Apple's Giant iPad Just Got Cheaper & Smaller with the 4K-Shooting 9.7" iPad Pro

Apple 9.7 Inch iPad Pro - Image 2
If the huge 12.9" iPad Pro was a little much for you, Apple has introduced a smaller, lighter, and less expensive 9.7" 2048 x 1536 version with even better front (5MP) and back (12MP) cameras.

The original iPad Pro suffered from being in a strange spot in terms of Apple's development cycle, and didn't get the much-improved cameras that we would have associated with a professional device. Not only does the 9.7" iPad Pro feature the same camera as the iPhone 6S, but it also features 4K recording at 30fps and Slow Motion at 1080p 120fps and 720p 240fps. Of course, to get 24p you'll still need a separate app, something like FiLMIC Pro. Check out the intro video from Apple for more:

Video is no longer available: www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_pMx7IjYKE

The new iPad Pro has a wider color gamut screen, up to DCI-P3, but has the same resolution as the iPad Air 2. The major difference between the iPad Air 2 and the 9.7" iPad Pro, besides price and performance, is the fact that it's designed to work with a stylus, called Apple Pen. Not only that, but if you were to rest your hand or arm on the screen, it won't register those touches if you're using the stylus. The iPad Pro also has better 4-speaker sound, and attaches directly to keyboard accessories.

The new 9.7" iPad Pro is the first from Apple with a True Tone display, which means that depending on your ambient light, the color temperature and brightness of the screen will change. For some professionals, this may actually be something that gets in the way, especially if you're used to compensating on your own, or if the display adjusts too drastically for what you're used to. It will be interesting to see how this works in practice, especially as color has been one of the selling points of Apple devices (it's also unclear if you can turn the feature off). With DCI-P3, you're getting much better color range to play back work, which could be especially helpful for post. It's worth noting that DCI-P3 is the color space that digital cinema projectors use.

To see some of the other major features, check out this great hands-on with The Verge:

Specs

  • 9.7-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Multi-Touch display with 2048 x 1536 resolution (264 ppi)
  • Wide color display with True Tone, Fingerprint-resistant oleophobic coating, Antireflective coating
  • A9X chip with 64‑bit architecture, M9 coprocessor
  • Wider DCI-P3 Color Space vs. sRGB on Previous Models
  • 12-megapixel iSight camera with Image Stabilization, True Tone Flash and f/2.2 aperture
  • 4K video recording (3840 by 2160) at 30 fps
  • 1080p HD video recording at 30 fps or 60 fps
  • 720p HD video recording at 30 fps
  • Slo-mo video support for 1080p at 120 fps and 720p at 240 fps
  • Time-lapse video with stabilization, Cinematic video stabilization
  • 3x video zoom, Face detection, Video geotagging
  • Weight: Both models under 1 Pound
  • Availability: End of March
  • Price: WiFi Only: $600 for 32GB, $750 for 128GB, $900 for 256GB
  • WiFi + Cellular: $730 for 32GB, $880 for 128GB, $1,030 for 256GB
Apple 9.7 Inch iPad Pro

The 9.7" iPad Pro does a lot of things better than the nearly 13" iPad Pro. The screens are essentially the same PPI, so it's really more a matter of whether you want to be shooting video and taking pictures. I've always found it a bit unwieldy to take iPad photos and videos, but certainly you could take them with your phone first, and edit them on the iPad Pro. With the wider color gamut display, the new iPad Pro should look nicer when viewing photos or reference material on set. In terms of editing, with Apple's iMovie, it's nice having the larger screen, but once you get to a certain size it just makes more sense to bring the work to a computer. The 9.7" will likely fill a nice middle ground for when you want to edit quick videos on the road, but want something that's nice and portable. With the stylus, it should be easier to make notes on a script, or highlight something in a still image. 

Apple iPad Pro Size Comparison — 9.7" vs 12.9"

It's worth noting that there are other products on the market that have had similar features before Apple. Microsoft's Surface line is more of a hybrid touchscreen computer than the iPad will ever be, and has much greater storage capacities, but Apple has always prided itself on ease-of-use, and creating products that work together well. For those who use all Apple devices, the iPad Pro will fit right in. If you're not an Apple convert, there are many other products out there that might fulfill your needs better. 

The new 9.7" is shipping at the end of this month, and starts at $600 for 32GB of internal storage, and goes up to $900 for 256GB (which is a lot nicer when you're recording 4K video). If you want the cellular version, add $130 for the 32GB, 128GB, and 256GB models. 

For everything else announced at the Keynote, check out this video from Mashable:

Your Comment

6 Comments

A major ceveat of the new 9.7" IPP is the slow USB2 rated transfers on/off the device at about 25~35MB/sec - a major downgrade from the USB3 rated transfer speed of the larger 12.7" IPP (rated at around 600MB/sec).

March 21, 2016 at 7:18PM

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Daniel Reed
Hat Collector
1366

The hell with Arri's and REDs. I going to buy me a 4K iPad for my next feature!

March 22, 2016 at 2:30AM, Edited March 22, 2:30AM

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Jerry Roe
Indie filmmaker
1595

Why?

March 22, 2016 at 4:50AM

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JeffreyWalther
Steadicam Operator/Owner
2036

not sure if your being sarcastic...

March 22, 2016 at 6:04AM

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Carsten Weizer
Independent swiss army knife of a film maker
358

no joke intended; I could see it being using with good effect for some motion shots (not the primary camera) on well crafted micro/no budget indies (maybe like a Cam C) and great for youtube if you plan to do in camera editing in iMovie. It has a new more advanced stabilizer then whats in the larger IPP. The slow USB2 transfer speed is a big downer to using it for much more then that

March 22, 2016 at 11:51AM, Edited March 22, 11:55AM

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Daniel Reed
Hat Collector
1366

The 4K camera (if it's the same as the iPhone 6S) is certainly good enough to use on some shoots, though the dynamic range isn't the best, and you'll need ProCam or FilmicPro to get useful frame rates. Two big advantages, though: the high speed is really good, and the large screen will make for very easy review if you have an on-set client.

USB2 speeds aren't such a big deal as you can use Wifi via AirDrop to transfer the files to a nearby Mac.

March 22, 2016 at 3:22PM, Edited March 22, 3:23PM

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