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Camera comparison: iPad vs Transformer Prime vs XYBOARD 10.1 vs Galaxy Tab 10.1

Ease of use and speed:

Some people will like the automatic shooting mode of the iPad 3, which is evident by the minimal options available to it, but then again, others prefer more control for things they’re trying to capture. Hence, that’s where all three Android tablets find themselves with their deep manual controls. Between the three, however, we have to say that the Asus Transformer Prime boasts the wealthiest set of features that will make even some hardened photographers extremely content. Specifically, we can modify things such as scene modes, aspect ratio, focus mode, ISO, anti-flickering, white balance, and exposure. Meanwhile, it boasts other novel things such as time-lapse interval videos and easy to compile panoramic shots.

No question about this one people, but it’s the iPad 3 that wins the award for being the speediest snapper – and we mean lighting quick! Though, we do like that the Asus Transformer Prime can instantly launch the camera app directing from the lock screen. Still, when it comes to counting down the time from the moment our finger presses the on-screen shutter key, to the moment when it snaps and saves the shot, the iPad 3 is hands down the fastest. Runner up to it is the Transformer Prime, with the DROID XYBOARD 10.1 after that, and the Galaxy Tab 10.1 being the slowest.


Above all, the main reason why the iPad’s 1080p video recording stands out more than its rivals, is the fact that its anti-shake feature keeps things steady – whereas, the others seem, you know, shaky by comparison. Well, that’s not the sole reason why the iPad is dominant when it comes to taking videos. Aside from that, the iPad wins us over with its well-rounded quality by coughing up some pleasant details, smooth capture rate, clear audio recording, neutral exposure, and minimal artifacting. So all in all, it simply translates to some pleasant looking videos. Out of the bunch, the 720p video recording of the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is undoubtedly the worse. Honestly, it doesn’t deserve to bear the association of being high definition because in low lighting situations, it’s entirely softened by heavy instances of noise muddying things up. As for the other two Android tablets, they’re very honorable with their quality, but they still pale in comparison to the iPad.

Apple iPad 3 Sample Video - day:

Apple iPad 3 Sample Video - night:

Asus Transformer Prime Sample Video - day:

Asus Transformer Prime Sample Video - night:

Motorola DROID XYBOARD 10.1 Sample Video - day:

Motorola DROID XYBOARD 10.1 Sample Video - night:

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Sample Video - day:

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 Sample Video - night:


Well folks, we have to applaud Apple for the iPad’s camera prowess in nearly all areas. Sure, it lacks a flash, and even without one, it’s able to demolish the competition in the low lighting department. Come to think of it, this has come full circle seeing that the iPad 2 didn’t come to the table bearing any exciting camera along for the ride. Nevertheless, the iPad 3 does justice in being a device worthy enough to capture those “in the moment” situations that you’ll want to remember for the rest of your life. Second to that, the Asus Transformer Prime would be the next logical choice based on our experience, with the Motorola DROID XYBOARD 10.1 after that, and the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 as the last resort. Indeed, you might still get some cold stares from some people as you whip out the iPad to snap something, but in any event, it’s the tablet you’ll want to have on standby in the event a dedicated camera or smartphone isn’t available.


  • Options

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 06:44 8

1. sorcio46 (Posts: 435; Member since: 27 Jul 2011)

Again lack of autofocus in Video Recording for iPad 3 non mentioned, and a camera without the flash loose pretty easly in every low light conditions

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 06:44 8

2. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)

I had a transformer prime before the iPad 3 was announced. When it was announced, I got pissed when everyone started bragging about the iPad 3's "iSight" Camera, since it's only a 5MP one without flash whereas my prime had 8MP w/ Flash.

Anyways, after reading this my mind cleared up quite a bit. I'm staying with my prime since I need details on taking pictures with my tablet, not actual professional photography.

I also wonder if the front facing VGA camera on the iPad improved but since nobody's talking about it, I wouldn't care.

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 08:14 6

5. nnaatthhaannx2 (Posts: 820; Member since: 19 Oct 2011)

The only difference between the iPad and the Prime (for me) is app selection. Without well developed apps specifically for the Prime, it loses in that catagory.
I like Android and WP more than iOS, but the apps and GOOD developers need to come to Android and WP.
I read all the time that android almost has the same number of apps as ios, but that isn't taking in the fact that many android apps aren't as high quality as iOS ones may be, because all are accepted.

