|What's new with the iPad Mini 2021?|
|Why I bought it|
|Why I replaced the Shinobi Atomos|
|Monitor+ is the way|
|Why I bought it|
|Working with JPEGs|
|Don't forget to show love ;)|
|Notion on the iPad|
|Email on the iPad|
|Reading on the iPad|
|Don't forget to subscribe ;)|
Hey there. If you're new here, my name is Chris. I teach photography and creative business. Today, we're diving into the new iPad Mini. I'm a full-time photographer, and I bought the iPad for my photography business. I'll be breaking down the ways I'm using the iPad Mini specifically from the perspective of a content creator.
Now, right off the bat, we have a larger screen; the volume buttons have been moved; we've got a USB-C port; and there is a whole new set of colors. In the box, we're getting the iPad itself, the charging brick, and a USB-C to USB-C port. This thing feels great in the hand, and the footprint feels perfect to hold. I went with a purple version. It's a lot more subtle than I thought it would be. It's almost like a space-gray with a slight hue of purple to it. But this review isn't about all these features. Go watch the MKBHD review for that. In this video, we're talking about how photographers and content creators can use this iPad to make their lives easier.
So why did I get the iPad Mini? The biggest reason was to use it as an external monitor for my camera during my studio photoshoot and when recording YouTube videos like this, I also want to test out photo-editing on the iPad, organization for my photography business, and seeing if I can spend less time on my phone and social media and more time doing valuable work. Photography equipment is really expensive. If I want to buy an external monitor for my camera that's color-accurate, bright, and the same size as this iPad, I'd be looking at spending about $500+ (prices may change) on just the monitor, or I could spend $500 (prices may change) on an iPad that acts as a monitor and comes with so much more inside of it.
Before getting this iPad Mini, I've been using the Shinobi Atomos monitor. It's pretty small, coming in at 5.2 inches, and it cost me $300 (prices may change). It's pretty bulky too, and using one of these batteries, I'm only getting 30 minutes of battery life at max brightness. The firmware in it sucks, and I just haven't been happy with it. Now, I know people use these for recording videos straight onto hard drives, but that wasn't my use case; I just needed a reference monitor.
When I saw the iPad Mini announcement, I immediately had this idea of using it as an external monitor for my camera; I just had to figure out how. This old monitor that I have connects via HDMI to my camera, but the iPad Mini can't do that. After some research, I was able to find some apps that essentially bring all the features of this monitor to the iPad. The app I'm using is called Monitor+. The free version works great, but the paid one has some even better features in it that completely replaces that monitor. I'm not sponsored by them. It's just an app I found.
For my studio set up, I've got my camera on a tripod, and then I build up my photo scenes on the table. I got an arm on Amazon for $20 (prices may change), and that's where the iPad sits. I'm able to easily monitor my scene on the iPad while taking photos. As a product photographer, every minuscule detail counts. If I'm photographing a product, I need to make sure the product and overall scene look good. By having the instant feedback on the monitor, It saves me a lot of time during these photo shoots.
My old setup just never felt ideal. The monitor was a little bit small. The cords got in the way constantly, and I just didn't know if it was actually helping me or hindering me. This new iPad Mini is the perfect size for this use case. Additionally, it's perfect for video recording. I was using that $300 (prices may change) monitor for these videos and it didn't even tell me when my camera was recording. It's pretty ridiculous. With the iPad and the monitor app, I've got a red border around the screen whenever it's recording. It's simple, and it tells me the relevant information I need to know.
Alright, so that was the first big reason I got it. But being an iPad, it's way more than just an extra screen. Let's talk about photo editing on the new iPad.
How good is the new A15 Bionic chip? It's really good. Let's get into Lightroom and do a quick edit. The file I'm using here is from the Sony A7R IV. That means it's a 61-megapixel image and over 100 megabytes. Let's see how the iPad does. Let's start with a preset and apply that to the photo. Right now, there's zero lag, which is great to see. I'm going to do a quick crop to fix up the composition. Honestly, right now it's faster than my 16-inch MacBook Pro, and that's six times the cost. Let's go in and do some basic adjustments to make the preset really our own.
Let's change some of the exposure settings, the shadows, the highlights, and the blacks just to really make this photo pop a bit more. I'm going to mess with the green tone curve a little bit. The photo looks a little too green, so I just want to fix that up real quick. Finally, I want to test out the local adjustments. Usually those are pretty slow and Lightroom here. I'm going to make a couple of radial filters that I could just put over the eyes just to brighten those up. So far, I'm really impressed with the speed of the iPad Mini here. There's virtually no lag on this huge RAW file. Again, this is over 100 megabytes.
Now let's see how Photoshop does on the iPad Mini. Let's bring this straight into Photoshop from Lightroom. If we go straight through Lightroom, this brings a full-resolution file into Photoshop. Here, I'm going to play around with the Spot Healing Brush tool, so let's Zoom in on the eyes and deal with these flyaway hairs. All I'm going to do is select the Spot Healing Brush tool and draw over the hairs to get rid of them. Here, I can actually see how much Photoshop is lagging. I'm all surprised it's this slow, but it makes sense since it's a huge 61-megapixel image. I can see how it lags behind my pencil even after I've taken off the screen.
