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Tablet PC for Viewing and Extra Storage


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#1 CheezotheClown

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Posted 17 January 2012 - 11:07 PM

I've been trawling through the forums looking for thoughts on a tablet for primarily viewing and storing pictures when OS. There are a few threads but not recent and nothing about the Android tablets available nor the Samsung specifically.

I usually go away for a week to ten days at a time and so far have found a single 16GB SD card to be adequate. I pack a 4GB spare as well because I have it. All pics are taken in RAW only using a Canon EOS 450/xSi.

So I've been looking very closely at the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1. I realise that there is no dedicated USB port however available is a USB and SD card connection kit. My thoughts are to make use of the connection kit allowing for more storage whilst away. I can't see myself going for longer than what I have been to date however I am thinking of the 5dmkII as my next camera body with CF card and larger files.

A laptop is out of the question due weight, encumbrance and size. I will not consider the iPad either.

I have checked and confirmed (by trialling on my Galaxy S2 phone) that there are a couple of Android apps available that will view the RAW files.

Even considering my current needs I think that the 64GB version of the tablet will still be limiting in time. I was hoping for the ability to continue to make use of the USB converter and be able to run an external drive or thumb drive to increase capacity. From my investigations so far it looks like that is possible but confirmation from people having used the tablet would be good.

I should also say that I'm not too interested in being able to perform any post processing just the two requirements I spoke about above.

Any thoughts/experiences appreciated. Particularly if the SD converter has any problems getting the files to the tablet.

#2 Gudge

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 12:30 AM

I recently purchased a Motorola Xoom Wi-Fi for a more lightweight device than my laptop for viewing and storing images when travelling. Using the inbuilt micro USB port I've had no trouble downloading images directly from my 7D (and my wife's 50D) into the Xoom's inbuilt memory (32GB) using a USB cable and mini USB/micro USB adapter. The Xoom has a socket for micro SD cards (max 32GB) and it is relatively easy to move files from the inbuilt memory to the micro SD card. Therefore, my storage capacity is only limited by how many micro SD cards I want to carry.

I'm still reading up on how to "Root" my Xoom but once this is done the inbuilt micro USB port can be used as host USB port (with the right USB OTG adapter) and I will be able to plug in a small external hard disk (as long as it can be powered externally) or USB memory stick and backup my images to that.

As for software, the best app for viewing Canon CR2 RAW files I've used is cr2-Thumbnailer. If I want to play with an image and post on the web while I'm away I use RawVision to extract the embedded JPEG from the RAW file and play around with it in Adobe Photoshop Touch.

Edited by Gudge, 18 January 2012 - 12:40 AM.

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#3 Gudge

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Posted 18 January 2012 - 01:46 AM

Using the inbuilt micro USB port I've had no trouble downloading images directly from my 7D (and my wife's 50D) into the Xoom's inbuilt memory (32GB) using a USB cable and mini USB/micro USB adapter

I just tried doing this again and what I said initially is not strictly true. No problems downloading JPEGs but the Xoom doesn't recognise RAW files when connected this way. When I tried this the first (and only) time there were only JPEGs on our cameras and everything went smoothly. I actually transferred some old RAW files from my computer to test all the Apps I mentioned. Looks like I will have to "Root" my Xoom so it will recognise the camera as an external drive so I can transfer the RAW files manually.

Edit:

Looks like the latest release of Android for the Xoom (V4, Ice Cream Sandwich) has just been released in the US. One of the new features in the upgrade appears to be full USB host facility. If so, I won't have to Root my Xoom, I just have to wait until the upgrade is available for Australian users and install it.

Edited by Gudge, 18 January 2012 - 02:36 AM.

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#4 Stewart L. Sy

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 10:10 AM

I use the Toshiba Thrive Tablet, it has a full sized USB port, using an Ebay USB-CF reader (single card, not one of those 351-in-1 types) and the RawDroid application, I can view the images shot from my 5dmk2 and 7D. You can't really edit the files, but I hear that functionality is coming. I'd guess the Tegra 2 processor might be lacking in Oomph though. The new Quad-Core Tegra 3's should be able to, but you are still sorely limited in storage capacity. I don't believe the USB ports of the tablets can power a portable hard drive. If you want a quick (-ish) look of your raw files, then the tablets will work, but if you want to edit, you're better served with a laptop, if space is an issue, forgo editing in the field, get a one of the Sanho backup units.

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#5 Kilili

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Posted 19 January 2012 - 01:18 PM

Well, since you asked, I tried it out. I've a Galaxy Tab 8.9, which differs from the 10.1 only in screen size. The adapter works fine with a memory stick of CF reader. However, if you attach a USB hub and try to connect more than one device, it will fail. A hard drive alone, with independent power, might work, but I'm nervous about trying it out. Rather someone else be the guinea pig.

