Editing Raw on a huge 12.2" Samsung tablet

A few weeks ago I wrote about Photo Mate R2 as a very affordable Raw .DNG editor. I noticed that although I could work with this application on the first edition of the Samsung's Galaxy Note 10.1, I couldn't save the shots, due to the limited memory on this a bit older device.

I did write it would be possible to work with Phote Mate R2 on the Galaxy Note 3 (with 512MB available "heap" memory), but of course, it's not very practicle to work on your shots on a relative small screen - let alone working with it on the even smaller S4, but it's possible.

It would also be possible to work with it on the Nexus 7 or the new edition of the Galaxy Note 10.1 -  but since a few days I'm very happy to be able to test Photo Mate R2 on the giant Samsung Galaxy NotePRO (P900), with its no less than 12.2 inch touchscreen and a whopping resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels.

This new device has recently been released as part of a "PRO" line of Samsung's tablets, together with the 12,2 inch TabPRO and two smaller versions (10,1 and 8,4 inch). The largest versions have identical specs, except for the S Pen (and dedicated software) included in the NotePRO. So both have the same screen resolution, 3GB RAM, double quadcore processors (1.9Ghz and 1.3GHz) and a 9.500mAh battery.

Now the screen size, the pretty insane resolution and the S Pen of the NotePRO of course make it extremely tempting to see how editing the Raw .DNG results you get from the Nokia Lumia 1020 works with Photo Mate R2.

Again, I'll share a few screenshots, but first - to give you an impression how big it is - a shot of it next to the Nokia Lumia 1520, which as you know is pretty big in itself.

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And here it is with the Logitech Bluetooth keyboard (which I bought to see if it could interesting to use a tablet as laptop as well).

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My workflow has been to download the shot from SkyDrive (there's a SkyDrive app for Android of course). You can only download one file (instead of choosing several). The file will be saved on a SkyDrive map on the device storage.

After touching the downloaded file, it will immediately open in Photo Mate R2, since that's the only editor able to open .DNG files - on my system that is, but I haven't found or heard of any other application as good.

Here's a screenshot taken from the NotePro, from one of the shots I've been working on

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Opening the files is fast, considering their size. To get to the edit menu, you push the develop button. The effect of whatever you change will be shown in your screen instantly. Below you'll see a great view on the different available presets.

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By double tapping the opened shot, you can zoom in really fast - and you'll get even closer with the well-know "pinch to zoom".

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And here's a screenshot of the shot after adding some changes (not saying it's perfect like this by the way, but the black is a lot better now :-)

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And this is what you see when you're saving the result.

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Choosing the normal .JPG format to save this file, the result will be around 30MB. When I choose High Quality JPG it will even be almost 60MB - which is even bigger than the original Raw .DNG file!

Saving the edited file takes more time than opening it, though not more than about half a minute. There are many applications you can use to work on .JPG shots, so after saving the shots the way you like them, you can open the result in any other application you like. I just wonder if they all will be able to cope with >60MB files, I didn't test that.

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Is the S Pen essential to work with Photo Mate R2? Personally, I don't think so - this application will allow you to work with your fingertips quite well in fact, also thanks to the amazing 12.2 inch size of the Galaxy NotePRO's touchscreen.

No doubt however, the S Pen enables you to work with the slide bars of the settings in more detail. And it will make you even draw something on your own shots in detail as well, if you feel so inclined.

Still, like with Lightroom and Photoshop, working with this application isn't just "easy". I have to admit my Nokia devices often prove to get a (much) better result from their own compressed 5MP versions, than I appear to be able to create from its Raw .DNG output. But that's just me and my lack of experience - it's not the app, and certainly not the Galaxy NotePRO.

Next, I hope to find an application to edit Raw .DNG files on the Surface RT. I'm using a review sample of that as well, but so far I had no luck with the "Fotor" application and I'm not sure why.

My guess is the Surface RT doesn't have enough memory to work with files this big - it doesn't allow the (almost 24MB) .DNG files coming from the Lumia 1520 either. I hope it will work on the Surface Pro (or Pro 2) but I'm not able to check it, so I'd welcome your input on that one as well, thank you very much in advance :-)

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