So are the camera’s on the new 2020 iPad Pro’s actually “Pro”? The short answer is no. The long answer is that to Apple, the word “Pro” has a different meaning between “Pro” cameras on the iPhone and “Pro” cameras on the iPad. For the iPad product class, “Pro” means basically adding the 2x optical zoom out lens.
Now, as a side note, while making this video, I realized that the iPad Pro 2020 version uses an A12z chip, iPhone 11’s use A13 and the old iPad Pro, uses an A12X chip. So Apple didn’t use a modified version of the new chip, just an extra modified version of an old chip.
And I guess that’s the same story for the camera’s. All the nice quality of life features of the iOS cameras hasn’t made it to the iPadOS. WHY!!!!
So before I went and shot a bunch of stuff to compare, I really wanted to go through the tech specs on Apple’s website to see what the camera differences were between the old and new iPad Pro’s as well as the iPhone 11 Pro’s camera. There wasn’t a release keynote for this so I had to figure out that on my own. Phil makes it way easier because when he’s proud of something, he’ll always start with “the BEST whatever we’ve ever built for the iPhone. Or iPad”.
The actual lenses on the iPad are smaller than the ones on the iPhone 11’s. My guess is that the lenses can be smaller when you don’t have OIS or optical image stabilization on it. BUT the old iPad’s lens was much bigger and that didn’t have OIS either. So I have no idea.
So here are the noticeable difference on the spec sheets found on Apple’s website.
-iPadPro’s Ultra wide is only 10MP instead of 12 but has a 5 degree bigger -field of view at 125 degrees
-No Portrait mode on the rear facing cameras on the iPad Pro’s
-No OIS on iPad
-iPhone 11 has 6 element wide lens, iPad’s is only 5
-No night mode on the iPad
-More audio features on the iPhone 11 (like Audio zoom and Stereo recording)
-iPad has noise reduction whereas the iPhone 11 doesn’t…?
-No cinematic video stabilization on the iPad @ 4k
-iPhone 11 has a 12 MP camera whereas the iPad has 7
-Both have the same portrait mode settings
-No slowfies on iPad
So those are the differences between the iPhone 11 and 2020 iPad Pro. BUT how do the cameras of the 2020 version compare against the 2018 iPad Pro? Well, the biggest add was the wide angle lens. The only other thing I noticed was that the flash was better on the newer iPad.
For video, you can take 8MP photos while recording 4k video BUT on the iPhone’s you get the still photo button whereas the iPad, you get nothing so I have no idea how you do that.
The TrueTone camera is the same…
So at the end of the day “Pro” basically means an extra camera. Your mileage with the wide angle camera is going to vary BUT despite ragging on the wide angle camera a bit when they introduced it last year, I’ve grown to appreciate it. It’s a fringe feature that most people aren’t really going to care about.
I wish there was a release Keynote for this so that we can all listen to Phil say “this is the most advanced camera system we’ve ever put into an iPad”. And the have him basically regurgitate the camera portion from the iPhone 11.
So those are the differences on paper.
How about IRL?
Easier to get to camera on the iPhone’s.
How to film in 4k? Not built in easily like the iPhone’s. To change the settings, you have to go old school and do it manually which is why I said iPadOS is missing some of the quality of life features found on iOS.
Image stabilization comparison
– Image wobble is noticeable on the iPad without OIS
– Image isn’t as clear because of the extra motion, video is a little blurrier on the iPad
– Sensor on the iPhone is better for low light. If we freeze frame Monty at the end, you can see more detail on the iPhone 11
Wide angle comparison
– Feels like the iPhone 11 has an wider angle despite being 5 degrees less
Low light Photography
– By itself, the sensors seemed similar BUT I think the iPad photo’s looked a little better
– In really dark areas, the long exposure on the iPhone 11 beats the slow flash on the iPad Pro.
But at the end of the day, for me, is that it’s not necessarily quality of the camera that matters, it’s know the limitations so that you can shoot stuff that looks the best with what you got.
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