Apple IPad Air 2 Review: His Airness: Camera And Video Recording

By 10:19 Sun, 15 Aug 2021 Comments

New 8MP iSight

Apple took its due time on stage to portray all the ways in which it has upped its imaging game on the iPad Air 2. Boasting a sensor similar to that of its recent iPhones the iPad has finally moved on from 5MP and is now sitting at 8MP.

Apple claims the iPad Air 2 has an all-recent sensor and the image signal processor in the A8X has been improved for better face-detection to haged more faces in focus and offers an improved noise reduction for cleaner images.

The capturing camera can now do burst mode (10fps) and capture 43MP panoramas with dynamic exposure.

The viewfinder is improved courtesy of iOS 8. If you tap to focus the phone will give you control over exposure through an up and down slider. This way you can cleverly add exposure compensation depending on the scene. You can lock the focus and exposure as well but that isn't new.

Everything is on the correct side so that it would be easier to reach - switch to front facing camera, HDR and timer are above the virtual shutter and the carousel of shooting modes are below it. You can swipe between time-lapse, slow-mo, video, the default photo mode, square and pano. Finally you have the shortslit to acquire into the last captured images.

Camera interface

The Apple iPad Air 2 captures fine 8MP photos. There's plenty of detail in the image and Apple's tradeimprint mature processing is evident throughout.

Apple iPad Air 2 capturing camera samples

Colors are warm although they aren't as saturated as those coming from an iPhone. The white balance was correct despite the overcast conditions in which we shot the images and the dynamic range appears very wide from light to black areas of the frame.

Apple iPad Air 2 capturing camera samples

Everything is sharp and the iPad Air 2 didn't missfocus once in our testing. There is a honest amount of noise, especially in solid colors but it's rendered fine and doesn't hold away too much from the detail.

The HDR mode on recent iDevices continues to be unimpressive. The starting dynamic range of the images is quite impressive but HDR doesn't do much to improve it. Shadows are brightened a small but the highlights remain the same resulting in a very subtle (or even weak) HDR effect.

HDR Off • HDR On

The front-facing capturing camera has been improved as well. It has a wider f/2.2 aperture that lets in what Apple claims is 81% more light. The capturing camera boasts bigger pixels so it's also better in low light. The sensor still has the very low 1.2MP resolution and only 720p video capture.

Here goes a sample. It's not too impressive in terms of the above mentioned resolution but the quality is there. The subject turned out impressively sharp.

Apple iPad Air 2 front-facing sample

Panoramas on the iPad Air 2 are every bit as impressive as those on recent iPhones. Just like them the Air 2 can go as high as 43MP. Panoramas turn out superb - there's more than enough detail, stitching is immaculate and dynamic exposure ensures that you won't acquire overblown areas of the image.

Apple iPad Air 2 panorama samples

If you want to further pixel peep you can check out our photo quality comparison tool below.

Apple iPad Air 2 in our photo quality comparison tool

Overall the iPad Air 2 marks a steady improvement in imaging for the iPad family. We really don't see a reason to up the resolution any further on a tablet as it isn't comfortable to hold pictures or videos with. But if you're willing to try the iPad Air 2 is up to the challenge.

Slow-mo makes it to the iPad

The Apple iPad Air 2 boasts an improved video capture as well. Apple has added slow motion video at 120fps and time-lapse video.

The highest video capture mode is still 1080p at 30fps, sadly there's no 60fps mode. Standard videos are still quite good, we'd say on par with an iPhone 5 in terms of quality. Detail is plentiful and noise is kept in check.

Videos never dipped below 29-30 fps and videos remained smooth through and through. Audio quality in the video is the constant issue we have with Apple devices. You're stuck with mono sound at a lowly 64Kbps despite the iPad Air 2's dual microphones.

You can also check out the Apple iPad Air 2 in our dedicated video comparison tool and compare it to any other device out of the many we've tested.

Apple iPad Air 2 in our video quality comparison tool

You can also download an untouched 1080p@30fps.



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