A little off topic, but for cameras, the front is more important than the back (BB Playbook). And this shouldn't be a deciding factor *at all* between any of these tablets. All feature nice cameras.

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 15:24

19. downphoenix (Posts: 3165; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)

I think the Playbook has awesome cameras given that its a tablet and they usually arent good. I dont think that its as good as this new Ipad, but it certainly smoked the previous Ipad. I thought the front camera was better than the back on it personally, it just seems to have less noise on it, at least for video.

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 09:20 1

7. biophone (Posts: 1994; Member since: 15 Jun 2011)

MP don't mean everything when the iPad has better optics then the prime. And even without flash it still performed well in low light conditions. MP just refers to the size of the image.

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 09:55

11. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)

i said the iPad is the photog's option, while I chose the prime for it's camera captures more detail. i'm not starting a flame war here.

the iPad does have better optics, i'm saying I just don't need it, and my prime comes in second place anyway, so that's not a deal breaker for me. still not getting the iPad.

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 07:20 1

3. denmcdon (Posts: 90; Member since: 07 Jun 2009)

And let the flaming begin!lol

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 08:08 3

4. AJmeBOY (Posts: 34; Member since: 16 Dec 2011)

Why is ASUS #2?

I didn't read any of the words of the article. But I looked at every picture comparison and I dismissed the ASUS as competition because of the quality of the images.

Thought the Galaxy Tab was neck and neck with the iPad followed by the Xyboard with ASUS dead last. Am I the only one that saw this?

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 08:54 2

6. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)

you sir are color blind and have eye deficiencies.

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 09:39 2

9. gemmabba (Posts: 51; Member since: 09 May 2011)

i agree with AJme...for me the pic look pale and washed out in ASUS
it should be ipad,samsung/xyboard, and then asus

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 09:50 3

10. bobfreking55 (Posts: 866; Member since: 15 Jul 2011)

my father has a galaxy tab 10.1 and comparing daily pics, my prime is indeed better.

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 09:38 6

8. kingstandup (Posts: 30; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)

Wow! Surprise, surprise! Apple wins yet another Phone Arena competition. I don't know why I fool myself into reading an entire article knowing what the outcome will be even before I've finished. Perhaps one day, when I finally reach the "conclusion" I will see a brand other than Apple in the winner's circle. The Samsung pictures and videos were much better than the iPad. On that same token, why does Phone Arena continue to put "older" tablets up against the iPad 3, when it was literally just released. The other three models were meant to top the iPad 2, not the iPad 3. Regardless, they still stack up well against it. Come on Phone Arena, really?

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 10:20 2

12. Habib (Posts: 114; Member since: 26 Feb 2011)

i think its not what is new or what is old.

It's about what is available in the camp ( and considered best).
in this comparison each of them come from their camp as the top TABLETS yet! so it is justifiable to say so.

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 10:21 2

13. darkkjedii (Posts: 25052; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

Man shutup, and take it like a man lmao!!!

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 13:38 3

17. Chronos (Posts: 258; Member since: 25 Feb 2012)

The thought the the iPad deserved to win never crossed your mind?

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 10:21 1

14. Habib (Posts: 114; Member since: 26 Feb 2011)

And yes, i kinda liked the XYBOARD 10.1 better thn the Asus...
bcuz Prime does have details.... that is about it!!!

IPad 3 was obviously the winner but Xyboard should been second thn .. idc which one comes 3rd or fourth between Prime or galaxy Tab 10.1

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 10:22 3

15. darkkjedii (Posts: 25052; Member since: 05 Feb 2011)

iPad #1 discussion over.

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 12:07 3

16. Owlet (Posts: 450; Member since: 21 Feb 2011)

Am I the only one that think shouldn't put cameras on the back of the tablets at all? I never use it and wish they put something else instead, like HDMI, or just make it cheaper and thinner. Why use your tablet as a camera when there are other better and handier options?
As for the quality, I think my Galaxy Tab takes terrible pictures.

