WWDC 2019: Highlights for image makers

Apple has announced a series of new photo and video-centric features and products at its WWDC conference. The highlight is a new Mac Pro desktop workstation, a 32” 6K Retina display, and a new OS for iPad that allows the use of external hard drives and card readers.

Mac Pro

The Mac Pro has a retro feel to it and has a stainless steel frame that allows for modularity and easy access to the components. It is also equipped with wheels.

It has already been affectionately christened as the “cheese grater!”

It will have anew Intel Xeon processor that has up to 28 cores, and the computer supports a positively insane 1.5 terabytes of RAM. Also, it will have the option of PCI expansion, with four double-wide slots, three single-wide slots and one half-width slot that Apple populates with its I/O card. This has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB-A ports, and a 3.5mm audio jack. There are also two ethernet ports. The Mac Pro will support up to two Radeon Pro Vega II GPUs for video.

For video editors, Apple includes its custom hardware called Afterburner. It will make the Mac Pro capable of playing three simultaneous 8K RAW video streams, or 12 4K streams. The processing power is capable of processing 6 billion pixels per second.

Lastly, the new Mac Pro has three fans, and a blower that Apple says shouldn’t be any louder than the iMac Pro when it’s under load.

Apple is releasing a 32-inch LCD Retina display with HDR and 6,016 x 3,384 resolution.

The base Mac Pro will include an eight-core Xeon CPU, 32GB of memory, a 256GB SSD and the Radeon Pro 580X graphics card and will start at $5,999. It will ship from Fall 2019.

MacOS Catalina

The new OS introduces Sidecar, which offers the option of using an iPad as a secondary monitor either via a wired or wireless connection. Also, when combined with an Apple Pencil, it makes the iPad into a “dedicated drawing tablet.” Currently, it seems that Adobe’s Photoshop and Lightroom apps are not supported by this functionality.

iOS 13

The Camera app will offer a new High Key Mono portrait mode and the ability to control the intensity of the lighting. The Photos app has also been redesigned, and video can be edited within it.


iPads get their own operating system!

Big news for traveling photographers is they iPadOS will offer support for external drives. The Files app will allow editing directly from “hard drives, solid state drives, USB drives, SD cards, and even direct import from cameras..” Images can be worked on directly in apps like Lightroom CC without them needing to be imported into the Photos app.

Another new feature is the option of using a USB mouse. It is uncertain at this point whether this functionality will extend to Bluetooth input devices.