What is the best electronic device for this task?
October 15, 2012 4:57 PM Subscribe
Help me find a device (or two devices) that will take pictures, and then easily convert these pictures to PDFs. Alternatively, persuade me to buy an iPad!
posted by UniversityNomad to Technology (5 answers total)
I go on archival trips for my research. I take lots of pictures of documents (hundreds of pictures a day, and thus thousands on each trip), and then need to convert them into grouped PDFs. With a digital camera, this is fairly labor-intensive and complicated, because I end up with thousands of pictures on my digital camera, and then need to download them all to my laptop, sort them into groups (i.e. find out where one document or folder that I've photographed ended and another began, which is harder after the fact because I forget), and then convert each of these groups into PDFs. When I was on a recent trip, another researcher showed me his new iPad, which appeared to take fairly clear pictures, and then you could create a PDF then and there, and drag the relevant pictures into it as you took them, which would hugely minimize confusion and also time spent later.
My question is: what device(s) is/are the best for this? Is an iPad indeed the device that I'm looking for? Will this simplify things massively from my current digital camera/laptop set-up? Is the picture-to-PDF process really as easy as it seemed on his iPad? What model and size of iPad should I get for this task? How many PDFs can I store on the iPad before it's full? Can I take them each night off the iPad and onto a USB stick to store them, so I can make more PDFs on the iPad? Is there some other device (maybe a cheaper one!) that will do what I want as well or even better? Are there any other cool features that I might like on the iPad, especially for a PhD student/academic? Also, if I buy an iPad, that will probably replace my laptop, and I won't be able to afford another laptop in addition. What disadvantages does iPad plus keyboard have over a laptop? I have never had an iPad, and don't know much about it, or any other alternatives (non-Apple or otherwise), so any advice would be great!