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 21:50 4

21. Lucas777 (Posts: 2137; Member since: 06 Jan 2011)


posted on 29 Mar 2012, 14:44 1

18. HTCFreak (Posts: 156; Member since: 17 Jul 2010)

Great comparison, but i don't think that anyone would actually take pictures with these big tablets... maybe at home tho. :)

posted on 29 Mar 2012, 16:09 3

20. xtremesv (Posts: 298; Member since: 21 Oct 2011)

I'm curious Phonearena guys, did you release a comparison like this one when the iPad had only a crappy 0.9 MP back camera and the competition offered better shooters? I don't get it, suddenly having a tablet with a great camera matters and 1 year ago did not.

posted on 30 Mar 2012, 02:05 2

22. E.N. (Posts: 2610; Member since: 25 Jan 2009)

Hey xtremesv, how about you stop complaining and do a little research for yourself. It's really annoying hearing you jealous hating android fans b*tch and b*tch and b*tch. If you like your tablets so much, go use it!!! Stop obsessing over Apple so much, lol. The iPad 3 has a much better camera, get over it.

"But after checking out the results, it’s blatantly obvious that the XOOM has the upper hand in shooting photos thanks to its sharper looking details. Granted that we like the richer looking color production with the iPad 2, it unfortunately is RENDERED ALMOST USELESS for low lighting situations. Thankfully you still get some discernible details with the XOOM’s low lighting shots, but with the iPad 2, it’s plastered with an ABUNDANCE OF NOISE to make it look EXTREMELY GRAINY"

"Without a doubt, the Motorola XOOM produces the best photos out of the bunch with its sharp looking snapshots and natural looking color production. Coming in at second place is none other than the G-Slate which closely produces the same quality as the XOOM, but colors are more on the dull side. Also, the two Android tablets handle macro shots and low lighting situations with ease thanks to their auto-focus and LED flash. Meanwhile, the PlayBook handles well on its own despite the lack of auto-focus with its acceptable looking shots. SADLY THOUGH, the iPad 2 just doesn’t cut it with its poor and grainy looking visuals."

"Absolutely no denying it, the HTC Jetstream is hands-down the tablet you’ll want to pick if you’re interested in snapping a few photos. Generally, higher megapixel count doesn’t mean it’ll translate to better quality, but in this specific scenario, the Jetstream’s 8-megapixel shooter easily beats out the paltry less than 1-megapixel count of the iPad 2. In almost every situation, the Jetstream produces the better looking images with its sharper details and neutral looking color production – and it helps that the dual-LED flash is there to lighten things up. On the opposite end, the iPad 2’s results are DOWNRIGHT APPALLING WITH LOTS OF GRAININESS, MUDDY APPEARANCE, and lack of fine detail. Seriously, the results are literally night and day between the two."

"The Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 is the superior one when it comes to snapping photos. Blatantly, its 3.2-megapixel auto-focus camera produces images that are filled with better detail and color production. Looking at the same shots, you can clearly see that the iPad 2’s results are filled with soft details and WASHED OUT LOOKING COLORS – making it look rather muddy and hazy overall. With macro shots, it’s obvious that images taken by the Galaxy Tab 10.1 are sharper looking. Additionally, there’s a noticeable amount of DIGITAL NOISE evident with the iPad 2’s shots in low lighting, which is something less prominent with the Galaxy Tab 10.1. "

"Given the iPad's INABILITY TO TAKE PICTURES OR VIDEOS, we have no other choice but to proclaim the Samsung Galaxy Tab the better tablet for photography purposes"

posted on 30 Mar 2012, 19:42

24. xtremesv (Posts: 298; Member since: 21 Oct 2011)

I see you did your homework, great! I didn't have the time I'm a busy person. BTW my comment was sarcastic not a conclusive statement and FYI I own an iPad 2 and don't care about tablet cameras.

posted on 03 Apr 2012, 17:16

26. downphoenix (Posts: 3165; Member since: 19 Jun 2010)

how you got a thumbs down i will never know. You totally OWNED with this comment.

posted on 30 Mar 2012, 08:58

23. BrandT (Posts: 9; Member since: 27 Feb 2012)

IMO the Galaxy Tab won the macro shot.

posted on 31 Mar 2012, 13:27 2

25. Evil.Bunny (Posts: 41; Member since: 29 Feb 2012)

1. Everybody has a smartphone these days, a rear-facing camera on a tablet had very little use.
2. The only reason this article was put up was because of the iPad3, otherwise, phonearena would've never done a tablet camera comparison.

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