At some points in this video it is hard to believe you are listening to a guitar simulation, played on a touchscreen computer by YouTube user TelevatorMuzak (a.k.a. Francis). It's a track we are very fond of anyway, but we also think it is a remarkable demonstration of what can be done with the right know-how and a lot of musical talent.
We contacted Francis to find out about his musical interests, creating music using GarageBand and the improvements that version 1.2 brings.
iPad Creative: Tell us something about yourself and your love for music making.
Francis: I've been making music (or just mere 'sound like things' when I was younger!) as far back as I can remember, from banging pots and pans to finally, real instruments. Although I've been in bands, I'm not really a band guy. I mostly enjoy making solo post-rock music, like modern acoustic guitar fingerpicking and solo piano, and probably that's why I enjoy making music on the iPad.
iPad Creative: What do you think of GarageBand for the iPad?
Francis: Oh, I'm really stoked with the iPad GarageBand. I usually do recordings on DAWs but this app is just so liberating for me because the playable instruments are self-contained. I think Apple nailed it with their accelerometer velocity sensors. The instruments are remarkably expressive. One thing I didn't really like about other iOS music apps before GB was exactly this, everything sounded robotic and electronic (which may sound good with some genres) but Apple took it to the next level with the expressive range of the instruments. So now, I could sneak convincing recordings on the couch, at work, in my car, on the toilet, LOL, pretty much anywhere, without lugging around extra equipment. Granted, it's like learning new instruments altogether, but once you get the hang of, it's satisfying what you can create.
Again, I'm not a band kind of guy and I'm mesmerized by the idea of performers doing all the parts amazingly on their own despite the limitations of their instruments and that precisely what's so challenging but rewarding when working with the iPad GarageBand app.
iPad Creative: And your take on the improvements that arrived with version 1.2?
Francis: I think it's great they took it to another level. The note editor opens it up further for everyone, all you need is a good ear. I'm glad I could transpose notes now especially with the guitar sound since in the old version, it was a bit limited in range.
It's also convenient for tweaking the parts a bit. You don't have to nail each riff each time. You could just go in and shift a few notes in time and pitch if you mess up. But as with any synthetic music, there's a danger of sounding too synthetic, so real-time expression is still important if you're aiming for that sort of thing. I think Apple provided iPad GB with ample expressive tools to make your songs subtly nuanced.
iPad Creative: Besides GarageBand, what other iPad apps excite you, for music creation or otherwise?
Francis: Pretty much any app that will take the leap from the desktop to the tablet excites me. I like how Apple keeps the iPad versions of their software clean and simple so as not to take away from their more powerful desktop versions. They're more like spontaneous sketchpads than real workstations but, of course, that might change in the near future.
Francis has something very interesting in the pipeline, we'll bring you more news soon. In the meantime listen to this stunning cover again, particularly the last couple of minutes. Just think, this was produced on a computer that some people claimed would be the death of creativity. Fortunately, that argument has been well and truly quashed.
Further reading: TelevatorMuzak
Computer game music can sometimes rival the production values and emotional impact of feature film soundtracks, often being written by professional film score composers, as is the case with BioWare's Mass Effect 3.
Originally composed by Clint Mansell (former member of 'Pop Will Eat Itself' turned film score composer), this brilliantly played iPad arrangement by YouTube user billkramme (creative Bill Kramme) uses the new orchestral/strings Smart Instrument in GarageBand for iOS 1.2 to great effect.
We were impressed at how great this sounded, what do you think?
In the second part of our iPad vs iPhone 4S camera shootout we concluded that the iPad 3 shoots video that is of a similar quality to the iPhone 4S. This is a good thing. There is, however, one area where the new iPad handily beats the iPhone 4S.
The world of the tiny
When focusing on subject matter that is close to the lens, the depth of field is very much decreased, so much so, that moving the device even just a few millimetres can make a difference to the final image quality. Sure, the touch to focus ability of both the iPhone and iPad should help you to focus on the correct portion of the scene, but if you move, even a small amount, your subject may be just in front or just behind the focus plane and hence, out of focus.
