Friday, May 28, 2021, 22:52 iOS: Hardware

iPad Pro M1: Camera Test Reveals "Hidden Photographic Superpower"

It's already a long tradition: When a new iPhone or iPad is released, the experts at Lux Optics subject the devices to an in-depth camera test. The developers of the popular iOS app Halide Mark II not only take a close look at the bare technical values of the main and selfie cameras, they also sound out the photographic and creative possibilities in detail. Now it was the turn of the new iPad Pro 12.9" with M1 chip.

Main cameras without technical changes
It turned out that Apple has adopted the rear camera module technically unchanged compared to the 2020 iPad Pro. According to the blog post by Sebastiaan de With, the photos taken with the new tablet differ in quality at best in barely perceptible nuances from images of the previous generation. This applies to both the wide-angle lens with its focal length of 28 millimeters converted to 35 mm format and the ultra-wide-angle lens with 14 millimeters. Sebastiaan de With is therefore of the opinion that Apple considers the camera system of the high-end iPads to be good enough and, moreover, does not feel any pressure for further improvements due to the lack of serious competition.

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Selfie camera of the iPad Pro M1 has been redesigned.
The situation is completely different for the selfie module of the iPad Pro M1. Apple has thoroughly revised it. To the surprise of the Halide experts, the tablet reports two cameras with different focal lengths, although there is only one lens. This is partly due to the new feature called "Center Stage", which always keeps the user in the center of the picture during video calls. Camera apps under iPadOS thus have the option of a stepless zoom implemented via software. Although this is slightly detrimental to image sharpness, the results are still impressively good thanks to Apple's "computer magic," according to Sebastiaan de With. However, the images are naturally not completely without distortions due to the principle.



Extreme macro shots with the main camera.
According to de With, the rear camera system of the iPad Pro M1 also has a "hidden superpower". The system focuses correctly even when the object to be photographed is almost directly in front of the lens. This enables extreme macro shots that cannot be achieved with an iPhone 12 Pro, for example. "The iPad Pro is a microscope, so to speak," says the Halide expert. He illustrated his blog post with quite a few close-ups that impressively demonstrate the capabilities of Apple's new tablet. However, taking macro photos requires some skill and a good sense of proportion, because the LiDAR sensor sometimes hinders correct focusing. However, this problem can be solved with a suitable camera app by switching to manual focusing.

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