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

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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.