I took the same class at my Apple store twice, “Introduction to iPad”. I still feel like a total beginner, but at least I know how to “go home”. Thanks for the suggestion. Do you just know about Pixelmator Photo, or do you use it? If so, how useful is it?

Two days ago I took a spare Apple keyboard that was sitting around unused, charged it up, and found and connected it in the iPad Bluetooth settings, and it’s now connected. I’ve read that I will be able to do the same thing with an old Bluetooth mouse. So, the iPad might actually be a lot more useful to me than I expected.

I also learned that the same built-in editing tools in the iPad work mostly the same as those tools in my iPhone. I hadn’t planned on doing very much with the iPad, but the more I mess around with it, and the more I learn, the more comfortable I get.

@platypus, I will check out those words at the bottom. I expect to have a lot of free time in India in the evenings, to become more familiar with all this. I’m curious - do you find Snapseed useful? Or, is it something you just “have”, in case it’s needed?

With my D750, when not using a tripod, I’ve learned to give myself some “wiggle room”, rather than trying to crop perfectly in the camera. I hate being caught with a tilted image and no room to straighten it.

With the iPad, I will be able to share photos I’ve taken, before getting back to the main hospital where I have my MacBook Pro. I learned one lesson the hard way - never give my SD card to someone else to copy - the fellow did “move”, not “copy”, and I told myself “never again”.

Finally, I’d like to scroll through my photos the same day/evening as they were taken, and make sure there are no issues. If so, I can re-take the photos the next day.

I am very slow about a lot of things. If I knew long ago what I’m learning now, I’d have bought an iPad many years ago. When it was given to me, I planned on giving it away, as I didn’t think it would be all that useful. Oh well.

…and, with a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse, it is almost turning into a laptop. Too bad that it won’t run macOS software…

As I wrote in my first answer, I use(d) Snapseed (while traveling) to prepare images for sharing or email. I find it easy to use, even though the number of tools might look overwhelming at first - and that’s why I recommended to test while still at home.

Note that editing is non-destructive, but you can export any image with your edits.

Just a few notes. I regularly use iPad as part of my culling process. I shoot JPG to one card and raw to the other. My body is 50MP which is way overkill for social media kind of stuff so I have my camera setup to shoot 50MP RAWs and either 12MP or 21MP JPGs. JPGs I transfer via WiFi to the iPad. The transfer is faster with the reduced res JPGs and they take up less room on the iPad. 64GB may be limiting depending on how much you’re planning to shoot.

The stock photos app enables a reasonable amount of basic adjustments for JPGs. It doesn’t work for raws.

Anyway consider whether you need raw editing on the tablet and also whether you need full resolution. If you can shoot full res raws and reduced res JPGs that’s worth considering.

Have.a great trip.

When I’m at the main hospitals I stay at, I will have all my gear with me. When I visit a smaller hospital or vision center, I hope to get by with just my iPad. Currently, my D750 is configured to save still images on Card #1, and video on Card #2.

Maybe Nikon will allow me to shoot in RAW+JPG (normal), saving the raw images to card #1, and also saving the small jpg images to card #2. If not, no big deal.

That’s a very good idea. I can work with the jpg images on the iPad if needed, and do my real work when I get back to the hospital I am staying at.

I’ll have to check the manual, and see if I can save any jpg images to card #2. …and if I simply import those jpg images into the Photos app, I can use the standard Apple tools for editing and so on, including sharing.

I am very happy I posted this thread here. Thanks to all of you for the excellent feedback!

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Just one small hint: Record your JPEG file as “small” file to get 3008x2008pixel images, good enough for 10 inch wide prints. Demosaicing is fast and perfect with that setting too. Selecting fine quality should prevent ugly jpeg artefacts.