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SportsShooter.com: Member Message Board

Surface Pro
Matthew Putney, Photo Editor, Photographer
Waterloo | IA | USA | Posted: 8:39 PM on 08.02.13
->> I have been looking at the Surface Pro (http://www.microsoft.com/surface/en-us/surface-with-windows-8-pro) for daily photo editing and email while out on assignments for a newspaper(to fit in my camera bag). The reviews online are not specific to the software I will be using. Has anyone actually used the ultrabook/tablet with photo mechanic and Photoshop? I like the idea of photo mechanic live ingesting on spot news or tight deadlines.


I am looking at the 256 GB and 4 GB of ram model.

Thanks.
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 10:29 PM on 08.02.13
->> I was very, very close to buying the Surface Pro until I found that an Adobe Reader update for Android would allow hand written signatures to be added to PDFs. Signature capability is part of Win8 thus my great interest in being able to have contracts, order forms, model releases, etc. signed on the fly.

However, I'm still considering the Surface Pro for other reasons too. The main one is that because it runs on Win8 the tablet can be color calibrated using X-Rite and Spyder products. This is a big plus over iPad and Android tablets which cannot be calibrated -- yet.

Plus the Surface Pro can run other regular software like Word, Excel, Photo Mechanic, etc. Without its calibration ability programs like Lightroom and Photoshop are essentially color blind.

A Win8 tablet is still on my shopping list, but I'm also considering the Lenova Yoga. It has more bang for the buck and has a keyboard attached that can be turned around. A keyboard for the Surface Pro costs extra. Also, Microsoft just reduced the price of their regular Surface tablets due to low sales. The Pro is sure to drop in price especially at Black Friday after Thanksgiving and as Christmas approaches.
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Daniel Malmberg, Photographer, Photo Editor
Huskvarna | Sweden | Sweden | Posted: 8:22 AM on 08.04.13
->> Even thou i havenĀ“t tried it myself, there are actually one way to calibrate iPad:
http://www.dpreview.com/news/2011/5/26/datacoloriPad
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Matthew Putney, Photo Editor, Photographer
Waterloo | IA | USA | Posted: 11:16 PM on 08.06.13
->> I can't believe that no one has used this computer for photo editing. Am I the only one that would find this helpful in the field. Please let me know if you have used the Surface Pro.
Thanks
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 1:56 AM on 08.07.13
->> The tablet/technology is too new and a bit over priced, but not as bad as Facebook's IPO. The only ones I know who regularly buy without review are Apple users who must have the newest iPad and iPhone versions asap -- thus all the hoopla at Mac stores.

The Surface Pro has been out only since early this year and has already been discounted by a $100. To gain market share prices will probably drop again during Black Friday and as we get closer to Christmas; plus there is sure to be newer versions with more power and capacity.

A couple months I took my X-Rite monitor profiler to a Microsoft Store and calibrated a Surface Pro and Lenovo Yoga. It worked and test images I brought with me looked great. I have viewed the same pix on a friend's iPad and the Pro/Yoga tablets looked better once calibrated. For me this is a huge selling point for using the tablet as a portfolio presentation tool and using Photoshop.

I'll be buying one, but not the current configurations and not at the current prices.
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Chuck Liddy, Photographer, Photo Editor
PLANET | EARTH | | Posted: 9:57 PM on 08.08.13
->> Doug, I would have to disagree with your opinion about Apple users rushing out to buy the newest products. We totally waited to purchase ipads until there were viable apps on the market to use for imaging/captioning and xmitting. the great thing about this was when the photo apps started getting good reviews they (apple) came out with the ipad mini which to me is the perfect size to be able to carry around. I've used it many times in the past eight months to send photos on the fly. It seems the folks who rush to the apple stores to buy the newest gadgets aren't usually professionals....
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 12:15 AM on 08.09.13
->> Chuck... re-read my post. I didn't specify pro photographers but Apple users in general which includes those who camp outside the store for three days before a release. You don't see that happening with Dell, Gateway and other computers. However, I do know some "pro" photographers who get in that line too.
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Thomas E. Witte, Photographer, Photo Editor
Cincinnati | OH | USA | Posted: 5:22 AM on 08.09.13
->> Doug, interesting spin.

