PetaPixel

Camera on the iPad 2 is a World’s First, but in a Bad Way

When the iPad 2 was announced a week ago, many people were undoubtably excited that front and rear-facing cameras were added to the device. However, rather than endow the iPad with a rear-camera equal or superior to the iPhone 4′s, the geniuses at Apple decided to add a pretty lame one, giving it the (dis)honor of being the first “camera” to have a sensor resolution lower than the display resolution.

While the iPhone 4 packs a pretty sweet 5-megapixel sensor that allows it to suffice as a compact camera for many users, the iPad 2 was only given a paltry .7-megapixel one. This means it shoots 960×720 images while displaying them on a 1024×768 LCD screen, making it suitable for video chatting but horrible as a still camera.

iPad 2 Camera A World’s First? (via CrunchGear)


 
  • Anonymous

    i’m sure this was intentionally done.

    Think about it – are you *really* going to hold your iPad up and try to use it as a proper camera? The device isn’t intended for that use at all, so throwing in a camera beyond the depth required would only drive the price up.

  • http://www.google.com/profiles/ringo.paulusch Ringo

    Most of the ipad2 buyers already own an iphone4 anyway.

  • http://www.apartment17.com Rhammons

    “giving it the (dis)honor of being the first “camera” to have a sensor resolution lower than the display resolution.”

    What? Don’t most laptops and all-in-one’s have cameras with much lower resolutions than their own displays? I think this is a better one-to-one comparison.

  • http://twitter.com/Crestopher Brett

    I doubt apple thought it was a matter of, “Its not really for that.” But simply, they’ll include a better camera in the iPad 3 in less than a year.

  • http://twitter.com/MotionShot Heimen Stoffels

    True, but it does make it look lame. Especially when something as the Motorola Xoom, which is only 30 dollars pricier than the iPad 2, has a way better camera. 30 dollars more than the iPad 2 and you get a Xoom with a superb camera which can record HD and has the option to plug in a keyboard in contrary to iPad 2 with a .7 MP camera which has somewhat better colors on the screen. Easy choice.

  • Bguy

    I don’t think anyone expected the camera to be one they would take photos with anyways.. it would look pretty stupid taking photos with this thing anyways. They could have at least matched the resolution of the screen though.

    I have the ipod touch 4G and the low resolution camera in that bugs me sometimes.. but thats because it’s more suitable as a point and shoot carry around camera. The excuse they used for that was keeping cost down and thickness of the ipod itself

  • Anonymous

    Probably a bit of future-proofing, but I suspect mainly because that’s just how they want their product used, and they want a consistent experience from it.

    Remember the whole “don’t hold it that way” fiasco? http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/8761240.stm

  • http://twitter.com/ppetrovski Peter Petrovski

    To be fair it’s not designed to be a still picture camera. it’s meant for Facetime video chat.

  • http://www.facebook.com/shreejipix Nirav Shah

    I agree with @Brett. They will come up with better camera in iPad 3 which is a lame thing to do to keep demand up for iPad2 and any future releases. I mean who uses .7MP cameras these days? Think about how iPad has revolutionized the photography industry. Ask the photography Pros who use it everyday, who knows in what revolutionary way.
    If iPad really has .7MP camera on both sides then I am really disappointed.

  • Anonymous

    But it isn’t a camera! I don’t see the “bad”.

  • Anonymous

    I think somebody didn’t drink their Kool-Aid. ;)

  • AC

    If you’re goning to shell out that kind of money on a product that should have had a camera in the first place a year ago..it is a rip-off. Of course this will be addressed and a higher res camera will be added for iPad3 (rumored for this fall)

  • guest

    And after all Apple never, nowhere, ever said this camera was for taking fotos.

    My iMac has a resolution of 2560×1440. It’s camera outputs 640×480.
    It’s for video chat.

    And for the non-tech-savy nerds around here:
    It is the iPod touch camera. The same one. Apple already stated for the iPod that they couldn’t fit in a bigger one, even if they wanted to. Because the device is so thin.
    The reason why the iPad 1 didn’t have a camera is exactly the same: no fitting camera module.

    Please, people, get your facts straight, or be called a troll.

  • Will

    If you are basing the conclusion that the ipad2 will have 0.7mp camera on the referenced article on nelso.com, I think you should consider the post again. It seems to be based on some flawed/idiotic assumptions. The apple material says the camera will have a 5x digital zoom… I think that means the camera resolution is going to be much higher than 0.7mp.