There's an appl on the Android market called nef-Thumbnailer, also one for Canon. It's unclear whether you can zoom in on images to check focus. I'll try it out and post back.

As far as the 64GB device size, I see no problem unless you are trying to keep 60GB of raw images on it. I do long trips and shoot 200GB or so, but always have a laptop and backup drives.

You could always carry a small portable drive and USB hub, using the Galaxy Tab to cache files. At some point, borrow a computer and use it to transfer files from the Galaxy Tab to the drive. This is my fallback plan if I have laptop problems and no other computer around to transfer CF to the hard drives. I'm concerned about transfer speed issues with the Galaxy Tab, and want to do some sample transfers to see how that works out.

More copies are better anyway. I bring back 3 or 4 separate copies, and have had one drive suddenly go unusable when I got back.

____________

Update, appl above works fine for NEF files, can zoom in for focus check, etc. Displays camera data, etc. Easily creates jpg images. Looks like a good tool to have.

Also check Rawdroid, which looks interesting, though I have not tried.

Edited by Kilili, 19 January 2012 - 01:56 PM.

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#6 CheezotheClown

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 06:34 AM

Thanks for taking the time to offer your thoughts and try a few things out guys :D

Well, since you asked, I tried it out. I've a Galaxy Tab 8.9, which differs from the 10.1 only in screen size. The adapter works fine with a memory stick of CF reader. However, if you attach a USB hub and try to connect more than one device, it will fail. A hard drive alone, with independent power, might work, but I'm nervous about trying it out. Rather someone else be the guinea pig.

I had my doubts that the USB would work for anything more than one item and then provided it didn't need to be powered by the port but it is always good to hear a confirmation.

I do notice that the market has a new portable HDD product connected via wi-fi. Obviously it would be independently powered. The transfer speed may be slower but I haven't looked closely enough to quote any specs (the only brand I've seen is a Seagate). I'm sure that in short time there will be more products on offer for less and I imagine that it would go the same way as the earlier generations of portable HDD where a cradle or wi-fi capable hardware is available to mate with whatever HDD one would have on hand.

As far as the 64GB device size, I see no problem unless you are trying to keep 60GB of raw images on it. I do long trips and shoot 200GB or so, but always have a laptop and backup drives.

You could always carry a small portable drive and USB hub, using the Galaxy Tab to cache files. At some point, borrow a computer and use it to transfer files from the Galaxy Tab to the drive. This is my fallback plan if I have laptop problems and no other computer around to transfer CF to the hard drives. I'm concerned about transfer speed issues with the Galaxy Tab, and want to do some sample transfers to see how that works out.

More copies are better anyway. I bring back 3 or 4 separate copies, and have had one drive suddenly go unusable when I got back.

Thanks for your thoughts. At the moment I don't think it is an issue as a single 16GB card does me on a trip but it looks like there are options to future proof the tablet. Incidentally the tablet will be used for work purposes as well and not exclusively for u/w photography.
____________

Update, appl above works fine for NEF files, can zoom in for focus check, etc. Displays camera data, etc. Easily creates jpg images. Looks like a good tool to have.

Also check Rawdroid, which looks interesting, though I have not tried.

Thanks. I've downloaded Rawdroid to my Galaxy phone and it views a RAW file I transferred to the phone. I didn't look any further than that at the moment but I have bookmarked the Rawdroid forum dedicated to that app.

#7 wagsy

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Posted 20 January 2012 - 06:06 PM

Check out the New ASUS Transformer Prime, plenty of guts and with the Keyboard you get USB ports.
I got the Transformer 101, love that it can play full screen 16.9 video and simple drag and drop files to it via any computer using a simple USB cable or wifi.
Micro SD card slot gives me instant access to extended space, grab a 64 gig card and you are laughing.
Have yet to try the HDMI out, I will load up some RAWS to see how it goes.
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#8 Jo Horrocks

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 02:58 AM

Check out the New ASUS Transformer Prime, plenty of guts and with the Keyboard you get USB ports.
I got the Transformer 101, love that it can play full screen 16.9 video and simple drag and drop files to it via any computer using a simple USB cable or wifi.
Micro SD card slot gives me instant access to extended space, grab a 64 gig card and you are laughing.
Have yet to try the HDMI out, I will load up some RAWS to see how it goes.

Hi Wagsy,

Have you tried using it for video editing? Just wondering if it's got enough grunt for that?

Thanks,

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#9 wagsy

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Posted 21 January 2012 - 02:49 PM

Hi Jo
No, these things just have not got the grunt like a laptop.
Take a laptop if you are going to do Video editing or serious image fix ups.

