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Using new iPad instead of MacBook on the road


New Member
Hi all,

I like to upload images from my Sony a7R III to a MacBook Pro when traveling. There, I tag them, and from there, I back them up on an SSD. Rarely, I do some preliminary editing to find out what's in an image. I wonder whether for this limited usage I could spare myself schlepping a MacBook around and confine myself to a current iPad Air with USB-C? Which is to say, is it possible to upload raw images at full resolution from the camera to the iPad via a USB-C cable, look at them and tag them in Adobe Lightroom, and back them up incl. the tags, again at full resolution, directly via USB-C on an SSD without its own power supply? Does anybody have experience with this?

Thanks and cheers
When travelling my workflow is more like this, when I have somewhere to sit down for a while...

I carry an iPhone, and depending on where and how long either rely on the mobile carrier (my country), Global Roaming (short trips) or, when international, I'll pick up a prepaid SIM card at the airport on arrival, usually with a big data cap. Then:

- connect iPhone to camera wirelessly and extract images/video (in your case use a Sony app, Imaging Edge Mobile).
- they're stored in the Photos app,
- iPhone then syncs into iCloud, with whatever bandwidth it has via hotel wifi or carrier.
- do a quick edit using the Photos app, and send pics if you wish.

Back at home there is a primary iMac which acts as our media server with SSD. iCloud transfers the originals to the Photos app in that, automagically, and the iMac has 3 SSD external backup drives - one TimeMachine plus two for CCC weekly backups, rotated, with one stored off-site in case of drive failure, theft, flood or fire.

Think of an iPad as a just big iPhone.
No cables, automatic and seamless, it has worked this way since around 2010.
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Thanks for your extensive answer - however, I should have made more clear that my primary objective is keywording my images abroad. This still doesn't work well with an iPad as I found out in the meantime, as the keyword model used by Lightroom Mobile is so different as to be incompatible with that of Lightroom Classic. Not being able to sync keywords from the iPad to LrC on my Mac breaks my whole idea, and I will stay with the MacBook when traveling.
Agree… iPads are not really a substitute for a decent laptop and yes, I do take a MacBook Air with me for a whole host of reasons….
Exactly, I just bought a new MacBook Air - which basically is an iPad Pro 12.9", processor-wise. The stupid thing is: I will still have to bring the iPad because I use it for other things like reading when I'm traveling. But the MB Air is compact, quite light, and the current model (I took one with 24 GB and 2 TB SSD) is actually quite capable at home on my large display, too. Adobe doesn't seem to plan to match both the keyword model on Lr and LrC, so this will probably stay that way.