Presenting Ming Thein’s Photography Compendium for iPad


Six months in the making, I’m proud to present Ming Thein’s Photography Compendium: an iPad app like no other. It’s not for taking pictures or processing: it’s for learning and reading on the go, and all content is also retina-display native. It’s now available for $1.99 on the Apple App Store:


The Homepage aggregates the latest posts from the site, images from my photostream on Flickr, as well as the latest video tutorial content. Think of it like the Huffington Post, but for photography – it of course updates by itself every time there’s new content, too.


On the bottom tab bar, the Dictionary icon takes you to a searchable lexicon of photographic terms – if you’ve ever wondered what the difference between longitudinal and lateral chromatic aberration is, here’s the place to find out. If I’ve missed something, you can also request a definition. Drag and release to update the list and contents – same for the blog aggregator, Camerapedia and video list, too. The dictionary content is available exclusively through the app only.


The blog tab is an offline aggregator for recent posts – you can load up the most recent posts to read on the go when you don’t have an internet connection. It also includes a mini-browser that activates whenever external links are in play.


For everybody who’s been asking for digital delivery of the Photoshop Workflow DVD and Leica M-Monochrom workflow DVD, both are now available as a HD download through the app. There are also all-new and more detailed video segments; and there will of course be more videos over time with several currently in the works. (The physical DVDs continue to be available in the normal way at the previous links for those who don’t have iPads or prefer to have a physical disc.)


Finally, we’ve translated the CAMERAPEDIA! into a searchable database of equipment. Tempted to buy something during your next camera store visit? Check out my opinion first.

To celebrate the launch of the app, I’m giving away 20 promo codes for free apps to the first 20 people to retweet or post this page link on their Facebook walls – copy the post link into the comment box along with your email address and I’ll send you a promo code. UPDATE: 1400h, GMT+8 – all the promo codes are gone. Thank you very much for your support, everybody! Enjoy! MT

UPDATE: 1000, GMT+8 22 Nov 2012: After the first day, we’ve debuted at #7 on the US app store for photography; #2 in Malaysia; #3 in Singapore and Sweden; #4 in Switzerland; #5 in Hong Kong. All I can say is that I’m overwhelmed by the support and response – thank you again! MT


Visit our Teaching Store to up your photographic game – including Photoshop Workflow DVDs and customized Email School of Photography; or go mobile with the Photography Compendium for iPad. You can also get your gear from B&H and Amazon. Prices are the same as normal, however a small portion of your purchase value is referred back to me. Thanks!

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and join the reader Flickr group!


Images and content copyright Ming Thein | 2012 onwards. All rights reserved


  1. Hi Ming, is the app no longer available?

    • No, it hasn’t been for some time. Did not make any financial sense and cost a fortune to keep supporting the ever increasing number of hardware/software.

  2. Great app!! How about a way to save or bookmark favorites?

  3. Dang! Was finally about to order your workflow DVD and now having got your App & downloaded a video I can’t decide whether or not just to get it on MT’s Compendium!! Great job Ming, very polished and professional looking indeed, congratulations. Yours and Lloyd Chambers’ ( are probably the only photo blogs I read every day. Keep up the great work! 🙂

  4. You Rock!!

  5. Erling M Moe says:

    Wold there be a way for those of us who have already bought the DVDs, to download the videos to the iPad?

    • Hi Erling, I wish there was a way I could do this, but the app store in-purchase infrastructure doesn’t allow it. Sorry! Future video releases will be app-only. However, you can always copy the DVD and load it to the regular videos on your ipad via itunes 🙂

  6. Awesome Job Ming!!! Congratulations!!! Well desered!!!

  7. Congratulations Ming!

  8. Ming, looks good. I’ve bought it and am always happy to support you. The $1.99 is a steal compared to the wealth of useful information you post daily. (I’ve actually converted many of your posts into PDFs for me to keep in fear that you’ll someday take it all down 🙂

    My 2 cents: It would be nice to offer the option to buy all the videos at once for a discounted rate. I ask because they seem to have several topics that I would like to watch…I previously bought your first DVD and (while it was good and certainly worth the money), I found it lacking in several areas that I was hoping to improve upon. Namely, the pictures that you walked us through editing didn’t seem to have that “Ming Thein Look” to them. I wanted to see how you took an image from raw to Ming Thein…but I wanted to see it in photos more indicative of what we see on your blog. Particularly, how you seem to nail proper skin tones ultimately giving your photos a near 3D effect in post-processing.