I can open Raw files from my 7D and the old Nikon D70.
It will also play the raw 1920/1080 video mov files from the 7D too.
You can also drag the VideoTS folder from a DVD and it will play menus and all. :D
I can play FLASH swf files and open pdf's, word doc's and Xvid video files.
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#10 frogfone

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 01:39 PM

have been considering this route myself for a while but it just does not seem worth it the asus transformer is over 1kg by the time you add the KB and you still dont have a great deal of storage. for anyone that needs a lightweight solution i can highly recommend the samsung x120 laptop it's only 1.36kg but has a 11.6" screen at 1366x768 and a duel core processor, it's a big step up performance wise from a netbook with only a small weight penalty, also has a 250gb HD and best of all they can be had for about 270 here in the UK. that's about half of what a decent tablet is going to cost and you can spend the differance on big SD cards to give you backup redundency with zero weight gain (as they go in your pockets).

At some point a tablet will be the best solution but i don't think we are there until processors improve and onboard storage increases.

just my 2p worth.

Roddy

Edited by frogfone, 22 January 2012 - 02:50 PM.


#11 CheezotheClown

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Posted 22 January 2012 - 03:27 PM

At some point a tablet will be the best solution but i don't think we are there until processors improve and onboard storage increases.

I wonder if I'm not better off waiting another few months for the next generation. I owned the Galaxy S phone and the Galaxy S2. The S was/is a very good phone but the S2 included features that we were all wondering why they weren't on the S in the first place. Best example I can think of is the inclusion of a flash for the camera. So maybe the next Galaxy Tablet will include user replaceable battery and storage along with a USB port (hopefully powered) and fingers crossed there is an HDMI port too.

#12 frogfone

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Posted 23 January 2012 - 09:57 AM

was watching a program about CES ( "click" available on iplayer) and the next big thing is ultrabooks, basically thin and light laptops with SSD drives. there are some thin and light laptops with touchscreens availible but i don't know what they are like for weight. i would think it's more likely to be a year before tablets are likely to be viable because i would want at least 32gb of free storage so am looking at a minimum of a 64gb device which means prices are too high for me to justify at the moment. one device did look good (archos tablet) as you can install an internal HDD upto 250gb but it is supoosed to be a terrible device with very little support.

tablets are very sexy devices but i just don't think they have the grunt or storage i'm looking for to actually replace my laptop.


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#13 frogfone

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 09:40 AM

just an update have looked at the latest generation of the archos tablet and they are getting much better reviews, the 250gb HD is gone but they do have a micro sd port and a usb 2.0 built in. the Archos 80 is a 8" screen 1024x768 and weights 465g best of all they are only 200 here in the UK about half the price of a basic ipad.

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#14 CheezotheClown

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Posted 25 January 2012 - 06:33 PM

just an update have looked at the latest generation of the archos tablet and they are getting much better reviews, the 250gb HD is gone but they do have a micro sd port and a usb 2.0 built in. the Archos 80 is a 8" screen 1024x768 and weights 465g best of all they are only 200 here in the UK about half the price of a basic ipad.

Roddy


I'll take a closer look then. For me though it would need to be a full size SD reader or it might as well not be there.

#15 frogfone

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Posted 26 January 2012 - 01:14 PM

I'll take a closer look then. For me though it would need to be a full size SD reader or it might as well not be there.


better still you can still get it with the 250gb HD but it is thicker and heavier it's a full USB host so with a USB you can plug in any card reader so if your using CF cards too. I was more considering the micro SD for additional backup redundency.

i'm seriously considering ordering one.

Roddy

#16 CheezotheClown

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Posted 18 February 2012 - 11:30 PM

I had a look at the Archos. Not too bad but I haven't seen them available locally.

I keep jumping between the Galaxy Tab 10.1 and the Transformer Prime. I think the Prime would be the winner now if it had 3G.

Of course the next generation Galaxy Tab which looks like it will be called the 11.6 may very well be around the corner. I know that there will always be something around the corner but rumour is for it to be announced in the next couple of months. It's a step up with a reported Dual core 2GHz double the 10.1 and increased screen res of 2560 x 1600 allowing for 1080P HD. Surprising though because the Tegra Quad core 1.4Ghz chip is already in the Prime. Just waiting to see if the Tab 11.6 will have the HDMI and USB ports so sorely missed.

#17 sideshow_Gary

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Posted 26 May 2012 - 12:50 AM

Im waiting for the new Transformer Prime 700 tft (or ftf) to come out someitme in June, hope fully i can get my hands on it before the end of the Tax season.

It it has an Android OS does anyone know a good editing program for it?

something simplish like Light room, at the moment im using Picassa and its dead easy for organizing a library and plenty of quick edits i need for work.

#18 seafan

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 04:29 PM

I travel with an Asus netbook but have been looking at tablets as well. I hear that the Windows 8 tablets should be starting to roll out in a few months. If you don't need something for the next few months, I would wait to see what develops...
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