Free AppleCare with each new iMac 5K or Mac Pro purchase: Apple Price Guides updated Nov 25th (exclusive coupons)

First sample photos from new iPad show dramatic improvement over iPad 2

Ahead of Friday's launch, a series of sample photos allegedly from the rear camera of the third-generation iPad have surfaced, revealing a significant improvement over the shooter in the iPad 2.

Vietnamese website Tinh.te claimed on Tuesday to have received an LTE-capable version of Apple's new iPad. The site published an unboxing video and benchmarks for the touchscreen tablet.

Later on Tuesday, a group of photos supposedly taken by the new iPad were posted to (via MacNN) the website's forums. It's clear from the images that the new iPad camera is not as good as the 8-megapixel camera on the iPhone 4S, but, when compared to the iPad 2, which had a less-than-1-megapixel resolution, it's a definite step up.

The forum poster admitted that additional testing, including night shots, would need to be performed to accurately assess the camera, but even some of the daytime shots appeared to pose a challenge for it. MacNN surmised from the sample images that the new iPad's camera will be "truly usable for everyday shooting" and would likely produce higher quality images than tablets with comparable camera resolution, such as the Sony Tablet S or the BlackBerry PlayBook.

Third-gen iPad test shots

Click here for full-size image.

Third-gen iPad test shots

Click here for full-size image.

Third-gen iPad test shots

Click here for full-size image.


Apple announced the third-generation iPad last week at a media event in San Francisco, Calif with an improved camera that uses the same optics system as the iPhone 4S. The 5-megapixel rear camera has an infrared filter and ISP built into the device's A5X chip. It features auto-focus and auto-exposure and can record in 1080p video.

The new iPad goes on sale on Friday in the U.S. and 11 other countries or regions. Some eager customers have already begun lining up for the device at Apple Stores around the world.

The lack of a camera was one of the major criticisms leveled against the first-generation iPad. With the release of the iPad 2, some complained that the camera wasn't good enough. It remains to be seen whether the camera upgrades made to the third generation will be enough to silence the iPad's critics.