iPad 2 Facetime Camera is .69mp? What is Apple Thinking?!?!?!

Discussion in 'iPad' started by urkel, Mar 2, 2011.

  1. urkel, Mar 2, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2011

    urkel macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    Before I begin let me declare I'm buying two iPad 2's so I'm not trying to hate, but IF what we see on paper is really what we get here then the camera choices made in the iPad 2 because this just doesnt make sense.

    Front Camera - VGA (640 x 480 pixels or .69MP)
    Back Camera - 720p (960 x 720 pixels or 1.3MP)

    The defenders will say "A camera is stupid on here anyway" but lets spit out the kool-aid for a few seconds and just consider the world in 2011.

    - The Original 2007 iPhone had a 2.0MP camera. The 2011 iPad has 1.3MP

    - The 2.2" Motorola Razr in 07 had a VGA camera. The 2011 9.7" iPad has a VGA camera

    - Facetime was rebadged as Facetime HD and sold for $1 for HD calling yet the Face forward camera is only VGA (not even 1MP)

    - The iPod Touch camera (which seems to be the one shared with iPad 2) is so low res that there is no touch Auto-Focus, only Auto-Exposure.

    - No Auto-Focus is a big deal for many apps. Auto-Focus is required for scanning barcodes (barcodes exist in more places than groceries), scanning QR codes, scanning checks to do app-deposits (Chase, BoA etc) and taking clear artistic pictures.

    - The latest Macbook Pro uses 1.3MP Facetime Cameras which makes FT look fantastic. These sensors ARE NOT big and would easily fit in the iPad 2 casing.

    I know I'm overreacting on this but I absolutely love the iPad and that Facetime Camera is one of my big reasons for wanting to upgrade. But as it stands now then this may be yet another product that Apple intentionally crippled just so they can make a new slide next year saying "10x better than last years camera"

    <end rant and apologies to those offended>
  2. Zcott macrumors 68020

    Oct 18, 2009
    Belfast, Ireland
    Camera is almost exclusively for videoconferencing and super-high resolutions just aren't viable yet.
  3. lilo777 macrumors 603

    Nov 25, 2009
    While I agree that videoconferencing is going to be the primary use for the front facing camera (and virtual reality probably will probably utilize the back camera), I still think Apple is too greedy. There might be occasional use for high resolution back camera, for example - to take a picture of a document.
  4. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    Xoom has 2mp front and 5mp rear with dual led flash I believe.

    Which I'd say is about on par for what people would reasonably expect in 2011

    You can imagine if Apple had 2mp and 5mp and the Xoom was launched with the iPad2 camera unit. Apple fans would be ripping the hell out of the xoom for it's rotten camera's.
  5. Zcott macrumors 68020

    Oct 18, 2009
    Belfast, Ireland
    Worth bearing in mind that megapixels don't necessarily equate to image quality. It's the size of the sensor that counts. This can't be stated enough.
  6. titans1127 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 10, 2009
    Well the tech specs don't mention the resolution on the back camera for stills like they did for the ipod touch. They only mention stills with the front facing camera will be VGA. So who knows what the resolution of stills from the back will be.
  7. marksman macrumors 603


    Jun 4, 2007
    I don't know about the later, but the intended use of this camera is facetime/video conferencing, and it seems Apple felt the camera did that well....

    I don't see any issues with it, given it's intended purpose. People who want to do things with it that were not intended, seem to have more issues with it.
  8. Stetrain macrumors 68040

    Feb 6, 2009
    Isn't that exactly the same as the iPhone 4 and iPod touch front facing cameras?
  9. lilo777 macrumors 603

    Nov 25, 2009
    Large size VGA sensors just do not exist so iPad's sensor is going to be worse than XOOM's in all respects. It may not mean much but this is almost given.
  10. urkel thread starter macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    But if the sensor size is equal to the iPod Touch (which it appears they both share the same hardware) then image quality will be terrible. The thing that masks this is the low resolution of the iPad 2 screen, but where this becomes apparent is when you email it to your friends iMac, display it on your HDTV or post it on Facebook.

    Also, lack of Auto-Focus is such a major disappointment because so many fantastic iPhone apps rely on Auto-Focus to work properly.
  11. Piggie macrumors G3


    Feb 23, 2010
    And all they had to do was to spend another 5 dollars and fit the iPhone5 camera unit in the iPad rather than the iPod touch camera unit :(

    Oh well, there's always next year I suppose.
  12. vincenz macrumors 601


    Oct 20, 2008
    It's much more cost-effective to include a lower res camera. I think that's the only explanation for it in the iPad 2.
  13. J Griz 757 macrumors regular

    J Griz 757

    Dec 24, 2010
    Imo, you shouldn't be buying a iPad2 if your looking for a good camera.

