iPad 2's rear-facing camera, for documents - will OCR document scanners work?

Discussion in 'iPad' started by Nishi100, Mar 13, 2011.

  1. Nishi100, Mar 13, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2011

    Nishi100 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2010
    I'm going to be getting an iPad 2, when it comes out in the UK. And, I'm wondering how the iPad 2 does when taking pictures of printed documents, using it's rear facing camera.

    I know that it's low quality, so it won't be able to pick up detail, and I know that it doesn't have autofocus. So can apps still "convert" the text on the printed document, to text on the iPad 2?

    Can you post a few examples?
  2. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    Maybe, but not highly likely.

    1 MP is enough to do basic detection, but nothing great. It would likely work erratically.
  3. anthonymoody macrumors 68020


    Aug 8, 2002
    WHOA. You may have just hit on the little thing that pushes me over the top to get an iPad 2. I'm a super heavy user (see my signature..) and I'd been all set to pull the trigger when the order link went live to upgrade to an iPad 2. But the update to iOS 4.3 gave me enough of a speed boost that I thought...yeah I can hold out for the 3. Or at least until iOS 5 ships and I can see if it further taxes the hardware.

    BUT as I sometimes post, scanning is the one thing that forces me to my household iMac. Each and every time. I don't have to scan often. But when I do, I definitely do.

    I don't need OCR. But I wonder how the camera would do to simply snap a pic of the document? I wonder how closely and evenly I can frame a page to a photo?

    All this also makes me realize that I should've tried this with my iPhone 4 camera ages ago! Oops...
  4. Night Spring macrumors G5

    Night Spring

    Jul 17, 2008
    Tried it with iPad 2 and iPod touch 4. My hands were too shaky to take a clear pic (have a bit of a mobility disability), but my guess is a person with normal muscle coordination could probably get a good pic with either device, although it would be easier to position the iPod touch properly because the device is smaller and therefore easier to handle. Since you have the iPhone 4, I think it's a no-brainer to use the iPhone 4 for this purpose rather than any iPad. Easier to handle plus better camera!
  5. KittyKatta macrumors 6502a


    Feb 24, 2011
  6. Nishi100 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 27, 2010
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPod; U; CPU iPhone OS 4_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/532.9 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0.5 Mobile/8B117 Safari/6531.22.7)

    I suppose I could use my future iPhone 5 to take a picture, convert it and then send it to the iPad (no "Pages" for the iPhone). But, I would need to be able to send pictures and text, which I don't think is possible.

    I could use the camera A and camera B apps, so the picture taken with the iPhone, will be saved on the iPad. Then, all I would needs to do is to use the document scanner app's "use existing photo." It's not great; but I always have my phone (LG viewty) on me, and I'll have my iPhone by the school (uni) term starts.
  7. Pete the Geek macrumors regular

    Mar 5, 2011
    Sioux Lookout
    Apparently, the iPod Touch 4G uses the same camera as the iPad. In my work I use my Touch routinely to take pictures of documents (both typed and handwritten) and pages of books. I don't do OCR, but I do print out copies of the resulting photos. I've never had difficulty reading them. Just make sure you have plenty of light on the page. I've also had great results with the bar code/QR code scanner app "RedLaser". It saves me a *lot* of time.

    I've even demonstrated the use of a Touch connected to a data projector as an "at hand" document camera. The iPad might be a bit unweildy for that but I'm sure there is a clever person (teachers) out there who can make a little stand out of coat hangers/tin cans/papier-mâché.
  8. luckystephens macrumors member


    May 26, 2007
    I use Genius Scan on my iPhone 4 all the time and email the PDF to my iPad for use with GoodReader.
  9. melman101 macrumors 68030

    Sep 3, 2009
    I don't think it would work that good. If it has no auto focus I'm assuming it's like the iPhone 3G camera which in that case was terrible for bar codes and text.

    I do not have my iPad 2 yet so I can't confirm this.

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