New iPad (iPad 3) Camera Opinion

August 3, 2012

The Apple New iPad (iPad 3) comes with a 5 megapixels camera at the rear of the device and VGA camera at the front. The camera have autofocus, support Face detection, can record 1080p30 videos and have video stabilization. The needed basic specs are there no doubt about it, but we are he to check the New iPad performance. As you know,the camera’s megapixels are far away to tell us how good the camera is. Let’s take a closer look at the New iPad camera and see how good it is?

new ipad 3 camera

New iPad Image Sensor

The New iPad (iPad 3) utilizes an OmniVision OV5650 1/3.2-inch (4.54 x 3.42 mm) 5MP BSI-CMOS sensor.  It’s the same sensor size of the sensors in the Samsung Galaxy S3, Apple iPhone 4S, HTC One X and Samsung Galaxy S2, but much smaller than the sensor on the Nokia 808 PureView phone. In fact, this is the same exact sensor used in the iPhone 4 mobile phone.

New IPad sensor size comparison diagram

New iPad camera image sensor vs other sensors

In general you should expect somewhat the same image quality, but after viewing many iPad sample images, it seems that it was able to produce a bit less noiser images. That’s probably doe to its improved image processor (A5X) and new noise reduction algorithms. But overall, the image quality of the New iPhone (3rd generation) is about the same as the iPhone 4.

From what I’ve read on forums, the new iPad front camera is a recycled model of the iPad 2 and iPoad Nano camera. I”ve read many negative opinions from a lot of people being very frustrated about that. Maybe the an iPad camera isn’t the main attraction of the device, but people really wanted that camera to be better, so it seems.


New iPad (iPad 3) Sample Images

Let’s take a look at some iPad 3 sample images and I will talk about the image quality after that.
Ståtlig kille...

yellow poppies

Before the Art Class - Upstairs at the Friends Institute

Dark red, orange-red, bright red, and bright blue


The new iPad feature a five-element f/2.4 4.2mm lens. The iPad 2 has a wider angle lens 3.8mm lens. Overall the iPad 3 was able to deliver some decent shots. In fact, the New iPad images really shine when you shoot them in daylight , where the subject is well exposed. Image quality degrades when you shoot in low-light conditions, especially when you try to shoot fast moving subject. Their just isn’t enough light that the camera can use faster shutter speed and get a well exposed photo. Colors look natural, sharpness is good and auto white balance was surprisingly very good/accurate.

I personally wouldn’t get out and shoot photos with my iPad, just looks too weird. However, I found the large 9.7-inch LED-backlit display to be perfect for viewing images. I have to admit, images on the New iPad (2012) / iPad 3 looks amazing, much better than they look on my LG TN-panel LCD. I really enjoy looking at them, the colors are vibrant, images looks sharp and alive. Maybe that’s one reason why so many people enjoy taking photos with the iPad. Of course you can transfer any image and view it on the device, but nothing is better like point-and-shoot and view the images instantly on the display.

So in terms of fun-factor, the new iPad wins over the iPhone 4S because the viewing experience is just waayyy better.



New iPad Sample Video

The new iPad is capable of shooting Full HD 1080p30 videos.  It doesn’t support continuous AF during videos, and you have to tap focus to get a good focused footage.

The above new iPad (3rd ge) test video was shot at 1080p30.  Image quality is good, but lacks the punch, vividness, sharpness and ease of use of latest mobile phone cameras.


Apple iPhone 4S sample video for comparison


I do notice that new iPad (iPad3) videos are much more noisy. Noise is certainly apparent even when shooting in a well-lit environment.

I was much more impressed with the video quality of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 720p  for example.


I personally think that in terms of video quality, the new iPhone disappoints. I do hope that Apple will improve the video quality in its next products.



Apple New iPad (iPad3) takes great still images, but lacks to impress me when it comes to video. The New iPad (3rd gen) utilize the same sensor of the iPhone 4.  The things is that I personally find tablet devices awkward to use for shooting stills and videos. However, being able to view your photos on a large high-quality display is amazing.  The viewing experience is much better than viewing your photos on a mobile phone device (ie. iPhone 4S). I do hope though that Apple will come up with an improved camera on future iPhone tablet devices.

I know that people really do care about the camera, and it’s one feature that they really want to see improved on each generation of new devices. All in all, I wouldn’t buy the new iPad for its camera, but if you already bought this device, you can use this camera to get some pretty nice shots.

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  • Dick Jones

    I’ve found that in low light it’s very hard to get a decent still photo from the iPad3 as the shutter speed is too slow and it’s very hard to keep it still enough. However I was more than impressed with the video quality in the same low light and the sound on the video is pretty good too!

    Check out this video. The footage of the band was done with my iPad. The road footage was done with a bullet camera on my bicycle helmet.

    p.s. Thanks for posting one of my photos on your blog.