All iPads Back-facing camera on iPad -- why on Earth?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by macbook123, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. macbook123 macrumors 68000

    Feb 11, 2006
    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.
  2. anim8or macrumors 65816


    Aug 16, 2006
    Scotland, UK
    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!
  3. luqtotheman macrumors regular

    Jun 14, 2012
    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.
  4. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I use it to show relatives abroad around my place, and stuff outside too....It serves no other function for me though.
  5. acorntoy macrumors 65816

    May 25, 2010
    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.
  6. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6


    Aug 17, 2007
    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.
  7. Gibbons macrumors member

    Jul 17, 2007
    because maybe on a video call a person might want to show someone something other than their face, like a new house, car, or infant child.

    besides if I was using my ipad and saw a photo or video op, perhaps of said infant child, i wouldn't hesitate to launch the photo app and snap away. who cares how it looks to some people?

    so the answer is that it can be a very useful feature for most sane people.
  8. ZuneMan? macrumors regular

    Nov 21, 2008
    Apple Store
    And what are you going to buy with that $5? :rolleyes:
  9. trvsglr macrumors member


    Sep 20, 2009
    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?"
  10. raccoonboy macrumors 6502a

    Oct 22, 2012
    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.
  11. dinggus macrumors 65816

    Jan 17, 2012
    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.
  12. syd430 Guest

    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.
  13. Fruit Cake macrumors 6502a

    Mar 31, 2012
    I just wanted to say I read this thread and want 5 mins of my life back spent 2mins reading this crap (3mins interest ;)
  14. shortcrust macrumors 6502

    Aug 7, 2008
    I often use it to take photos of pages of book, magazines etc.

    Perhaps spending time replying to the thread wasn't such a great idea then?:confused:
  15. Amplelink macrumors 6502a

    Oct 8, 2012
    I love the back facing camera and it'd feel weirder without one. I don't use it as my daily shooter, obviously. But it's great for impromptu moments when you just have your iPad. I've also used it with my scanner app and it turns out great PDFs when I've needed it in a few circumstances where there wasn't a physical scanner around. And as other people have already noted, it's great being able to FaceTime with both cameras, with the back one allowing people to see what you see.

    Got a Nexus 7 as well and it feels incredibly odd to not have a back facing camera.
  16. iPhysicist macrumors 65816


    Nov 9, 2009
    I use the back camera every day. I would like to have a better one installed :)
  17. Abazigal macrumors G3


    Jul 18, 2011
    Odd you create this thread, I just put together a quick keynote this morning using images snapped using the ipad's back camera.

    Definitely more handy than many people are giving it credit for. :)
  18. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    I use the back camera on my mini when I'm using my iPad and want to snap a quick picture of something to send to someone. It's nice to not have to go grab my phone to do that.
  19. adnbek macrumors 65816


    Oct 22, 2011
    Montreal, Quebec
    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!
  20. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    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
  21. Arran macrumors 601


    Mar 7, 2008
    Atlanta, USA
    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.

    If I was clever I'd have annotated the form onscreen - but that would've taken longer.
  22. HobeSoundDarryl, Jan 29, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2013

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 604


    Feb 8, 2004
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    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.
  23. ougum macrumors regular

    Apr 30, 2008
    I'm with you. I can't believe how much people really care what folks think of them using their iPads for picture taking.. I could care less what a person would think of me using my iPad to take pictures. They sure didn't help me pay for my device. I haven't used mine yet, but it's nice to know it's there if I need it.
  24. Kebabselector macrumors 68030


    May 25, 2007
    Birmingham, UK
    Sometimes it's the only camera you have on you........

    London_2012_Triathlon_28 by Scphoto_uk, on Flickr

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