  • Mike

    You would be surprised. I saw a moron walking down the street, “tapping” away on his iPad. The world has sunk to all new lows….

  • Mike

    “Think about how iPad has revolutionized the photography industry.”

    Revolutionized? Are you joking? You obviously do not work in the photography industry. Yes, some professionals are trying to show they are ahead of the curve by displaying portfolios on the iPad, but they are still few and far between. The recent issue of PDN interviews several art directors who say they still want, and actually prefer, a printed portfolio. It’s a trend, in other words…

  • Mike

    Ha ha…..someone logged in as “guest” is threatening to call people a troll.

  • http://twitter.com/billmorganmedia Bill Morgan

    I have no intention of buying the iPad as a camera. I have every intention of buying it as a replacement for my laptop. BTW I don’t take pictures with my laptop – do you?

    I realize that this is a photo related blog – but how about some perspective here. The iPad is NOT A CAMERA. However, the iPad 2 is twice as fast as the first gen., allows you to video chat with any mac user that has a camera on their computer or mobile device – and has, hands down, WAY more apps out there than any other mobile device now or in the near future. Oh yeah… and it doesn’t cost any more than the first iPad.

    Show me any tablet/os/app base better than the iPad 2 by this Friday at 5pm and I’ll buy it.

  • Moayad

    Apple site says that the back camera will shoot 720p video, thats 1280×720 px. I might me wrong but it is unlikely it will have a lower 960×720 px for stills.

  • http://www.petapixel.com Michael Zhang

    I think people are assuming that the camera will be identical to what’s found in the iPod Touch: http://articles.cnn.com/2011-03-04/tech/new.ipad.camera_1_camera-ipad-image-sensor?_s=PM:TECH

  • Dude

    iPad can do keyboard too. Look it up

  • http://www.casagli.com Alessandro Casagli

    it’s a shitty update for the iPad, and even fanboys should admit it. The marketing power of Apple makes everything fancy and interesting, but you need to see things for what they are.

  • http://www.patenttrademarklitigation.com/index.html Patent Litigation

    Here is a similar story

    DailyBooth, a site where (mostly) teens have conversations via text and photos of themselves, has closed its first big round of funding – $6 million – in a round led by Ignition Partners. Previous investor Sequoia Capital and a number of angel investors also participated in the round.

    Devices like the iPhone 4, with a front facing camera, are particularly DailyBooth-friendly. The new iPad, also with a front facing camera, is just an enthralling to the company. “DailyBooth is positioned to benefit from the growing iPhone, Android and Tablet markets, as the front-facing cameras on these devices are transforming mobile photo publishing,” they say.

  • Johannes

    There were and still are millions of programs,apps if you will, for palm OS.
    The number of applications alone is not what makes a platform good.

    Why is a low res front facing camera a problem on a portable media player? When using video chats, bandwith is much more of a limiting factor.

  • Steve W

    I think this is also true of the iPhone4′s front facing camera as compared to its screen resolution…

  • guest

    Why should I leave my name on the comments section of some web site?

  • http://cropsensorphoto.wordpress.com/ Jeff

    Completely unsurprising. They left out the camera on the first iPad so that having a camera could be a selling point for iPad2, and it wouldn’t surprise me if iPad3 has an actual good camera to be a selling point of iPad3. That’s one thing I don’t like about Apple, they don’t make the best product possible, they make it just good enough and save for the next version. I was ready to get a new iPod Touch until they put such a crappy camera in it. Unlike all of the Apple fans, I’ll just wait until they release what they should have already but don’t so that people will keep rebuying year after year.

  • Sam

    Here is a solution to the iPad 2 camera problem. Check it out.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hmhBv-KwtBY

  • Chameleocat

    apples slogan is “pay everything but get nothing” I do agree they should have put a better camera in it than .7 but to be fair its not a nikon or a cannon its an apple ipad 2!

  • Tarmo

    First, it’s not a photo camera.
    Second, 5Mpix is overblown resolution for those tiny sensors anyway.

    So, next year, they will make Ipad3 with bigger resolution, but the sensor will have a same size.

  • DTMDPLS

    Posting straight from my iPad, I am disappointed with the camera and am hoping that they do something to fix it. Apple is better than this and should have fixed this before they came out with this “incredible device”. I hope this change comes soon because it was quite the downer on apple products and the quality they have maintained until this minor, yet major incident.

