Take a look at the iPad 2′s cameras. While they are fine for video chatting and posting online, they are not good enough quality for even casual photography. See a side-by-side comparison with the iPhone 4′s camera.



Video Transcript (Click to Expand)
Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today’s episode, let’s look at the iPad 2′s cameras.
So I shot that intro video using the iPad 2′s rear-facing camera. This takes high-definition video at 720p. Now, here’s a comparison of video taken with the iPad 2 and also video taken with the iPhone 4 at the same time. So you can see that the video quality’s kind of similar, though not exactly the same. The zooming’s a little bit different. I get a wider picture with the iPad 2 than I get with the iPhone 4. The iPad’s rear camera and the iPhone 4 camera shoot video at the same resolution, but they are different cameras, so you can get different results.
Now let’s take a look at still photography. Here we’ve got pictures taken with the iPhone 4 and the iPad 2 at the same exact time, same conditions and everything. I’ve turned off the HDR for the iPhone and turned off the flash, of course. So now you can see a real comparison. Now, I’ve had to zoom in a little bit differently for each one because the iPad 2′s a little wider in its shots, but you can see that the level of detail is of course much much greater in the iPhone 4′s pictures.
So for still photography, basically what you have in the iPad 2 is it takes pictures from the rear camera at 720 pixels by 960 pixels. Now, this is tiny compared to the iPhone 4, which does it more than seven times the resolution of that. The front camera on the iPad is even worse, only taking 640 by 480 pictures.
So what would I use the iPad 2′s cameras for? Well, definitely not for serious photography. It’s just not nearly high enough resolution for that. I wouldn’t even use it for hobby photography. Matter of fact, I wouldn’t even use it for family photography, like pictures of of the kids opening up their presents on their birthday. Not at all. It’s not good enough resolution to have something you can keep, something you can print, something you can use as a photograph. Now, for something fun to post to Facebook, say, just a new picture of you to use as your icon or something, then it’s fine. Also, maybe for apps that use pictures for note taking, you know, you take a picture of what’s on the whiteboard. That’s probably fine, too. And just for having fun with the cameras and different apps, like the photobooth app. It’s fine for that.
So these cameras are definitely made for video, and it records high resolution from the rear camera at 720p. So I still wouldn’t use it for anything serious; it’s not that great of a camera. I mean, you know, there’s no real lens to it. But I would use it for, say, recording some hobby stuff, maybe some family videos, and just for having fun, posting little things to the internet.
Where these cameras really do pretty well is for video chatting, using either the built-in Face Time app, or using something else, like, say, Skype, the iPhone Skype app actually works fine on the iPad 2, and you can video chat with somebody, and these cameras are great for that.
Hope you liked this look at the iPad 2′s cameras. Until next time, this is Gary with MacMost Now.


7 Responses to “MacMost Now 529: iPad 2 Cameras”

  1. l3iLL says:

    thanKs, Gary=
    aS aLwaYs informaTiVe
    ((i hoPe APPLe paYs yoU)..
    i LOVEmYMAC!

    • If Apple paid me I don’t think they would be very happy this is video.

      • AlexBXL says:

        Hi! Well I hope they wouldn’t complain about anything if this was the case because there is nothing wrong in being honest and also if you say that the iPad camera isn’t as good as the iPhone one, it also means that the iPhone one is better :)

  2. Don says:

    Gary…..how does the camera in the iPod Touch compare to the iPhone and the iPad?

    Thanks!

  3. Warren says:

    Gary love your site. Thanks as always for keeping things fresh and relevant. Love the iPhone Mac recos too like mind node.

    When you have time would like to see a video on attaching your camcorder and getting the clips into iMovie. Always struggled with this. It’s not a simple plug and play here. Also camcorder compatibilty info would be great.
    Cheers
    Warren

    • Thanks! The problem with doing a video like that is that it varies depending on the type of camcorder. Many have hard drives or SD cards now. Older ones have tape. Some record to special discs. Some connect via Firewire (not many any more) while others transfer the data over USB.

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