You say "to gain market share" others say "to try to dump inventory".

The price cut is "allegedly" only through the month of August at this point. I say allegedly because that's a marketing ploy. The price will most likely stay reduced but if sales don't significantly pick up, the price will remain the same with very little fanfare from the Microsoft camp. If sales DO shoot up they'll make a statement like "Due to the overwhelming popularity of our price cut, we have decided to keep the price at xxx".

http://www.fastcompany.com/3015244/where-are-they-now/tablet-wars-microsoft...

http://www.informationweek.com/hardware/handheld/microsoft-surface-pro-pric...

http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9241354/Microsoft_marks_down_Surface...

Between the two options of waiting in line to buy on the day of release or just plain not buying them, a company (and it's consumer) would be insane not to prefer the former. Establish market dominance before your competitor can even rinse out their mouth and realize there isn't any money on the nightstand, satisfy your shareholders with your sales figures, increase stock value, use working capital on the next big thing.

Am I bashing Microsoft? Sounds like it doesn't it? No I'm just continually perplexed as to why they don't just stick with what they are successful at rather than trying - and failing - to replicate Apple's product line (iPod, iPhone, iPad - Zune, Windows Phone, Surface). They make money hand over fist with their software while they shrug off a NINE HUNDRED MILLION DOLLAR write down on the Surface. While they are off focusing on that, Apple is going around behind them and slowly increasing their software (and by virtue hardware) marketshare.

Now to be fair the Surface Pro does seem to get things right, but is the damage done? Coincidentally the last graph in this story poses the same question:
http://www.techradar.com/us/news/portable-devices/mobile-computing/why-surf...

So when considering your purchase, do you have faith that MS won't pull the plug and support on it in a few years a la Zune, or do you suck it up and go with an unfamiliar brand that has market dominance and proven products?

This is where brand loyalty rears it's ugly head.
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Thomas E. Witte, Photographer, Photo Editor
Cincinnati | OH | USA | Posted: 5:32 AM on 08.09.13
->> Also, Dell and Gateway don't really make anything that anyone wants that badly. That's kind of a veiled jab at their product offerings but in reality it's a good business model for them.

They purchase surplus components for pennies on the dollar, build a reliable product and sell it at a healthy markup which is still extremely affordable to the consumer. They stick to a very basic plan and utilize Mircrosoft's software... It's win-win for all three companies, but you're right, nobody is camping out waiting to buy anything.

... Or even showing up during regular hours:

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/12/24/apple-microsoft-sony-store-traffic/
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 8:35 AM on 08.09.13
->> Playing catch-up is always risky. What needs to be done is come out with a version that tops the competition and creates a whole new playing field.

Android is doing well against Apple because of its more open architecture and app support. Microsoft's Surface RT is a distant third and pales in the number of apps available to the first two. The Surface Pro however is a game changer in that you get a full-fledged Win8 operating system that runs your desktop software -- Word, Excel, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc., AND it allows the tablet's monitor to be truly calibrated which the competition doesn't except through an app that according to reviews is very slow when displaying pictures.

The next game changer in terms of the tablet itself for photographers and videographers will be the manufacturer -- Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, Lenovo, etc. -- who makes the HDMI port go both ways. Right now it is "out" only. By having it accept "in" signals so that dSLR, video, laptop, etc. output can be displayed on the tablet as a secondary monitor would be terrific. One could monitor camera shots semi-remotely (limited by cable length), as a presentation tool during client meetings, share a movie like ear-bud splitters, etc. For that I would stand in line.
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Butch Miller, Photographer
Lock Haven | PA | USA | Posted: 10:23 AM on 08.09.13
->> No, Doug ... the next game changer will be when you can that wirelessly ... ;-)
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Philip Johnson, Photographer
Garland | TX | USA | Posted: 12:16 PM on 08.09.13
->> Doug,

I can use my iPad as a second monitor now with a wifi signal. If your phone supports a wifi hub both your computer and iPad should be connected to the same network. I'm using an app called air display. It works fine for me while I'm at home on my wifi network.
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 12:54 PM on 08.09.13
->> Philip...

