The Top Five iPad Apps for Photographers

November 3, 2010

By Dan Havlik, PDN's Technology Specialist

About a year ago we did a story on our ten favorite iPhone apps for photographers. This year we revisit that theme with a breakdown of our five faves for Apple’s adorable iPad.

As with last year’s iPhone story, we’ve focused on iPad apps that will appeal to working photographers not just cute little doohickey photo apps to tweak images shot with your phone. (And considering that the iPad doesn’t have a camera yet, there were, mercifully, fewer of these to go around.)

A special shout-out to Joanne Carter of MacCreate for her help in compiling this list. See her highly informed app coverage at:

(If you have any other quality photo apps aimed at photographers you’d like to suggest, please email for a follow-up story.)

1) Portfolio for iPad
Above all other uses for photographers, the iPad with its beautiful 9.7-inch LED-backlit LCD screen with 1024 x 768 resolution makes a swell digital portfolio. Consequently, there are tons of imaging portfolio apps out there for the iPad and choosing the one that works for you is somewhat a matter of taste. For our money, the simple yet elegant Portfolio for iPad ($14.99) app is one of the best around. A fully customizable digital blank slate you can design to suit your photo company’s brand, Porfolio for iPad focuses on your images and how best to show them off. It also makes getting your photos onto the app a snap thanks to its integration with Dropbox. Portfolio. The name says it all.

More info and ordering here.


2) MediaPad Pro
The best portfolio app we’ve found for showcasing multimedia content on the iPad is MediaPad Pro ($14.99) which also takes the clean and easy approach. (Notice a pattern here?) So if you’ve got one of those fancy new HD-DSLRs and you like to shoot and show off your video on your fancy new iPad, this could be the app for you. The interface is so simple it borders on Spartan but don’t let that fool you, this is powerful software that will deftly handle all your photos, videos, and audio clips so you can share them with clients or just display them to fellow photographers. They’ll be green with envy.

More info and ordering here.


3) Movie*Slate (Clapperboard & Shot Log)
Speaking of shooting video, we absolutely love this app which turns your iPad into a digital movie clapboard. Movie*Slate ($19.99) isn’t just a novelty to use on your next family film though, it’s been developed by video pros to use as as a digital slate, shot log, and virtual notebook to tally info about scenes as you shoot. You can also set timecode with Movie*Slate so all your footage is in sync. And the app is customizable, letting you pick from a crop of clapper stick color options, slate backgrounds, fonts, and timecode color to fit you style. It’s also pretty freakin’ cool looking!

More info and ordering here.



4) TouchUp for iPad
Here’s one that’s both useful and fun. TouchUp for iPad ($2.99) is a bit like finger-painting on your photos on the iPad but the end result is far more sophisticated than the artwork your kid hangs on the fridge. With TouchUp, editing effects are brushed on or off with a slide of your finger on the image on your iPad. Some basic edit options include B&W, contrast, brightness, temperature, tint, and hue shift. Add-on packs of effects include more advanced tweaking such as Dodge & Burn. Nearly unlimited layers of effects can be added to your photos so this isn’t an app that gets old quick. Buy it because it’s fun (and cheap) and use it because it may open other layers of creativity for you. (So to speak.)

More info and ordering here.


5) Perfectly Clear iPad
We tapped Athentech’s Perfectly Clear in our iPhone app roundup last year and now they’ve come out with a sweet new version with features exclusively for the iPad. Perfectly Clear is the perfect app for making quick yet tasteful automated edits on your photos on the fly. Say, for instance, your studio has emailed you a shot of a model you need to show a client but it’s just not kicking it. Run it through Perfectly Clear on your iPad and the app’s Perfectly Smooth feature will automatically fix his or her skin so it looks flawless (but not fake). The app also has skin tone correction that takes out excessive reds, noise removal, and a histogram to help you analyze your shots. Basically it’s one-stop photoshopping for the iPad. (Sorry Adobe.)

More info and ordering here.