A couple weeks ago, Apple introduced iPhoto for the iPad and iPhone. It's a great application that makes it real fun to work with photos on the new iPad. One of the limitations mentioned is that it can handle up to 19 megapixel photos. This spec covers most consumers and even prosumer cameras. But I wondered how it would handle the 22MP photos from the new Canon 5D Mark iii. Now that I finally have all three components in the same place, I thought I'd share my findings.
I went outside to the street and took a very boring photo set at the full 22 megapixels:
I then used the iPad camera connection kit to import this photo to the new iPad.
Now that the photo was imported into the Photos app, here are the scenarios you may be interested in:
First, if you connect your iPad to your Mac and import into iPhoto, the photo will come over in full 22 mexapixel resolution. Of course, this is a great way to backup all your photos while on a trip or photo shoot. If you absolutely had to, you could sync to your iPad and erase your memory card for more photos. When you get home, you'll be able to bring everything over from your iPad.
Second, I tried the option to share the photo from the "Photos" app. When you do that, the photo is sent in it's full 22MP resolution. I tried it on both wifi and LTE and it was sent the same either way.
The third option is to open up the recently imported photo in iPhoto for iOS. iPhoto has direct access to the photos in the camera and imports so that part is easy enough. However, since iPhoto won't open photos higher than 19 megapixels, it actually make a duplicate photo at 5.5 megapixels:
The photo still looks fine of course, but it does cut the resolution quite a bit.
At this point, you can work with your photo and do the edits you'd like to do. When you are done, it's time to share. Here is where it gets interesting.
If you use the built in "Share" menu, you have a few options. If you decide to email it, the photo is scaled all the way down to 2880x1920 (from the original 5760x3850). The size drops down to 319KB from 3.5MB. No doubt this is to make for a smaller attachment. The photo still looks decent, but you are losing quite a bit of the photo data.
One final option to consider, if you want to edit in iPhoto but still send the 5.5MP image, you can save it to the camera roll and email it from there. (As opposed to emailing directly from iPhoto.)
Overall, Apple probably made the right call with all of these options. In any scenario, the image looks good and is prepared well for the intended use. I'm just glad to finally know how it works...I hope you are too.