The new iPad, with its Retina class display can display every last pixel of the 1080p live video preview. It contains well over three times more detail than the screen on the iPhone 4S. Because of this extra detail, placing your iPad at the exact distance from the subject to ensure perfect focus at all times is quite possible.
A wasp awakes!
To demonstrate this, I captured the wasp video seen above. As the wasp awakes and goes through it's morning cleaning ritual note how I was able to maintain the focus on the correct part of the wasp, first the abdomen, and then the head. I could see the full extent of the depth of field at all times.
In short, the new iPad gives you the perfect tools to capture stunning macro photos and video. No smartphone or tablet computer currently available comes close. This winning camera and screen combination highlights another intreging use for the new iPad, but we'll focus on that in a future post.
If you've capture some interesting video with your new iPad, be sure to let us know either in a comment below or via email. You can also catch us on Twitter.
In part 1 of this camera comparison we considered still photography, could the new iPad with its 5MP sensor compete with the iPhone 4S and its 8MP sensor? Not too surprisingly, both devices produced very similar results. Be sure to check out the entire article, which includes plenty of sample shots, for the full story.
1080p v 1080p
With video, things are a little different. Both the new iPad and the iPhone 4S capture 1080p video with decent stabilisation. We were expecting the iPad and iPhone 4S to be very evenly matched, and indeed they were. The samples from each device are almost identical. So much so, in fact, that it would likely take someone who is very familiar with iPhone 4S video quality to spot the differences. But there are differences.
The processed look
Just like with the photographs, the new iPad video capture has a slightly more processed look. We are not quite sure what's going on here. Why should the new iPad have a more processed look than even the iPhone 4 which also features a 5MP sensor? We are fully aware that minds sharper than ours are suggesting that Apple is simply reusing the 5MP Omnivision sensor as last seen in the iPhone 4, but the actual results seem to suggest otherwise. The iPad samples show some kind of edge enhancement that neither the iPhone 4 or 4S exhibit. It's not a deal breaker, in fact you may prefer this new look, but it does seem a little odd to us.
Is it possible that the new iPad is packing the exact same optics and sensor and the iPhone 4S, yes an 8MP sensor, but that the camera software is binning those extra 3 mega pixels in order to give a final 5MP image? It seems unlikely, but then it also seems unlikely that Apple has deliberately chosen to give the iPad photos and video a more processed appearance. The truth is, we just don't know the answer, and for most people the video capture from both the iPad and iPhone 4S will be indistinguishable, we really are just splitting hairs here.
Audio capture differences
Perhaps it's because the microphone on the new iPad well clear of our hands, or perhaps it's just a bit more sensitive, but whatever the reason, we are quite convinced that the new iPad picks up a little more ambient noise than the iPhone 4S. Play the video sample above through a decent set of speakers or earphones and hear it for yourself.
An end to end experience
There simply isn't another consumer video camera on the planet that has a display quite like the new iPad's display. It's also true that there is no camera available that has the video editing and soundtrack creation goodness that iMovie and GarageBand bring to the iPad. As an end to end video capture, editing and distribution solution, the new iPad is in a league of its own making. People will produce stunning videos using nothing more than the new iPad and a couple of cheap apps. Yes, the new iPad is a bulky device for capturing video, but you have to remember, this isn't just the camera, it's the entire solution, and an extremely powerful one at that.
In honour of the AmpKit Retina graphics update we mentioned earlier today and the limited time 50% off AmpKit+, we thought it would be fun to find a few tracks on SoundCloud that have been made with AmpKit. Hopefully it will give you an idea of some of the sounds you can re-create in Agile Partners' authentic sounding amp sim.
AmpKit comes with SoundCloud export built right in to the app so it is very quick and easy to share your riff, chorus or even whole song idea with the world. It is also possible to import a backing track or drum loop and play over it in AmpKit, or you can use one of the provided loops complete with bass and rhythm guitars.
There isn't any punch-in type of recording in AmpKit itself though, so you often end up with imperfect one-off takes or maybe the third, fourth, fifth (you get the idea) attempt being shared to SoundCloud.
With that in mind, we have selected three different samples that demonstrate just a few of the many different types of sound you can get from AmpKit.
