In my recent Macworld article, Show Off Your Photos on an iPad, I explained how the iPad is an excellent portable portfolio for photographers wanting to show off their images. But what exactly does the iPad do to those pictures when you upload them from a Mac? Does it squish your shots the way an iPhone does?
I have good news and bad.
The bad news is that the iPad does "optimize" your high resolution pictures during transfer to the device. This "optimization" has had a negative connotation in the past because most iPhone users felt it's too heavy-handed. The good news for iPad users is that the optimized resolution is a fairly generous 2304 x 1536, with a file size of 1 MB or more, depending on the detail in the photo. (And the reduction is only applied if the image is larger than 2304 x 1536 to begin with.) Given that the resolution on the iPad itself is 1024 x 768, you can zoom in on any shot to examine detail more closely. (Zoom by double-tapping on the image with one finger, or by pinching outward.)
If you use Aperture to sync images with the iPad, then you can control how big of an image gets transferred via the Preview setting in Aperture's preferences. Any preview size up to 2304 x 1536 should be honored by the iPad. Images larger than that will be optimized.
The bottom line is that even though the iPad will optimize large images, it is less aggressive than what we're used to with the iPhone.
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