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Old Jan 29, 2013, 01:20 AM   #1
macbook123
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Back-facing camera on iPad -- why on Earth?

Question: Why does Apple not offer a version without back-facing camera? I have never talked to anybody about it who has ever used this camera. It seems a complete waste of resources. I'd buy a $5 cheaper iPad without this camera without hesitation.

I also wonder this: how much do the 16 GB extra in the 32 GB storage version cost Apple compared to that camera? Most people I know (myself included) would much prefer having getting that upgrade for free in return for losing the camera.

There surely must be a reason why Apple is still putting the camera in there I fail to see. Please enlighten me.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 01:24 AM   #2
anim8or
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While I do agree that the camera in the rear of the iPad seems stupid to me and I never use it even when using Skype or FaceTime, I have however seen loads of people who do use it.... They look like fools but heck it gets used!
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 01:37 AM   #3
luqtotheman
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I thought the same but it does have uses.

During FaceTime, apps like eBay and turbotax. Obviously the ipad isn't someone's main camera.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 01:40 AM   #4
Macman45
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I use it to show relatives abroad around my place, and stuff outside too....It serves no other function for me though.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 01:47 AM   #5
acorntoy
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My mother uses the camera a lot, she likes it more than the 4S camera because its easier for her to see want she is taking a picture of.

On my iPad I use it often enough for apps like eBay when using IMessage or just taking a quick shot when my phone is in the other room that it would be missed.

I do agree though it looks ridiculous when you see people using it.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 02:01 AM   #6
ucfgrad93
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I was watching the Pro Bowl last night, and during one of the interviews there was a fan in the background that lifted up her iPad to take a picture.

I wouldn't use it, but other people do.
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Old Feb 2, 2013, 06:39 PM   #7
ericrwalker
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macman45 View Post
I use it to show relatives abroad around my place, and stuff outside too....It serves no other function for me though.
Similar situation here, with my in-laws abroad. My wife uses when she facetime/skype's with her family in Japan. Usually our daughter starts off on the chatting with them, then she starts running around and my wife chats and keeps the rear came on our daughter while she plays.

So just because the OP doesn't see a purpose for it, I am sure there are many people who use it for different purposes.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 02:39 AM   #8
ZuneMan?
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Originally Posted by macbook123 View Post
I'd buy a $5 cheaper iPad without this camera without hesitation.
And what are you going to buy with that $5?
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 02:49 AM   #9
trvsglr
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Even if there was a $5 cheaper model with no camera, I think most people would end up forking out the extra $ because they would be thinking "just in case" and "it's only $5 you never know, right?"
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 02:58 AM   #10
racoonboy
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I think people use it because it is there on the Ipad. No one would really miss it if its gone. Especially later gen Ipad is quite heavy and holding it to take picture is a little ridiculous.

If Ipad could cut the price down and remove the rear camera and make it lighter, slimmer. I would definitely buy it. Camera on the mini makes more sense because it is still small and light enough.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 03:03 AM   #11
dinggus
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I see the iPad being used to take pictures and record, first time was during 2011 New Years in NYC, second time was last month at Disney World, a lot of people were doing it.

It's better to have it than not have it and then want it. I'm sure if the iPad didn't have a back facing camera, then someone would have created a thread similar to this, just saying they'd fork out the extra $5..

I don't need majority of the stock Apple Apps, I should create a thread about it.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 03:13 AM   #12
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Because the cost of the additional camera to Apple is almost negligible. Even if it wern't why would they complicate the line up by having a model with no rear-facing camera? Should they also sell the 'iPad with no Bluetooth radio edition' as well? BTO online like Dell or Lenovo is one thing, but having whole different products in store with $5 peripherals missing doesn't make sense for any OEM.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 06:21 AM   #13
adnbek
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Originally Posted by macbook123 View Post
I'd buy a $5 cheaper iPad without this camera without hesitation. .
Seriously? :face palm:

I'd look at it the other way: Only 5 bucks more for a back-facing camera? I'll take that one instead!
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 06:23 AM   #14
rockyroad55
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$5. Wow
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 06:30 AM   #15
maflynn
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The last time I was on vacation (in DisneyWorld), I saw quite a lot of people using their iPads as cameras. So while the OP may not see value in the camera others do not share that sentiment.

My kids love playing with my iPad mini and the camera and while I can understand his point, the cost difference is probably not enough to justify supporting a different product configuration
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 06:45 AM   #16
HobeSoundDarryl
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It is a camera they have with them (handy for the impromptu photo or video).

If you watch any "behind the scenes" shows, the pros shoot quality programming using a big preview screen (bigger than iPad). Being able to see the finer details of what they are shooting means getting a better photo or video.

This device is trying to evolve into an everything device: don't need a separate camera, remote control, phone, computer, music player, portable movie player, GPS, internet-connected device, etc. Lots of functionality in one device.