'Ready Set Jam' by TheRedDash
"Messing around with some Drum back tracking" is how this track is described by Dash from New York, but it features the rich, well sustained Rock sound that you can conjure up in AmpKit without too much effort and reliably every time. We liked the tight, compressed rhythm style at the start too.
'Duckie Dux' by toño châvez
A tongue-in-cheek title for this track but toño demonstrates very nicely the auto-wah pedal sound here, which is actually quite difficult to get right in our experience.
'Strat Your Stuff' by shred_777
We have featured Timothy Khalil's (a.k.a. shred_777) work once before, but we liked the funky Blues sound of this track a lot and it provides us with a sample of the Stevie Ray type of tone that makes us so happy. Nice one Timothy!
Just three short samples of the sounds you can create with AmpKit on your iOS device.
Good enough for a Commerical album
Of course, if you want to take it to the ultimate level and incorporate AmpKit as your main guitar amplification for commercial productions, you can do that too, as perfectly demonstrated by One Like Son in our bonus track below. To find out more about their album made entirely on an iPhone 3GS be sure to read our post.
Over to you
We hope you enjoyed listening to our AmpKit made picks this week, but as always, we want to hear from you too whatever iOS app you use. If you have your own iOS created sounds (preferably with the iPad, but not essential) here's how you can get them to us:
- Join our iPad Creative SoundCloud group then click on the 'Share a Track' button on the group page
- If you're on a computer, click 'Send us your sounds' at top of the sidebar --->
- Leave us a link to your track on SoundCloud in the comments below
We're looking forward to hearing you soon.
Agile Partners have updated their sonically amazing guitar amp sim AmpKit with new Retina Graphics and it looks gorgeous.
We think they are (at least one of) the first guitar sim app makers to update their in-app graphics for the new iPad's Retina display.
It isn't anything that really affects the every day use of the app of course, but it is a lot nicer to look at and makes the amp controls especially a whole lot clearer.
As we are interested in how Developers are updating their apps, we took a series of screenshots from AmpKit+ before we upgraded so that you can compare them.
It's hard to see in these scaled down versions but if you look closeley you should see the added clarity and detail on the amp controls and stomp pedal graphics in the gallery below.
With the release of AmpKit+ 1.3 Agile Partners have also added 3 new pieces of kit and bass players get a little love. From the Press Release:
Trace Elliot 1215
For the first time, a world class, full-featured bass amp and cabinet for iOS bass players.
Rocktron Metal Planet Distortion
A versatile, true heavy metal distortion pedal - not for the faint of heart
Rocktron HUSH Noise Reduction
If you aren't using HUSH, you aren't using real noise reduction for guitar.
In addition to the updates mentioned above, the purchase price for AmpKit+ has been halved to $9.99/£6.99 and the 3 pieces of new gear have between 33% and 40% off for a limited time.
If you haven't pulled the trigger on that AmpKit+ purchase yet, now is the time to do it, it is well worth it for the savings you make over individual gear purchase prices.
Get your musical creative juices flowing for minimal outlay with new 'Figure' app from the venerable Propellerhead Software.
Digital sound sketching
Figure has been designed to work as a digital sketchpad for your basic beat ideas while you are away from your usual desktop, maybe riding to work on the bus or train, taking a break from other tasks, in the office at lunchtime, etc.
Figure looks like a surprisingly powerful creation tool from what we have seen so far.
Reason to be joyful
Existing Reason users (as well as users of other digital audio creation software) will love Figure's ability to quickly shape new Drum, Bass and Lead/Melody ideas. There is also the opportunity to add some parameter "tweaks" that can usher in a reasonable amount of complexity to the patterns they create.
The Developers see this as a platform they can add functionality to later, so we can expect more from this app in the future.
Sonic State's video demo
Here is a fairly comprehensive demo filmed by SonicState at Musikmesse a few days ago, which will give you the best idea of what to expect from Figure. Watch out for the very nice X/Y touchpad feature at around 4:55.
We haven't seen any info on exporting the recorded sounds from Figure yet once you are back at your desktop, neither in this video or the in presentation from Propellerhead at Musikmesse (link to around 8 mins in, when Figure is demoed).
