Why The iPad Camera Matters

Three models of iPad in January? Not very likely

The only difference between the two, according to the report? The high-end model will get an 8 megapixel CMOS image sensor, while the mid-tier version will get only a 5 megapixel.

The problem is that the camera on the iPad is more of an afterthought than a feature that will prompt users to pay an extra hundred or more dollars to upgrade to a higher-tiered device. On the current iPad, the rear camera captures still photos at less than a megapixel, which is fine, because if you are using your 10-inch tablet as a camera for anything other than the odd emergency situation or when making a video call, you are doing it wrong. Especially since most people with iPads are walking around with 5 to 8 megapixel shooters in their smartphones anyway.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

That is such smug, short-sighted thinking that I was compelled to do this post to argue against it.

If the Occupy Wall Street movement taught people anything, it’s this: People will use whatever tool they have on hand.

Look at all these pictures I’ve collected over the past several months:

Yes, that’s a Blackberry Playbook in there too!

At some point, as the power of the iPad increases, people will carry it instead of a full-blown MacBook.

And even when people are using a MacBook, as the photos above show, they sometimes attach better cameras to it.

If I have an iPad in my hands and some action is taking place, I’m not going to take the time to put it away and grab a camera or a cellphone. That’s really doing it wrong.

Right now, there are bloggers who are using the 7″ Samsung Galaxy Tab’s camera to take stills and video at tech trade shows. Why isn’t that being done with an iPad (putting aside the larger size of it)? Because — just like with the iPod Touch — the camera is unacceptable crap.

The iPad is a post-PC device. It needs a better camera to also make it a post-cellphone device.

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8 Comments

Filed under Apple: The Company, iOS, Other Hardware

8 responses to “Why The iPad Camera Matters

  1. Orjan

    I have also seen iPad 2 used as an magnification large display for sight impaired. A 5 or 8 Mpixels camera would be wonderful, because when you really could zoom and make things much larger than today. Another reason to buy an iPad 3 to your older relatives ;-)

  2. Think of the camera in the iPad as a scanner . . .

  3. Pingback: Morning Coffee: 30 December 2011 - The Digital Reader

  4. progressiveagentprovocateur

    I own an iPad 2 , a MacBook Pro, a Mac Pro, an iPhone 4 and a couple of real cameras. The cameras in my Macs and iPad are a waste of time and some of us would rather a lower price of more memory rather than the toy camera.
    The iPhone 4 camera is nice as a point and shoot, but I use it more as for video than stills. There is no comparison between what can be done with a DSLR and a crappy camera phone.

  5. I’m not sight-impaired, but since I no longer have binoculars, I also sometimes use my digital camera or even my iPhone as binoculars instead. Usually works pretty well, although my hand isn’t very steady if I have to crank the zoom up.

    I always say that the best camera is the one you have with you. Your photos showing that people will use what they have demonstrate that. You’re right; the iPad camera DOES matter. Anyone who thinks otherwise doesn’t get it.

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