Incredible close-ups show off iPad Pro’s surprisingly great camera


2021 iPad Pro is better than any iPhone at closeup pictures.
Some astounding closeup images should make you stop laughing at iPad photography.
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

Professional photog/developer Sebastiaan de With accidentally discovered that the rear-facing camera in the 2021 iPad Pro can focus on objects very close to the lens. This allows the tablet to capture close-up images not possible with an iPhone.

Cult of Mac did a bit of experimenting and confirmed the results.

2021 iPad Pro camera is damn near a microscope

De With is a co-founder of Lux, which makes the iPhone/iPad photography application Halide. That’s why he did a deep dive into the cameras in the just-released iPad Pro.

During testing, he discovered what he calls a hidden superpower. “iPad basically comes with a microscope,” said de With. “That’s right: you can take some pretty incredible macro shots of things without any accessories.”

As a highly skilled photographer, he took some pictures to demonstrate.

Don’t try this with your iPhone. “The iPhone 12 Pro (or any iPhone, really) has a different lens design and only focuses to about 8 cm (that’s over 3 inches) away from the camera lens,” said de With. “iPad Pro easily focuses on things much closer to its sensor.”

Cult of Mac took a pair of comparison shots with the standard iPadOS and iOS camera apps to compare the close-up capabilities of the 2021 iPad Pro versus the iPhone 12.

2021 iPad Pro close-up vs. iPhone 12: The iPhone 12 can’t match the iPad Pro at closeup photography.
The iPhone 12 can’t match the iPad Pro at closeup photography. (Click for much larger image.)
Photo: Ed Hardy/Cult of Mac

You can see more of de With’s beautiful images in his review of the new iPad Pro camera, taken with the just-released Halide for iPad camera app.