For the next test, I went ahead and explored the photo from Lightroom as a JPEG, and now I brought it back into Photoshop. Now this file is tiny compared to that previous RAW file, so I would hope for the iPad Mini to be really smooth here. We're doing the exact same thing as last time just using the Spot Healing Brush tool to paint over those flyaway hairs. I can already tell it's way faster than that RAW file we were using before. This is what you can expect if you're using more of a standard 24-megapixel camera. I'm pretty happy with this speed right here, so I think I'm going to be using this workflow for the future.
One of the reasons that photographers love the iPad so much is the Apple pencil. This iPad Mini introduces Apple pencil support, which honestly puts in the running for photographers when looking for an iPad. I want to test out really basic use of this pencil in Lightroom. I'm just going to use the local adjustment brush to brighten up some parts of the shot. I want to brighten some of the streets in a sunset shot. I'm going to go ahead and just paint in the area I want to brighten up and once I'm happy with that, I can go ahead and up the exposure a bit. This workflow honestly makes editing so refreshing. I'm used to only doing this on my laptop, and the pencil just adds another element to it. I can definitely see myself doing this workflow more often.
Photo editing and using it as a monitor is pretty intense on the battery. While I was testing it, I had it on max brightness and I was impressed with the battery life. Apple claims an all-day battery with the iPad Mini. During these two tests, I was able to get about 4 hours of battery life at max brightness. Editing takes some serious processing power, so it's good to see that it was lasting that long.
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Alright, let's get into some other uses I have for the iPad Mini. In order to run my creative business, I need to stay super organized. I do product photography for clients; I create these YouTube videos; I do discovery calls with potential leads; and so much more. I've been using Notion to manage all that. I know a lot of you are familiar with Notion. It's a great project management app with lots and lots of features. For these videos that I make, I keep all of my ideas and progress in a Notion database. It helps me keep track of what scripts I'm writing, what I need to shoot, and what's being edited.
The Notion app has been really nice on the iPad, but I think I'll be mainly organizing things on my laptop for now. Having that full keyboard and mouse just makes it so much faster on a laptop. That being said, the iPad will be a great place for me to reference all those notes. For example, for my client work, I have shot lists and mood boards in Notion, so that I can reference them during shoots. Being able to quickly reference these is going to be really nice during long shoot days. I can quickly swipe from my monitor app to Notion and see what shotlist scenes I want to make and anything else I need to know about the project.
Email is another big part of my business. I need to communicate with clients and I do that through email. I will say the iPad is great for consuming email content like newsletters, but I don't really see myself using it as a way to effectively communicate with people. The full keyboard on a computer just makes it so much more efficient to type and communicate.
I want to talk about reading on the iPad real quick. Now. I know I said this was a photography review, but bear with me. I run a photography business, and as a business owner I read a lot of books, so that I can learn new skills and improve my business. I've been loving the Kindle because I can easily highlight text and export my notes later to read them. But if you've ever read on the Kindle, you know how slow it is at highlighting the text. The Kindle app on the iPad, however, is perfect for this. It highlights text instantly and doesn't take away from what you're reading. It's also pretty much the same size as a Kindle, so you can hold in one hand as you're reading.
I think what I started doing recently was listening to the audiobook while reading to help me stay focused and absorb more information. I've been loving doing that, but with the Kindle, I had to use both my phone and Kindle to achieve this. Now, I can just open the Audible app on my
Finally, there's one more major benefit to getting the iPad. It's going to reduce the time I spend on my phone. When I'm on my phone, it's usually consuming TikTok or Instagram content. And while that's relaxing, sometimes it just leads to me procrastinating. On this iPad, I'm not installing any of those apps. Instead, I'll try and get my entertainment through YouTube, where I can actually learn more from the content I'm consuming. By slowly beginning to associate the iPad with this, the hope is I'll spend less time on my phone and again, more time learning on the iPad. The goal is for this to help me grow as a person and help my business grow.
Alright, so that's the iPad Mini for photographers and content creators. Should you get one? I'm giving this a big thumbs up. For $500 (prices may change), It's a steal compared to some of the photography equipment out there. There are so many ways you can use it in your creative business from using it as a monitor for your shoots to editing your photos in Lightroom and Photoshop. It's small but mighty. I'm excited to see how it's going to help me throughout the next few months and the workflows that I'll develop around it. And if you're running your own photography company, that's going to be a business right off.
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Hi, I'm Chris, and this channel is all about photography and how to start a creative business! You'll learn everything from how to find your niche, what camera equipment you need, where to buy it on the cheap, and much more. Whether it's for product photography, weddings, portraits, or commercial shoots - starting your own photography business can be an amazing experience. Subscribe now so that you never miss a video!