Have you seen the apps that use it for stuff other than photos or videos? For example, there's travel apps where you aim the camera at a sign written in a foreign language and it translates that sign to english. There's check deposit options where you can deposit a check without going to the bank by snapping a picture of it. Download Star Walk and go outside at night, aim your iPad camera skyward and the app tells you the names of everything you can see. Etc. There's lots of utility for giving an iPad an "eye" beyond just taking photographs or video.

Lastly, not everyone has an iPhone. So assuming iPhone makes many functions available within an iPad redundant. Perhaps one should argue the iPad should be cut down to just a bigger screen ONLY for iPhone users who want to stream iPhone images to a bigger screen (a "dumb screen" iPhone companion if you will)? The better choice is to assume that not everyone has an iPhone: then think about what needs to be in an iPad. If I don't have an iPhone, I want a lot of iPhone functionality in an iPad.

I'm with the other guy above: if the whine is about saving $5, I'd rather pay the $5 and get the camera (something like that Star Walk or visual language translation benefit is mind blowing if one cares about such stuff). Several retailers will regularly discount iPads by a few bucks (like $5). Buy yourself one from there and put a piece of duct tape over the camera hole. Save $5 and end up with the exact same functionality- or lack thereof- you seek.

Last edited by HobeSoundDarryl; Jan 29, 2013 at 06:56 AM.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 06:37 AM   #17
Arran
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I recently filed a product warranty claim. The camera made it easy.
1) Download claim form.
2) AirPrint form.
3) Fill out form by hand.
4) Snap picture of completed form.
5) Snap picture of damaged product.
6) Email both to manufacturer.
Done.

If I was clever I'd have annotated the form onscreen - but that would've taken longer.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 07:10 AM   #18
Kebabselector
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Quote:
Originally Posted by macbook123 View Post
There surely must be a reason why Apple is still putting the camera in there I fail to see. Please enlighten me.
Sometimes it's the only camera you have on you........


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Old Jan 29, 2013, 11:06 AM   #19
Marjamrob1
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It does take good pictures, and it's easy to keep stable. Plus you can use PS Elements directly, which is nice.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 11:06 AM   #20
BigDukeSix
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I use mine primarily for skype or facetime, to show stuff to people that I am talking to. Also, if that is all I have and I need to take a pic, I do not give an F what anyone thinks about how I look using it as such. I love having the option.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 09:27 PM   #21
techkidd4400
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I agree that Apple should have considered the the rack facing camera an add/on instead they people like us subsidize those that want the camer but
Pay for it at fair market.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 03:52 PM   #22
ApfelKuchen
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Originally Posted by techkidd4400 View Post
I agree that Apple should have considered the the rack facing camera an add/on instead they people like us subsidize those that want the camer but
Pay for it at fair market.
Yeah, and I'll bet there are features you use that others "subsidize."

Not everyone knows exactly how they'll use their iOS devices before they buy them.

Part of the delight of these things is that we keep finding new ways to use them - sort of like unearthing buried treasure. Include the camera, and somewhere down the line we learn that we can deposit checks without going to the bank, or we get turned onto the possibilities QR codes, or a far-off relative says, "You have an iPad now. Do you know how to FaceTime?" Who knows what situation or app will unlock unexpected possibilities?

I happen to have exactly what the original poster desires - an iPad without back (or front) camera - an original iPad. Who at the time thought a camera was necessary? After a while, though I think a fair number of folks wished for it (I know I did) - they got tired of putting down the iPad, taking out the iPhone, taking a photo, and sending it to their iPad (well, Photo Stream has made that last bit painless). One of the big criticisms of iPad 2? The camera wasn't good enough.

Ya know, you can save a whole lot more than $5 by purchasing a used iPad 1st Gen. You may wish it was faster, lighter, and trimmer. You may wish for a Retina display, and that it could run iOS 6 and iPhoto... but at least you wouldn't be bothered by that "useless" camera.
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Old Jan 30, 2013, 06:58 PM   #23
Baklava
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I used the iPad cam on the back just ONCE in my life to take a video/picture. The reason was the empty battery of my Sony Cybershot and I had no storage on my iPhone 4.
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 12:13 PM   #24
j.dstasio
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I use my iPad camera a LOT.

My iPad is mainly a work tool. As an engineer, I use it almost daily to take pictures.
  • I use it to take pictures of whiteboard sketches and notes during meetings.
  • I take photos of large drawings so I can look at them while on the computer without having to have my entire sek taken up by architectural prints.
  • I can take photos while on a building walk through & then show them to clients/ contractors on site (ever take a cell phone pic, or use a point & shoot camera LCD to show a group of 4-5 construction workers photos? A 9.7" screen works great for this.)
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Old Jan 29, 2013, 01:04 PM   #25
RenoG
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Yes I agree its quite usless, folks just use it because its there.
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