    I will personally only be using the iPad2's back camera as a last resort (for whatever reason) backup camera.
  14. fertilized-egg macrumors 68020

    Dec 18, 2009
    Yeah the lack of AF is a major disappointment and the quality of the camera will be terrible. It's OK for Facetime and that's about it. The video quality is passable in good lighting but photos? urg. It's probably something Apple gladly sacrificed to get the thin profile while maintaining the margin since they get double bonus from using the same cameras for the iPod as well.
  15. Jcoz macrumors 6502

    Mar 25, 2008
    How does the resolution of the camera affect the quality of the feed?

    I don't know just asking, but I would imagine that they want facetime to work well over 3G, not sure if someone can clue me into how that camera res may affect the video lag and or potential data usage....
  16. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    The higher the resolution, the more pixels it produces and thus it will require more bandwidth. Since the carriers [AT&T, VZW] don't have quality networks compared to their European counterparts, they have to make lower res cameras so they won't kill the networks.

    Plus it gives Apple a chance to sell more iPads later when they give it an upgraded camera in future generations; a new selling point.
  17. Jcoz macrumors 6502

    Mar 25, 2008
    This is what I thought, but why isn't it a point of discussion for people moaning about the MP's for these cameras?
  18. yodaxl7 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 25, 2010
    Not sure if it is native 720p or not, but I got my iPhone 4 for that. How much difference would 8 mp would do for average use. I'm not a pro. If I am one, I would spend twice iPad 2 to buy a pro camera. It is good for home use. It is not a pro video editor like aperture app. This iPad is a huge upgrade. It is moving from single core to dual. Plus, apple brings dual core app like garage band, iMovie, and photo booth.
  19. Coukos34 macrumors 6502

    Mar 20, 2009
    ^ This

    Even VGA is more than facetime can even show.
  20. dagamer34 macrumors 65816


    May 1, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Because if you really want to take a picture, you'll have a smartphone with a better camera. Feature creep is how you get the Xoom starting at $799.
  21. urkel thread starter macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    I cant agree because that logic is outdated. A decade ago we'd say "you want a good picture, buy a camera" or even more recently "you want to read a book, buy a kindle".

    But the point of smartphones and tablets is that they aren't single task devices.They're MEANT to be versatile. So just because the iPhone is too small for books, or the iPad is too awkward for pictures doesnt mean the task should be half-assed. And when it comes to this particular feature then the popularization of Facetime HD should REQUIRE modern hardware.
  22. urkel thread starter macrumors 68030

    Nov 3, 2008
    These decisions have nothing to do with bandwidth because maximum resolution doesnt mean it cant be scaled back for specific apps. (The iPhone 4 has a 5MP frontcam that doesnt transmit at 5MP when used in FT)

    Plus, lets not ignore the competition:

    Apple iPad 2
    Front - .69MP
    Back - 1MP

    Motorola Xoom
    Front - 2MP
    Back - 5MP

    HP TouchPad
    Front - None
    Back - 1.3MP

    Blackberry Playbook
    Front - 3MP
    Back - 5MP

    The manufacturer doesnt "have" to do anything. This is all Apples choices and unfortunately the decision does affect certain apps from working on the iPad.
  23. sammich macrumors 601


    Sep 26, 2006
    Your maths is off...or you got the two mixed up and added 1MP to one.
  24. marksman macrumors 603


    Jun 4, 2007
    People need to really remember this stuff when they want every little piece to be upgraded. Apple makes decisions on a macro level as well as a micro level, and if the there is no significant benefit they are not going to raise the price for the entire device by doing it.

    Some people need to realize when you add something that costs $1.79 to something you sell 20 million of, it is significant. When you add .98 here, and $2.00 there it all adds up, and as Dag said, you end up with overpriced devices like the Xoom that try to sell themselves on spec sheets and not actual performance.
  25. HXGuy macrumors 68000

    Mar 25, 2010
    Excellent post marksman. I've said the same before...it all adds up. People say "It's only $5 more to add this or $10 more to double the RAM" but like you said, if they sell 20 Million units, and they will, you're talking about $100,000,000 - $200,000,000 in lost profits. That is a lot of money.

Share This Page