If indeed Apple announces the iPad mini on Oct. 23, 2012, the device will have a big impact for nimble photographers. The current iPad is the largest surface area object in our "travel light" camera bags. Measuring 9.5" x 7.31", the iPad determines the type and size of transport we must carry to be fully functional while on the go.
Reducing that surface size to something in the neighborhood of 7.85" on the long side means that we can carry a Compact System Camera, iPad mini, and accessories in virtually any camera bag. But in order for this to work, the new tablet will need certain attributes.
- iPad Camera Connection Kit - Currently this kit -- that allows you to import images from a camera or memory card -- is only available as a Dock Connector model. We're pretty sure that the alleged iPad mini will use a Lightning Connector. Hopefully Apple will release an updated CCK so we don't have to use an adapter that could break because of the amount of leverage created. Also, there's no sure bet that the adapter will work with the current Connection Kit.
- Retina Display - One of the discussed goals of the iPad mini has been price competition with Amazon, Samsung, and Google. Apple may want to release a non-Retina display version of the device to keep it price competitive. If they do, I'm hoping that a Retina display model will be available also. Once you've had Retina, it's very hard to go back.
- HD Camera - I think the camera built in to the iPad mini is very important. This device will be much less awkward to take pictures with, yet still provides an HD view of the world. I'm hoping that we see a camera with the specs close to the unit that's in the iPhone 4S, or better.
- GPS - A good camera that can geotag images is vital to nimble photographers. There's no better time to add location information than when the image is recorded.
- Smart Cover This device needs to take up as little space as possible, and the Smart Cover we currently have for iPads is a great accessory. Would love to have one for the mini at launch.
Will we get these features? We'll know soon enough. The announcement is in less than a week (we think...).