Hopefully there will be some sort of export option to make Figure really useable, otherwise it may just be limited to a toy for messing around on.
Figure should be out very soon at the great price of $1/69p and we're really looking forward to getting our mitts on it.
What do you think? How useful will you find this "little slice of Reason" on your iOS device?
Would you even consider taking photos or shooting video with an iPad? That's the big question, because if the answer is no, then the huge increase in camera quality that the new iPad has over the iPad 2 is a moot point.
It's clear to us that the current trend is to treat the very idea of tablet computer photography and video capture with utter derision, almost every iPad 3 review that mentions the camera includes a comment or two about how stupid you would look doing so. We are reminded of the reviews of early smartphones. 'Who would be so stupid as to take pictures with their phone', they said. Now less than ten years later the iPhone 4 is the most popular camera on Flickr. Conventional wisdom often misfires.
If you're still reading this then there is a good chance that you are open to the idea of tablet photography and video capture. It's also quite likely that you already own an iPhone or another brand of high-end smartphone. So, do you have anything to gain by using the iPad as your camera instead of another device? Perhaps.
iPad vs regular smartphone
Some of the latest smartphones from Nokia, HTC and Samsung are equipped with cameras that should easily outperform the new iPad. We have seen 8MP shots from some very popular smartphones that struggle to match these iPad 5MP photos, but in the main, the very latest smartphones are more capable at capturing stills. However, things are not so clear when it comes to video capture. Apple have done a sterling job with the video stabilisation, so much so in fact that it's quite hard to tell the difference between iPad 3 footage and dedicated video camera footage. The new iPad offers 1080p video capture with superb stabilisation at very high bit rates and with clear mono sound capture. If you are a proud owner of the new iPad, it's also worth noting that you just purchased a first class video camera too.
iPad vs iPhone 4S
In theory the iPhone 4S and the new iPad should be very close in terms of general camera performance. In some ways this is true. For example, both the new iPad and the iPhone 4S have similar dynamic range of luminance and colour balance. However, the iPad has a more processed look. The iPhone 4S shots have considerable more fine detail when viewed at 100%. Our guess is that Apple engineers have fine-tuned the iPad camera so that its stills and video look their best when viewed on the iPad display. This makes sense, though we would have preferred a slightly inferior iPad viewing experience and a cleaner final image. In short, the iPhone 4S captures cleaner, more detailed, images and video than the new iPad, though you'll need to zoom into the frame somewhat to notice the difference. The iPhone 4S takes the lead, but it's not by a country mile.
An end to end experience
One area where iPad photography and video capture makes perfect sense is when looking for a complete end-to-end experience. Consider this; the iPad 3 has a higher quality display then any consumer camera. It also takes great quality 5MP stills and top spec fixed lens 1080p video with stabilisation. Add into the mix iPhoto, iMovie and any number of the superb photo and video apps available for the iPad and you have a pretty compelling end-to-end solution.
There's one market for which the new iPad camera makes perfect sense. The education market is going to adore this new iPad. We can't wait to see how students of all ages put this new camera/computer combination to use.
Anyway, enough of our rambling. Be sure to check out this Flickr set for direct comparison shots. You'll find iPad photos first followed by iPhone 4S shots taken a moment or two later. In each case we have made sure that we've focused on the same area of the scene. They are all available at full resolution, so why not download them to your iPad or computer and examine them for yourself. We would love to know what you think, so please be sure to leave a comment below.
In part 2 of this series we'll be looking at video capture.
Further viewing: iPad vs iPhone 4S Flickr set
Let's make one thing clear before we begin, we are more than happy that websites, blogs and mainstream media keep Apple at the top of their game by revealing potential issues with new Apple hardware and software. No company is infallible and it's right and proper that genuine mistakes or problems are pointed out to prospective customers.
However, what concerns us it that a potential customers might miss out on some genuine innovation because of a few sensationalist headlines. That leads us to three potential issues with the new iPad that have recently caught our attention.