    As always, thanks for all your work.

    • Thanks Wes – your support is much appreciated! Fear not about the articles going down, I put up the archive last month which should keep things accessible for the future (and much easier to find). And yes, there are plans for a complete e-book version in the future, but let me see to the rest of life and work first 🙂

      I’m planning a more intensive follow up DVD with files to download and try for yourself – I’m in the middle of going through the archive looking for difficult files to work with – the reality is that you can’t put in something that wasn’t there in the first place, and most of the time strong images need very little work to make them pop. Apple makes it tricky to do bulk pricing, so I’m afraid that’s out for the moment. I can sort out a custom DVD for you if you need, though – just shoot me an email.

  9. Awesome! I just bought it! Look forward to learning!

  10. Congrats Ming. I’ve downloaded the App and enjoying the ease of navigating to various articles. The Camerapedia is now so easy to access. Thanks again for your contributions to the photography world.

  11. Seems like you need to be congratulated but: No ipad 😦
    Can it be downloaded onto a Macbook?

  12. Great app ! Where do you find the time for such an amount of work !???

  13. Ooops, no Android version?

  14. (Takes out notebook, adds iPad to Xmas wish list…)

    Great idea — good luck with this Ming!

  15. Bought it out of respect. Good luck, Ming…

  16. vinh truong says:

    Awesome Ming. Hopefully you will have it for android soon. Remember that android is now like 75% of market share. Thank you.

  17. Lyon Fisher says:

    Yes on an Android version!

  18. Matt in Missouri says:

    Six months in the making . . . less than six seconds for the taking, and it’s on my iPad. Ming, this looks excellent!

  19. OMG! Fantastic Ming! I am getting my first iPad and now I know exactly which app is going to be the first one I purchase. Sweet! A portable photography compendium –love it!

  20. Definitely buy this app tomorrow first thing in the morning.
    Thanks Ming. Really proud of you!

  21. congrats ming…i have share on my page 🙂

  22. Steve King says:

    wow, awesome!

  23. Will get it for sure – a big fan here

  24. That’s great news Ming ! Congratulations on having your project completed. I wish I could use the app, only if I were using an iOS device. As much as I enjoy using my Android device, I just can’t seem to overlook the awesome exclusive apps that flourish the Apple app store. Looks like I will have to go grab a shiny new ipad now 😀

    P.S. Any plans for developing it for Android as well ?

  25. Steve Jones says:

    Wonderful app Ming! great for reading on the train when I’m on the way to Shinjuku for a day of shooting. Expected Digital camera content but very happy to see my venerable Leica M6TTL is featured in the app. Love it!!!!
    Downloading today!

  26. Congrat Ming. Retweet.

  27. Yes Android version please.

  28. congratulations for that smart move. Is there any chance to see this app on Android as well some time soon?

  29. He he he, I was right yesterday! It is a kind of “book”, but of course in it´s most modern form! Great work! I´ll get my first iPad in January…and damned… four hours or so to late: I sleep more than you 😉

  30. I’ve been playing with the app a little, it seems like a pretty good idea, although I mostly prefer web sites to apps and seldom install an app if I can get the same information from the web.

    The one big difference here is the ability to view your videos although I was struck by the fact that since I have already bought your photoshop DVD it would have been nice to view the videos without having to pay for them again. Especially since I can’t watch the DVD on my MacBook since I replaced the dvd drive with a second hard drive, and of course you can’t play a DVD on an iPad.


    • The dictionary is app-only, as is the searchable camerapedia. It’s both an offline reading platform as well as the delivery platform for future videos. We wanted to put in the ability to view videos for those who’ve already purchased, but ran into one big snag: apple wouldn’t let us give free videos, presumably to avoid people using their delivery platform but circumventing their toll gate…

  31. Congratulations! This sounds oh so great! Now I wish I had an Ipad… 🙂 Hope this will be a great success for you, the world deserves it 😀

  32. James de Penning says:

    Great stuff Ming, this looks like a great app. Thanks for all your hard work.

  33. I sometimes think how lucky I am I ran in to your blog! No need for any other photography schooling-!!
    Thumbs up man, for everything!

  34. Thank you Ming for sharing your insight and experiences with the community. Your photo essays and technique articles have been very helpful.

  35. Hi Ming, Nice one. I’m an iOS developer myself (have a couple apps in the store). So tell me : did you write this app yourself? I’m guessing you did…there seems to be nothing that is beyond your abilities !

