I usually do not get into product endorsements or reviews on my blog, but I think this new tablet that was just announced at the 2014 CEA (Consumer Electronics Association) fair in Las Vegas last week (which ran from Jan 6-9) is very exciting. Once this tablet is released, it is going to be a great tool to add to the DSLR tethered shooting workflow. The tablet is the Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro 8.4, which will be powered by Android 4.4 KitKat.
What is so exciting about this new tablet is that it is now the highest resolution screen available for a tablet in its size class and yet it can still comfortably be held in just one hand. It has a large 8.4″ screen but it is only 1/2″ wider than most 7″ tablets. This is because Samsung put a very narrow bezel at the edges on this new tablet in order to keep it from becoming too wide for single handed use.
It packs an amazing retina quality screen of 2560×1600 pixel resolution which equates to 354 pixels per inch. The new 8″ Apple iPad Mini 2 with retina display is only 2048×1536 and 324 pixels per inch.
With this much resolution, the new Tab Pro 8.4 will make it much easier to zoom in and see the fine detail of photos on the tablet screen when previewing images being shot tethered with DSLR cameras. It will especially make a large difference for tethered shooting with high megapixel count DSLR cameras of 20MP and above.
The tablet also has a high quality 8MP digital camera, which compares to the camera picture quality of the Apple iPhone 5S smartphone camera. So it will be great for quick behind the scenes snaps on a photo shoot as well.
The Tab Pro 8.4 can also be used as a mobile phone and should be able to run the DLSR Controller app for tethered shooting with Canon cameras.
I also like the fact that it can be purchased with 32GB of on-board memory, plus it has a memory expansion slot where you can add up to another 64GB of SDXC flash memory. So all together you are looking at nearly a 100GB of possible storage capacity on this device, which is great for RAW file capture from your DSLR camera in order to give you an instant backup of all your RAW images right on your tablet. You can buy a high quality SanDisk 64GB SDXC card here for only $36 with free shipping. Also worth mentioning is that it comes with 2GB of RAM and a 2.3Ghz quad-core processor making it the most powerful 8″ Android tablet available to date.
Unfortunately, price and availability date has not been announced yet by Samsung, but it is expected to be released within this first quarter of 2014.
If you would like to read more about tethered shooting with an Android tablet you can read my other post on tethered shooting here.
*UPDATE #1 / 9-Feb-14* – I just ordered one of these new tablets and it can also be purchased online from Samsung USA directly for $399, from Amazon, and various other online retailers in the USA. I purchased the 16GB model from Best Buy (32GB model is not being offered yet) and I will be adding a 64GB micro SDXC card to it for a total of 80GB of memory. I will post another article in the near future about its tethered shooting performance once I start using it, which I expect to be excellent with such a high resolution screen and powerful processor on board.
*UPDATE #2 / 10-Feb-14* – You can now see a test photo taken with the 8MP camera in this new Samsung tablet. The image quality is surprisingly good for a tablet camera and it appears much better than the camera in the new iPad Mini 2. Click here to see the test photo.
Of course most people don’t buy a tablet for the tablet’s camera, but if it takes decent enough pictures then it can be useful if you need to just snap something on the go. Most tablet cameras take poor quality photos and usually are worse even than smartphone cameras. I guess other future tablets may now need to contain better cameras as people will start expecting more from their tablet cameras in the future.
*UPDATE #4 / 7-August-14* – I just posted a new article about How To Tether Your Canon DSLR Camera Wirelessly To Your Android Tablet using a portable wireless Wi-Fi router. You can go here to read the post.
*UPDATE #5 / 21-October-14* – Unfortunately it seems the Samsung Tab Pro 8.4 model I mentioned is already being phased out by Samsung after only being available for a short time. The replacement model is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S 8.4″ Tablet, which is nearly the same model, but has an improved AMOLED screen. Amazon is offering the Tab S 8.4″ here for $370 with free shipping which is a great value and is even less than the price of the older 8.4″ Tab Pro model, which was selling for around $400.
*UPDATE #6 / 16-July-15* – I just posted a new article about How To Shoot Tethered Video With Your Canon DSLR And Android Tablet. You can go here to read the article.