Small Town Photojournalism

A Photo Blog by Matthew Jonas

iPad For Transmitting Breaking News Photos?

with 3 comments

I was listening to the police/fire scanner today when I heard a call about a wild fire. I immediately started thinking about how I would cover it and how I would transmit images from the field. I would need three things: a computer, wireless connection and a way to move images from the camera. It would also have to be light enough and small enough to fit in with the other gear I am carrying. Ideally it would fit in a belt pack or very slim backpack. Currently I would have to carry a 15 inch laptop, data card, card readers, etc. A 15 inch MacBook Pro is roughly 14 inches by 10 inches. It pretty much requires a backpack to carry. A single small device would be a great solution. So why not an iPad 3g and a camera connection kit? I think its a real possibility.

Here’s what needs to happen:

  1. Create a decent photo editing app with the ability to edit IPTC data for cutlines/captions. Ideally it should have the ability to upload the images via FTP/email directly from the app. There are some great photo editing apps already available for the iPad. Many of these apps can send images to social networking sites already. A developer needs to step up and create an app with just a few more features for press photographers. They will sell a ton.
  2. Design and build a case that can withstand the rigors of breaking news assignments and be easily carried. Think Tank Photo, I’m looking at you guys for this one. I believe that your designers have the ability to nail the design. Make it easy to access, slim, light and integrate it with your current modular system. Ideas? I already have a few. Call me. We’ll do lunch.
  3. Fix AT&Ts 3G network. (This probably goes without saying.) I don’t have an iPad…yet. Depending on AT&Ts network to move images quickly is not ideal at the moment. If there are a lot of people trying to do it, it won’t work at all. I have an iPhone 3Gs and I will admit the service has been better lately but it is far from perfect. Fix the network and widely distribute it. The money you (AT$T) spend will translate into profit when everyone uses your network.

Just a thought.

UPDATE: I just found this on FaceBook. Similar to what I had in mind but not quite as bulky.

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3 Responses

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  1. Most smart phones (Apple products excluded) have have micro-SD slots and the ability to upload photos to wherever. Use a micro-SD card in an SD adapter on a basic camera (or add in an SD to CF adapter for a high-end camera,) and you can do this on a much smaller device, today.

    Jon Baker

    May 14, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    • The problem with transmitting from a smart phone today isn’t getting the images from the camera to the phone. The problem is the lack of a single, simple, efficient editing solution for applying IPTC data to the image and transmitting it in a low compression format once its on the phone. Besides that, editing on a 2.5 inch smart phone screen isn’t much fun either. Thanks for checking out the blog.

      matthewjonas

      May 14, 2010 at 10:49 pm

  2. [...] the iPad first came out, I wrote a post about using it as a tool to transmit photos during breaking news . I am very excited to say (after [...]


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