Apple iPad 2 captures stills at less than 1 megapixel, who cares?

Apple iPad 2 captures stills at less than 1 megapixel, who cares?

Summary: The iPad 2 joins the growing tablet lineup with front and rear facing cameras. Why do you need a high resolution rear facing camera on a tablet device?

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Apple iPad 2 news dominated the web yesterday and I don't want to rehash all the coverage that has been posted here on ZDNet and elsewhere. I am curious about one aspect of these tablets though and would love to hear what you readers think. Existing tablets like the Motorola Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab have both front and rear facing cameras and now the Apple iPad 2 will also. Is there really a need for such a camera and if so, should it be a crappy one like the iPad 2 camera just for video capture?

I have the Samsung Galaxy Tab and honestly I never gave much thought to the dual cameras on the device. However, the SGT actually takes decent photos and videos and as you can see in my hands-on articles here and here the quality is good enough for reviews. It turns out the new iPad 2 has dual cameras and the one on the back should produce good 720p videos too. However, be aware that it is like the latest iPod touch and only takes still photos of less than 1 megapixel as discussed in this Wired article.

Honestly though, why in the world would you ever need a tablet device as a still camera device? I mean, who wants to be the dork holding up a big device with a 10 inch viewfinder to capture images? The only thing I can think of for usage of the rear camera for still photos is to capture things for Evernote. Then again, people with iPad usually also have a decent phone camera to capture these images and can then send them where they need to.

Does anyone care that the iPad 2 only captures still images like the iPod touch? Care to share with me why you think a tablet needs a rear facing camera?

Topics: Tablets, Hardware, iPad, Laptops, Mobility

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39 comments
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  • RE: Apple iPad 2 captures stills at less than 1 megapixel, who cares?

    Well, if there is one, you want a good one.
    tatiGmail
    • RE: Apple iPad 2 captures stills at less than 1 megapixel, who cares?

      @tatiGmail

      Exactly what I was going to say. If you go to the effort of actually putting a camera in the thing, why not go the extra inch and make sure it's of a decent quality.
      Greedoe
      • RE: Apple iPad 2 captures stills at less than 1 megapixel, who cares?

        @Greedoe it's probably gonna be a feature in iPad 3, and a good reason to upgrade. :)
        tatiGmail
    • Yeah, but do you sacrifice thickness for it?

      @tatiGmail I think the primary reason Apple did not put in a better camera was physical space. The iPad2 is extremely thin and I don't think you can find a good camera module that small. Other tablets are thicker and have room for better cameras. I would rather have a thinner device with a crappy camera I will rarely, if ever, use.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
      • RE: Apple iPad 2 captures stills at less than 1 megapixel, who cares?

        @palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller) -- @palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
        So.. they purposefully gimp products so that you'll buy their next one?

        Why would anyone support a company that slimy? <<

        Because you're a moron?
        SkateNY
      • Message has been deleted.

        reed2
      • RE: Apple iPad 2 captures stills at less than 1 megapixel, who cares?

        @palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller) Thinness doesn't matter to me. I mean it's not like I don't have room for it in my bag if it's half an inch larger and it's too big anyways to fit into any pockets. I can see weight being more of an issue, when holding it up for longer periods of time. Advertising how thin it is seems more like a gimmick to me.
        Matt_Fabb
    • Much bigger issue for iPod touch

      @tatiGmail I think this camera module is fine for iPad2, but was a MAJOR hit to the iPod touch where you would carry it and use it as a camera. It seems Apple hindered that one so you would have to buy the next iPod touch with better camera and a GPS receiver.
      palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
      • RE: Apple iPad 2 captures stills at less than 1 megapixel, who cares?

        @palmsolo (aka Matthew Miller)
        So.. they purposefully gimp products so that you'll buy their next one?

        Why would anyone support a company that slimy?
        Droid101
      • RE: Apple iPad 2 captures stills at less than 1 megapixel, who cares?

        Apple constantly disables and breaks older items designed to work with their products. I recognized this on the touch with the first update I did. It looks cool but beyond that it is useless.
        reed2
    • RE: Apple iPad 2 captures stills at less than 1 megapixel, who cares?

      You make the mistake of thinking Apple is a technology company. Visit the isle of misfit toys and you will find apples under-developedment staff offices.
      reed2
    • RE: Apple iPad 2 captures stills at less than 1 megapixel, who cares?

