At some point in the past, during an Apple event, I remember perusing Twitter right around the time some person in the crowd was caught on camera using their iPad to snap some photos (or video, I can't remember) of the event at hand. They were there, in person, and had the audacity to take some photos. Worse, they were doing it with an iPad! It was very scandalous on the social network, with a lot of people tweeting and retweeting calling out this lone person using a tablet to capture the moment.
The feedback was mostly negative.
Now, I think it's safe to say that we all basically expect to see smartphones being used as a camera. It has been that way for quite some time now, and especially these days, when phone cameras are just so good, it's hard to imagine not using a phone to snap a photo or capture a video. But that's not an expectation that carries over to the iPad, or tablets in general.
The feedback I saw during that Apple event indicated to me that some people out there in the world seem to be just flabbergasted in general that a tablet would even have a camera at all. At least a camera on the back. A front-facing camera makes sense, right? After all, a tablet is a perfect device for video calls, so ditching the front camera wouldn't make much sense.
But the rear camera? Well, maybe that is a possibility. I think I can probably count on one hand how many times I've used the camera on the back of any tablet I've owned over the years. And, honestly, those instances were probably by accident. I don't think I've ever used my tablet's rear camera on purpose. Even if I could, and the subject was close enough to make it any amount of worthwhile, I've probably dug my phone out of my pocket and snapped the photo with that device instead.
I don't think I'd go that extreme with it, even if I don't ever use it. Why? Because obviously there are some folks out there that do use the rear camera on their tablet, and just because I don't use it doesn't mean it's not a solid option for someone else. Plus, it's not like it would drop the price of a tablet by any significant margin, so it may as well be there.
The only issue I have with it? When it gets in the way. When it ruins an experience. For example: A few years ago I was in the audience of a student-led play for a friend of mine's kid. In the row in front of me someone pulled out a tablet to start recording the show. It blocked the view of my friend's wife, so much so that he actually switched seats with her so she could see what was happening on the stage -- without having to see it through the tablet's display.
That's just rude, and even though phones can get pretty big these days -- and people can still get in the way with their phones -- it's not as bad as using a tablet. So that would be my only perceived negative of using a tablet for a camera, aside from the fact that smartphone cameras are just a better option in most cases.
But word on the street is that Apple may include up to three rear cameras in a future version of the iPad Pro, which obviously led me down this particular train of thought. So I'm curious: do you use your iPad/tablet to take photos or shoot video? Know anyone who does? Have a funny story to share involving the tablet as a camera? Let me know!