    • Thanks Bob. I wish I could say I did, but I have a friend who’s a kickass coder who took care of it (and the back end) for me. I’m responsible for the UI and of course the content.

  36. Got it, like it. Good job

  37. Sweet! Too bad I’m Android… =/


    Looks great – cant wait!

  39. Tweeted!
    bob monson ‏@bobcity1
    Be sure to check out Ming Thein’s new ios app for photographers
    Collapse Reply Delete Favorite
    9:16 PM – 20 Nov 12 · Details

  40. Not sure if my comment came through.
    But this app looks good and I have posted it on my twitter:

    Can I get a code too? 🙂

  41. Interesting idea. I hope it works very well for you.

    Posted on FB here!/guy.platt.1?__user=100000649123768

  42. Great! I’ll download it now! Congrats!


    l love reading your blog… they are really cool 🙂 keep up the goodwork

  44. Christian Mosimann says:
  45. Wong Ling Meng says:

    Wonderful work. Keep it going!

    here’s the link:

  46. Randy likes Presenting Ming Thein’s P…
    Like · Comment · about a minute ago
    Looks like an interesting app to me.

  47. Hohoho nice!! Gonna download it into my ipad mini!

  48. My email:

  49. Phukhanh Vu says:

    Many congrats on your amazing project. Outstanding works….Keep it up. Will have it on my iPad.

  50. Great stuff! Posted on my FB page:

  51. I have shared (and tagged you) on my Facebook ! Thanks MT

  52. Christian Straub says: Great – can’t wait to see this!

  53. Bought it out of respect.

  54. I posted it to my facebook
    Not sure if you can see it though

  55. Congratulations on your next evolution. Looks good!

  56. Paul Jeyaraj says:

    Downloaded already….

  57. akismet-c7145fc8eec90897825cf19719c376b2 says:

    very, very smart Ming! Good for you! m-

  58. Congratulations!!! I bought the app.

  59. Thanks for your support!

  60. Hi Ming Thein,
    Any plans on Android app?

  61. Not for the moment.


  1. […] Six months in the making, I’m proud to present Ming Thein’s Photography Compendium: an iPad app like no other. It’s not for taking pictures or processing: it’s for learning …  […]

  2. […] See on – Steve Troletti Nature and Wildlife PhotographerSix months in the making, I’m proud to present Ming Thein’s Photography Compendium: an iPad app like no other. It’s not for taking pictures or processing: it’s for learning …See on […]

  3. […]   … now available for $1.99 on the Apple App Store:   There are a million and one camera apps out there. But how many of them actually teach you about photography? What if you want to know, say, what comatic aberration is? Or perhaps you need some help with Photoshop, a dose of pictorial inspiration, a camera review, a concise opinion on whether a particular lens is worth buying, or a deconstructivist philosophical article to figure out exactly what’s missing from your images?   Brought to you by renown photographer and writer Ming Thein of, the Photographic Compendium covers all of these things:   DictionaryThe photographic dictionary contains most of the commonly-encountered technical terms (email us if you’ve got one that isn’t included, and we’ll do our best) and common acronyms used in photography today.   CamerapediaIf you need to figure out whether you should buy lens A or lens B, look no further. This section includes a concise opinion on every single piece of equipment that Ming Thein has ever used – quite a lot, considering he used to review cameras for a living. It’s a living document and will continue to be regularly updated as more new equipment is released. Ming will also only opine on things he’s actually used and shot with.   Training videosOne of the more popular things Ming has done is the Photoshop Workflow for Photographers DVD – we’ve now expanded on that, with new images and new individual segments for specific purposes; video on demand lets you buy only the segments you need, and get them straight away. No more waiting for the postman! We also plan to continually release new segments on a regular basis – some dealing with more advanced retouching or editing techniques, some dealing with new images, some camera-specific. You can also request a video. For iPads with Retina display the videos are delivered in HD. We also use a global content distribution network to ensure that you have quick access to our high quality videos.   Photo streamThink of it as your daily inspiration – this feed pulls the latest images from Ming Thein’s own photographic work.   Blog aggregatorA bonus feature to cache the most recent articles to read offline – handy if you don’t have an internet connection. And we all know that the images are best appreciated on a larger screen than your phone.  […]

  4. […] Six months in the making, I’m proud to present Ming Thein’s Photography Compendium: an iPad app like no other. It’s not for taking pictures or processing: it’s for learning and reading on the go, and all content is also retina-display native. It’s now available for $1.99 on the Apple App Store:  […]

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