      @tatiGmail You know, I don't have a problem with a fairly low res camera in a cell phone or in a tablet. My Droid X has 8MP but I think my old Nikon 3MP from 8 years ago took better pictures. I would be fine with 4-5MP if they were DECENT pixels. But 1MP? Wow, that's actually kind of shockingly subpar. I mean, if you're going to put a camera in, why couldn't it just be a moderately reasonable one. The one in the iPhone 4 would do fine. Apple seems to wield the carrot and the stick pretty much equally.
      .
      Of course it might not be so bad, but one of the reasons you need a built in camera in the iPad is because even if you have a nice SLR or dedicated camera - there's no card slot or usb port to make pulling in photos easy. To me, this thing needs either a decent built in camera or a standard input port. It still has neither. To get a decent photo into an iPad, you need a good camera, a computer, iTunes, and the iPad synced to that. That's Apple's idea of elegant computer design?
      ArtInvent
      • It remains to be seen

        @ArtInvent

        If it's shockingly sub-par. Don't let these pixel hounds fool you. There are trade-offs which may be relevant. Size is one. the iPhone 4 back camera takes up the entire space front to back. The iPad 2 is thinner than the new iPhone so your not going to fit the same camera in it. Pixel density and noise are another. For instance, the front facing camera on my iPhone 4 is able to produce viewable smooth video and extremely low light levels where the rear facing just sees black, pictures as well. There is also a whole lot less blur on the front camera compared to the back. All relevant here if the main use for both cameras is going to be video.
        oncall
  • RE: Apple iPad 2 captures stills at less than 1 megapixel, who cares?

    I think this is short-sighted on Apple's part... Imagine insurance adjusters filling out a repair estimate, being able to attach pics of the damage instantly. How about doctors imaging a wound, I could go on. It's a cost-cutting move by Apple. They never seem to consider the enterprise and if they do someday get eclipsed by Android I venture to say it'll be via the Enterprise market. They're untouchable in the consumer domain as far as I'm concerned.
    narocroc
    • RE: Apple iPad 2 captures stills at less than 1 megapixel, who cares?

      @narocroc
      Exactly.

      And the Apple fanboys who used to say "Apple products are more expensive, that means they are premium! You get what you pay for! Chevy Aveo vs BMW!" will now say "Apple gives you so much value for the money!"

      It's hypocrite city over in Cupertino.
      Droid101
      • RE: Apple iPad 2 captures stills at less than 1 megapixel, who cares?

        for your information, the ipad 2 is still the same price as the original. Xoom has a better camera (by one mere megapixel) and how much is it?

        Who's thinking now?
        4justincase
  • RE: Apple iPad 2 captures stills at less than 1 megapixel, who cares?

    Let's face it, the biggest reason why anyone would buy an iPad2 over a Moto Xoom or a Samsung Galaxy Tab are apps...Honeycomb holds a lot of promise, but needs to catch up as far as enterprise / end user apps are concerned for tablets
    jatin.rajpal
    • RE: Apple iPad 2 captures stills at less than 1 megapixel, who cares?

      About 60 manufacturers use droid OS and one uses Apple. The droid apps are coming up fast and most of the Apple apps I have are junk. Even the ones I paid for. <br>The free droid apps I have so far have far exceeded that of apples. <br>I see Apple failing because they aren't responsive, the support offered is well uhhhh (since I'm a gentleman I'll leave it at that), and they do some really stupid things with their software. <br>My favorite is how itunes deletes your entire contact list if you sync itunes to Outlook. If you have outlook set to purge deleted on exit you may never see these entries again. Unless you have recover deleted enabled on the server and/or the admin is willing to pull it from back which creates other issues for users. That right there is an enterprise killer. If you mention Outlook to a Level 9 super tech at apple the long silence followed by an incoherent voice on the other end of the line make you wonder if you are talking to a comatose patient in a hospital ward.<br>It wont be long. I have to say using the droid has restored my faith in mankind slightly. Using apple devices made my cranial area go numb.
      reed2
      • RE: Apple iPad 2 captures stills at less than 1 megapixel, who cares?

        @reed@... Sounds like you haven't a clue what the hell you're doing.
        deftdrummer
  • The Best Camera

    The best camera is the one you have with you. Some people only want ot carry one device!
    NorrisBreeze