Some have said that the new iPad gives off considerably more heat than the old iPad. We were surprised by these claims, so much so in fact that we decided to put them to the test. We put our iPad 3 through a series of graphics intensive testing, starting with an hour of Open GL benchmarking and finishing with 40 minutes of Real Racing 2 HD. At the end of our 2 hour test we could discern no significant increase in temperature on the back on the iPad and only a small increase in temperature on the display. The increase in temperature on the display was noticeable, but by no means uncomfortable. We don't doubt that the new iPad runs slightly hotter than the older model under certain conditions, but we do doubt any claims of it being hot or uncomfortable.
Resolutionary is not so revolutionary
This is a tricky one. There are clearly some users that will not be able to spot a Retina display apart from a standard display in a busy street, but does that make the Retina display less revolutionary? No, the iPad is a giant leap forward in pixel density and hence, genuine image detail. The new iPad display contains four times the amount of pixels as the old display. The difference, to those that have used the new iPad for any length of time, is like night and day. Fonts that were previously collections of anti-alaised pixels are now rendered to a degree of quality that reveals their true beauty. Photos and HD video looks spectacular! In our opinion the new display is a game changer, and if you can afford it you should certainly pick the new iPad over the cheaper iPad 2.
The new iPad is 51 gms heavier than the last version, but still lighter than the original iPad. Over the last couple of days we have seen comments that describe it as 'too heavy'. We are big fans of Jason Bradbury, co-presenter of Channel Five's 'The Gadget Show', but even Jason seemed to be looking for issues with the new iPad, describing it as "… too heavy! & … too hot!". We're sorry Jason, but in our book an extra 50 gms (roughly the weight of a packet of gum) is a small price to pay for the four times the increase in pixel density and a camera that rivals almost any smartphone, not to mention LTE support.
Of all these complaints, it's the overheating accusation that's most worrying as it implies that there is something fundamentally wrong with the design or construction of the new iPad. Just to reiterate, in our CPU and GPU tests we have not managed to raise the temperature of the new iPad to anything close to uncomfortable levels. Be that as it may, we will continue to test other aspects of the iPad to see what bearing they have on the temperature of the case and screen.
Photo Credit: Nicky Coleman
Just a quick note about understanding thermal images like those used in the Consumer Reports article.
The white areas are not white hot, anymore than the blue areas are freezing cold. Take this thermal image of me (the chap on the far left), I can assure you that my forehead was not uncomfortable to the touch, merely that is was warmer than other parts of the scene.
Another mixed bag of picks this week for you from iOS using SoundCloud-ers, showing the diversity and creativity that can be found over there.
Don't forget we have a SoundCloud group just for you, so you can share your iOS creations too.
Details of how you can get your tracks to us are below this week's song picks.
'DJBITBURNER vs PEZZERDOTCOM - AHOWOY' by Pezzerdotcom
This is a remix by Pezzerdotcom of DJBitBurner's NanoStudio track "Ah ow oy". The original was great 'Chiptune' fun (we love Chiptune stuff!) but this remix really takes it up a level and punches very hard. Great stuff!
'Solitaire' by peanut_gallery
A change of pace now, with this GarageBand-made track from peanut_gallery (a.k.a. Ian Hisert from Oakland, US). He has tagged this track with the 'Soundtrack' category and we can definitely imagine this instrumental piece being used as a soundtrack. Good use of the instruments in GarageBand for iOS, especially as it is his first track entirely produced using Apple's app.
'That Vintage Engine' by Ashley Elsdon
Here's a little treat for you from Ashley Elsdon, who many of you will know as creator and author of the sadly mothballed Palm Sounds website (we still miss Palm Sounds, Ashley).
Ashley used samples he recorded from cars at the London to Brighton Vintage Car Run last year as the basis for this track, created in the super versatile Beatmaker II app. It's a clever use of samples and has a great energy. Enjoy!
We hope you enjoyed listening to our picks this week, but as always, we want to hear from you too. If you have your own iOS created sounds (preferably with the iPad, but not essential) here's how you can get them to us:
- Join our iPad Creative SoundCloud group then click on the 'Share a Track' button on the group page
- If you're on a computer, click 'Send us your sounds' at top of the sidebar --->
- Leave us a link to your track on SoundCloud in the comments below
We're looking forward to hearing you soon.