  • G3v1l

    The rear camera is meant for Facetime video chat?

  • Anonymous

    The rear camera’s resolution is actually adequate for close-up work…with a little hacking:http://www.rainydaymagazine.com/RDM2011/Home/April/Week2/RDMHomeApr1411.htm#iPadMicroscope

    We have some ideas on how to make it more portable…stay tune :-)

  • Pingback: Flickr Stats Confirm It: People Don’t Use the iPad 2 as a Camera

  • Jake4president2100

    It is very important to a lot of people to have the camera and a good one.  I am an appraiser and I can fill out my appraisals on the ipad and add pictures to my reports, IF the camera is GOOD.  This is useful to Appraisers, Realtors, Inspectors, Insurance Prof., and other building professionals just to name a few.  Apple needs to stop looking at the device just for recreation and look at products that will be useful to business aswell.  Adding a decent camera at least as good as the iphone 4 should have been done.  That is the minimum quality most professionals need.  Microsoft appealed to business use and now it has Apple beat on laptops and computers.

  • Jake4president2100

    It is very important to a lot of people to have the camera and a good one.  I am an appraiser and I can fill out my appraisals on the ipad and add pictures to my reports, IF the camera is GOOD.  This is useful to Appraisers, Realtors, Inspectors, Insurance Prof., and other building professionals just to name a few.  Apple needs to stop looking at the device just for recreation and look at products that will be useful to business aswell.  Adding a decent camera at least as good as the iphone 4 should have been done.  That is the minimum quality most professionals need.  Microsoft appealed to business use and now it has Apple beat on laptops and computers.

  • Stevenjdoss

    I agree, my assumption was that the iPad would have a good camera like my wife’s iPhone. I guess I will have to take my camera and my iPad when I want to post events. Now I just have to figure out the easiest transfer method.

  • Sgurudas

    I just wonder that my Digital camera made in yr 2000 is far better than iPad2 camera. How & where the hec Apple is getting so poor resolution camera?

    People just expect to have resolution same as the cheapest camera in the market for costliest gadget in the market…

  • Sgurudas

    I just wonder that my Digital camera made in yr 2000 is far better than iPad2 camera. How & where the hec Apple is getting so poor resolution camera?

    People just expect to have resolution same as the cheapest camera in the market for costliest gadget in the market…

  • guest

    ipad 2 has a sd card attachment. I just got the ipad 2 today. Honeslty, i only today thought about the camera. I was really expecting something close to 1phone 4. never expected what i am reading hear today. Well i should have that reader tomorrow. I plan to shoot phots with my canon t2i and then transfer/view photos/video on ipad. Then upload to fb/email from ipad2. Holding the iphone 4 in my hand now it feels so tiny.

  • Liam Brown369

    Seriously? You honestly believe something Apple has said, and are you telling me that they included a camera ad because thu never said it was for photos, it isn’t for photos? Sorry, it is a camera, if two didn’t intend on it being used as a camera they would no include a camera app.
    Nobody can ever say a camera is not used for photos, and the only reason why it is such a crappy camera is so that they can keep it cheap, that’s what apple is all about, make a product that is so cheap but claim that it can do the world because people will believe it.
    The iPad is a ridiculously cheap product, even the screen has a really low resolution that you can see how obsolete it is, but because it is apple people are prepared to pay over £600 for them, even though it only costs them about £200 to make them.
    But it’s worth it because it’s apple, apparently.

  • P180pilot

    Yes, is the answer to your question….I am very disappointed with the camera on both my iPod and iPad 2. Why did Apple cheap out with a camera that cannot take a picture of simple text, save it as a picture. Open the picture of the text and you will instantly see or likely not the inadequacies of the camera on the iPod and iPad 2.

  • P180pilot

    It’s true….Me also too”!!

  • P180pilot

    Yup, just to sell you the next latest and greatest device….the iPad2 should be equipped with a camera at least capable of taking a simple photo of text and to be able to read the text…..I am very disappointed with the camera(s) on the iPad2

  • Angela Hawkins

    Is it possible for someone online to be taking a photo of me whilst I am using my iPad 2 through my camera? The other night my screen flashed a few times whilst I was on Facebook and it seemed like someone could be using the camera to take a photo. Is this possible?