One feature of tablets that often gets ignored – and for good reason – is the camera. With a smartphone you can understand the obsession with pixels, lenses, sensors and all the rest. We’re living in a day where phones are replacing compact point-and-shoot digital cameras. It’s more portable, and the difference in quality doesn’t justify buying a bespoke compact camera. The same can’t be said of the iPad or any tablet for that matter. But, there are times when all you have to hand is a tablet and it’d be nice to know your images aren’t going to look horrendous if you do decide to snap one using your iPad’s shooter. With that in mind, I took my iPad mini (in my gillet pocket) out with us to a nearby farm park/garden center to snap some cute (and other not so attractive) animals. [Full gallery below.]
Spec run down: The iPad mini plays host to a 5MP, 2592 x 1944 pixel sensor with auto-focus, but no LED flash. Video capture is 1080p at 30fps. None of the images have beed edited in any way.
The main issue, as with many smartphone cameras is that – when you focus on a dark patch – it over-exposes the bright areas. So much so, in the image above, the blue sky is bright white as I focussed on the duck’s dark feathers. That said, color reproduction in most of the image is good, as is the level of detail.
For its tiny size, the depth of field is pretty impressive. The sharpness of the close up leaves in the image above and the gradual blurring of object further away isn’t exactly DSLR quality, but, nevertheless, it could be a heck of a lot worse.
The image above I tried about 4 times to shoot, and this was the best I could come up with. Light levels were low, and the fish were constantly moving. As you can see, the tiny sensor wasn’t quick enough to capture the fish without blurring. That said, the color contrasts are impressive.
Again, color reproduction is very realistic. Nothing it that overly saturated. But, if you look at the green and orange mushrooms in the middle/background, over-exposure is very clear. It’s fair to say, the camera doesn’t deal well with contrasting light levels.
I found Nemo! 1080p video sample and full gallery below. What do you think of the iPad mini’s camera? Good enough for a small tablet? I certainly think so.