ArtRage is one of our most treasured iPad apps, so naturally we were absolutely thrilled to see it updated to support the new iPad's super high resolution display. We've only had a quick look at this latest version, but we think it looks pretty spectacular.
Painting Credit: Unaipad2010. We'll be featuring more from this skilled artist soon.
App Store Link: ArtRage
Like us, you may have read a lot of complaints from owners of the new iPad claiming that the extreme high resolution of the new display makes graphics on the web look poor. Though text looks much sharper, we have to agree, graphics (including our own logo!) that have be produced with regular computer displays in mind, do look pretty poor.
Someone had to push web design forward, and it should be no surprise that it was Apple that took up the challenge. Regular displays have very poor resolution, even the 2009 MacBook Pro that I'm typing this on looks blocky. If display technology is to replace printed paper it has to get much better. The new iPad is a giant leap in the right direction.
So, until web designers make proper provision for much higher resolution displays, what can new iPad owners do to make everything look pretty again?
A simple fix
Use your new iPad in portrait mode. That's it! That's all you have to do. If you have fairly decent eyesight you'll have no problem at all in reading the smaller text. As a extra benefit you'll also see a lot more of the webpage.
To test this we took screen grabs from both the new iPad in portrait mode and the MacBook Pro when viewing the same website. Both screen grabs can be found here. We then compared both screen grabs in Photoshop to check the pixel detail. Amazingly, because of its massively high resolution, the new iPad has more pixels across its shortest edge than the MacBook Pro has across its longest edge!
The result is that even in portrait mode there is more detail on display on the iPad than on a MacBook Pro with its 1440 x 900px resolution. However, because everything is quite a bit smaller in portrait mode, those graphics that have been designed for older displays look much nicer.
Split keyboard to the rescue
Thanks to the split keyboard that arrived with iOS 5, it's possible to type at perfectly respectable speeds in portrait mode.
The new iPad with its Retina display creates possibilities, it has transformed the iPad into the best web browsing device available. Simply rotating the iPad into portrait mode still leaves you with more pixel detail than the web viewed on a MacBook Pro, but with twice the viewing area.
We'll bring you more unexpected uses for the Retina display soon.
Now is the time to grab StudioTrack for iPad from Sonoma WireWorks if you haven't got it already!
This functionality was previously only available via Sonoma's FourTrack iPhone app. This is the app we had to use when reviewing GuitarJack 2 last month, which was less than optimal running on our iPad at 2x.
Now we can enjoy StudioTrack's 8 recording tracks along with this integration, we are very happy.
If you have been holding off on purchasing GuitarJack 2 for your iPad, this update will definitely improve your experience of using it.
We can't recommend GuitarJack 2 highly enough, it continues to impress as much as it did when we reviewed it, even more to be honest.
Non-Retina but great price
Although StudioTrack's UI has not yet been fully updated for the new iPad's 'Retina' display, it is good to see the updated version (1.5) being offered with a 50% discount at just $9.99/£6.99 for a limited time.
The general consensus around the web is that the new iPad is roughly the same speed as the older iPad 2. The the CPU at the heart the A5X is still dual-core and it's even running at the same 1GHz clock speed, only 3D applications and games should see a speed increase from the new quad-core graphics engine, right? Perhaps not.
In our very first iPad 3 vs iPad 2 speed test, we recorded a 33% speed increase.
From a cold start we exported an 11 minute 1080p iMovie project to the camera roll at 1080p. The new iPad was able to encode the final video significantly faster than realtime, taking just 7:59. The iPad 3 completed the entire export, including copying the video to the camera roll in just 9:25. The iPad 2 completed the full export in 12:29. That's a saving of 3:04. In others words, the iPad 3 was roughly 33% faster. That's a significant speed boost.
We are not suggesting that the iPad 3 is generally 33% faster than last years model, but rather that there are clearly some areas, video encoding is one example, where users will see a significant increase in performance.
We'll carry on testing and report back what we find. Please let us know if you find any differences in performance that you feel will be of benefit to our readers.
