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Advice on suitable tablet device.

Posted on 2016-11-16
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Last Modified: 2016-11-22
Our client is an organisation who are responsible for an area within London, UK and ensuring the residential properties, all built in the 1920s retain the style, look and feel of the period. There are strict covenants to ensure that the owners adhere to this.

Every 4 - 5 years they do a photographic survey of every property in the area. They are about to embark on their next one and would like to give the photographer (who will be walking every street, taking all the photos) a tablet with a low-res copy of the 2012 photo survey so that they can swipe through and take a similar photograph onsite.

The 2012 survey is approx. 18,000 photos and if compressed would fit quite happily on a small, budget Kindle Fire or similar. (e.g. each JPEG compressed to about 1-1.5MB = 18-30GB or so). I am not really up to date with tablets and suchlike. Any suggestions for a solution that might work?
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Question by:gerlis
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Assisted Solution

by:Andy
Andy earned 200 total points
ID: 41891180
This really depends on your budget, there are so many choices it depends on your requirements.
High end options:
a ruggedised IPAD would be the best solution with 3G if required for cloud storage of the photographs.
Or a Surface / Surface pro.

Lower end, something like an acer aspire switch 11 or similar for less than £200 + 64/128GB microsd card to store the photos.
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Expert Comment

by:Chris Harte
ID: 41891346
Does it need to be a tablet? The quality of five inch Gorilla Glass phone screens even on budget phones (ca £100) is pretty high these days.  If all you are doing is using it for making a reference point I would have thought it would be adequate. As Andy said extra sd card or cloud for storage.
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Expert Comment

by:strung
ID: 41891386
I would vote for an iPad Mini which is very light to carry and has a superb screen.
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Expert Comment

by:Andy
ID: 41891428
Whatever you choose it, ruggedise it so it's not affexcted by water (rain etc.) or drops from human height (or more if working at heights).
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Author Comment

by:gerlis
ID: 41891614
Thanks, all for the helpful suggestions.

My client is pondering on them, but actually is now thinking that a Kindle Fire (circa £50)  would do the job.
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Expert Comment

by:Andy
ID: 41891657
As long as there is enough storage and/or, if required, you can upload to cloud with a 3g dongle then should be fine.
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Expert Comment

by:serialband
ID: 41891821
If you only need lower quality, you can batch convert them to smaller file sizes and it will fit better on cheaper tablets.  18000 photos shouldn't take that long to convert on a nice fast computer.  You should be able to do it within a day.

JPEG is already a compressed image.  Change the JPEG quality from 90% to 80% or 80% to 70% and it will be smaller.  Reduce the pixel length and height by half and you'll have 1/4 the size.  Making the file smaller on a slower tablet will speed up the display a lot.  Reduce the image size to fit the screen pixel size and you'll have it run just right, with no tablet processor resizing to fit the screen.
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Expert Comment

by:eeRoot
ID: 41892836
Almost any tablet with a rugged case should suffice.  You may also want to get a USB battery pack so the photographer can recharge the tablet while walking around.
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Author Comment

by:gerlis
ID: 41892896
"batch convert them to smaller file sizes"

Any advice on suitable utility?
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Accepted Solution

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serialband earned 300 total points
ID: 41892979
I haven't used it in a while, but I recall irfanview could do it on Windows.  http://www.irfanview.com/  You should be able to select a group of files and set the batch convert size and automatically run the conversion without loading any images.
http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/forums/t/50519/simple-batch-conversion-using-irfanview/

On Macs, you could copy all the files to a new folder, load a bunch of them up in Preview.app and convert them.  But this requires loading several batches of them manually and 18000 images might be a bit tedious.

Macs also have sips, already built in, on the command line for anyone that knows how to script. http://osxdaily.com/2013/01/11/converting-image-file-formats-with-the-command-line-sips/

Assuming they're all in a single current folder:
  for i in *.jpeg; do sips -Z pixelsWH $i --out Converted/$i.png;done


Assuming they're in multiple subfolders in a single sub folder layer, you could add another for loop.
  for j in *; do cd $j; for i in *.jpeg; do sips -Z pixelsWH $i --out Converted/$i.png; done; cd ..; done

Here's what the -Z means
     -Z pixelsWH
     --resampleHeightWidthMax pixelsWH
           Resample image so height and width aren't greater than specified size.

Open in new window


For linux/unix there's the convert command from Imagemagick. (You can install it on a Mac with Homebrew or Macports too).

https://www.imagemagick.org/script/command-line-processing.php


They should just run unattended.  Just make sure you have the disk space for the conversion and run it with just a few files to test the process before running it on the rest.
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Expert Comment

by:serialband
ID: 41892995
I've generally used the tools I've mentioned previously, but I've also just found XNview.  This might be easier if you're not familiar with the command line on Mac or Linux. http://www.xnview.com/en/xnconvert/
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Author Comment

by:gerlis
ID: 41893366
Thanks Serialband. I'll advise my client to do this.
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Author Closing Comment

by:gerlis
ID: 41897606
My question did move on a little bit, but Serialband was best at answering the needs of my client.
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