updated 10:40 pm EDT, Tue March 13, 2012
iPad 2012 camera given early shakedown
Fresh from a very early unboxing, Vietnam's Tinhte has posted the first substantial batch of camera samples from the 2012 iPad. While not difficult, they prove that the five-megapixel camera is dramatically better than the one-megapixel example of the iPad 2. The output appears color-neutral and both sharper and visibly cleaner than before at full resolution where the original was noisy and didn't do well outside of ideal conditions.
The early samples show that the camera isn't as good as the gold standard iPhone 4S. While it has the optics of the iPhone, images are slightly noisier. Its dynamic range also doesn't appear as wide as on the iPhone, with the bright sky of Ho Chi Minh City quickly clipping to a bright white.
A fuller range of testing still had to take place, including night shots, but it was clear that the camera was now truly usable for everyday shooting. Its image quality may be a measurable improvement over that of other tablets: devices we've tried with comparable cameras in resolution, such as the Sony Tablet S or BlackBerry PlayBook, have usually shown at least a slight quality drop.
We're hoping to test the camera in our own review in the next few days.