The first iPad 3 reviews are starting to appear. Just as we expected, the main focus of nearly every one of these early reviews is the breathtaking quality of the display. Here's one of our favourite quotes from Joshua's thorough review at The Verge:
"You literally can't see pixels on the iPad's display when you hold it at a regular distance, and even up close you have to really inspect the thing to see dots. For rendered text or high resolution images, it just looks otherworldly; like a glowing piece of paper. There were moments when I was testing the device when I would just marvel at a single paragraph of text, or I kept zooming in and out on a particular headline to see how cleanly fonts are rendered on this screen."
We have included the video review seen above, but please be sure to read the entire review, it includes some remarkable screenshots of the Retina display and some 5MP camera samples.
Source: The Verge
Take a look at the most popular cameras on Flickr and you'll see that the iPhone sits on the very top of that prestigious list. If you're one of the many millions of people whose only camera is a smartphone, it's likely that phrases like 'point of convergence', 'aperture priority' and 'circle of confusion' are almost meaningless to you.
We are not suggesting that you can't take spectacular photos without a proper understanding of these terms, but it would certainly help you to fine-tune your photographic compositions and allow you to take part in more in-depth conversations if you did.
That's where Bokeh comes in handy
Bokeh (the book explains the meaning of the photographic term from where it get its name) is a book that takes you through the basics of SLR (Single-lens reflex) photography. Within its pages you'll learn about focus, depth of field, exposure and zoom, but more than that, you'll actually get to play with certain controls of a simulated SLR camera right there on the screen of your iPad. Bokeh is a joy to use, you can get through it in less than 30 minutes, but it's likely that you'll spend much longer experimenting with the SLR simulation.
Bokeh is exactly the kind of app that we always hoped the iPad would be home to. It's simple, fun and educationally. We wholeheartedly recommend it to those who are looking to get a grasp of the basics of SLR photography.
App Store Link: Bokeh. A Book About Cameras
We've mentioned Nikolai's work on numerous occasions, but we make absolutely no apologies for highlighting yet another of his incredible iPad paintings.
With the updated camera in the new iPad our attention is naturally turning to taking more acceptable quality photographs with our favourite tablet device. That of course raises the issue of holding the iPad steady, especially when we start talking about things like timelapse and low-light photography.
So we have looked into a few options that, although mostly made for iPad 2, should work or be updated to work soon, with the new iPad.
Movie Mount by Makayama
We mentioned the Movie Mount in a previous post. It was obviously designed for video not stills necessarily, but it seems sturdy enough to do the job. At $69.95 the price is reasonable and will do double-duty if you also want to take your video making to another level with external accessories.
There is no mention of the new iPad on Makayama's website though and we couldn't guarantee the current model will fit your new 3rd gen device, so there may be a little wait while they update it.
G7 Pro by iShot Mounts
For $10 more at $79.95 you could consider the more adjustable G7 Pro by iShot Mounts. This has adjustable corner clamps that promise to accommodate the new iPad as well as existing models, even if the iPad is in a case.
Tournez Tripod Mount by The Joy Factory
At the same $79.95 price point, the Tournez Tripod Mount by The Joy Factory is another solid looking option for photo and video purposes. It uses a snap in case to hold your iPad though and we have yet to hear if this will work with the new iPad, although some of their other cases are being updated to work with, or promoted as compatible with, it.
DIY for less
Derrick Story (Photographer, Educator, Podcaster and all round Creative) has created a tripod mount setup from photographic lighting fittings (a clamp and a tripod adapter) that will work with any iPad model.
There are probably similar, even cheaper, ways of achieving the same thing that Derrick did and we would love to hear from you if you have seen or tried for yourself any other DIY solutions for mounting your iPad on a tripod.
There are just under 4 weeks left to catch the David Hockney exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts in London. This one is special for us because it prominently features Hockney's iPad art amongst the works displayed.
We haven't been able to make it up to London to see it, but if you are anywhere near the Royal Academy in the next few weeks we would recommend you make time to visit David Hockney's exhibition and if you have visited already, please leave us a comment and tell us what you thought of it.
As a photographer you'll doubtless want your photos to look their very best on Apple's new Retina display equipped iPad, but have you considered the risks involved? This well reasoned article from Popphoto.com has certainly given us pause for thought. Some of the issues mentioned here will also apply to those who paint with the iPad.