I'm familiar with WiFi capability. I'm talking HDMI which can act as a live monitor for dSLR monitoring.
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Thomas E. Witte, Photographer, Photo Editor
Cincinnati | OH | USA | Posted: 1:46 PM on 08.09.13
->> That's way to specific of a usage. Think of the cost of engineering, R&D and assembly... It would have to be part of a larger design update which at this point is way on down the line. Even then, such a micro minuscule portion of their customers would use it often enough to justify the expenses.

Instead, make an HDMI to 802.11n device at a fraction of the cost and jack the price to sell to the people that want it.
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Chuck Steenburgh, Photographer
Lexington | VA | USA | Posted: 3:36 AM on 08.10.13
->> I considered the Surface, but I'm just not coordinated enough to use one.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U7UlE-o8DQQ
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Josh Weisberg, Photographer
Redmond | WA | | Posted: 2:58 AM on 10.25.13
->> I've just setup a Surface Pro 2 with Photo Mechanic and Photoshop, and will be testing it this weekend at the Sounders match. I've got a USB3 card reader connected to it, and configured it so that the Surface doesn't go to sleep (but the screen shuts off). in my tests, I can swap cards in and out of the reader while the Surface is in tucked away, and PM downloads the images. When the light on the reader goes off, I know that it's finished and i can pull the card out.

So far the only challenge is that Photoshop doesn't work well in touch mode.

I'm happy to post more comments after actual field use.
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Michael Chang, Photographer
Mobile | AL | USA | Posted: 8:04 AM on 10.25.13
->> Yes, please update as I'm very interested in this
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 1:57 PM on 10.25.13
->> Josh...

Regarding Photoshop, what is not working well? I've been curious if the touchscreen could be used like a Wacom tablet in terms of selecting, dodging/burning, etc.
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Don Speck, Photographer
Celina | OH | USA | Posted: 5:38 PM on 10.25.13
->> Matthew
I have been using a surface pro 1st gen 128gig and 4gig ram for the entire football season
and I love it !!!!

I am using photo mechanic and Photoshop 6

the only drawbacks I have ran into are

1) there is no port to use a laptop lock.

2) all the fonts are smaller and if you are in hurry you have be more accurate with your mouse pointer.

3) only one USB 3 port so I am using a Bluetooth mouse so that my USB port is open for card reader.

other than those three things I really like size and weight. Or should I say lack of. I would buy one again in a heartbeat.
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Josh Weisberg, Photographer
Redmond | WA | | Posted: 5:49 PM on 10.25.13
->> Sandy - you can use the stylus just as you would a Wacom tablet.

The issue with Photoshop is that the menus are all too small for touch/finger use.

I did install Photoshop Express, which works well for very basic editing.
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Josh Weisberg, Photographer
Redmond | WA | | Posted: 8:55 PM on 10.29.13
->> We used the Surface at the Sounders game on Sunday night.

I setup PhotoMechanic to auto-ingest, and set the Surface to not go to sleep (bu to shut the screen off).

In general it worked well, and we were able to transmit images from the sidelines, including one of Clint Dempsey's first goal as a Sounder.

The main challenge is the lack of a touch interface for PM and Photoshop. We did use Photoshop Express (which is free) for crop and tone adjustments, which worked OK.

I think it would be an ideal tool with improvements to the interface.

As a side note, soccer is less than ideal for sideline editing, given that there are no breaks in the action -- compared to football where you have TV breaks, time outs, etc.

We'll use it at Sunday's Seahawks game - now that it's setup and working, it should be a better test.
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Doug Pizac, Photographer
Sandy | UT | USA | Posted: 9:14 PM on 10.29.13
->> Sandy...

In your reply to me you said you can use a stylus the same as one would with a Wacom.

But in your post today you say there is a lack of touch interface for Photoshop -- which can be done with a Wacom stylus.

What's the difference between your two posts?


...Doug
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Josh Weisberg, Photographer
Redmond | WA | | Posted: 11:02 AM on 10.30.13
->> Yes you can use the stylus, but when you're on the sideline, with all your gear, it's not convenient to have to pull out the stylus. Using your finger would be a lot simpler.
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Thread Title: Surface Pro
Thread Started By: Matthew Putney
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