Camera

The iPad 4 features a 5MP rear facing iSight camera and a 1.2MP front facing FaceTime HD camera. The rear camera shoots photos at 2592 x 1936, while the front facing camera shoots photos at 1280 x 960. The aperture and focal length of the rear facing camera haven't changed compared to the 3rd generation iPad.

Rear Facing Camera Comparison
  Sensor Resolution Compressed JPEG Size Aperture Focal Length
Apple iPad 4 5MP 2592 x 1936 3.4MB f/2.4 4.3mm
Apple iPad 3 5MP 2592 x 1936 3.1MB f/2.4 4.3mm
Apple iPad 2,4 0.7MP 960 x 720 344KB f/2.4 2.0mm
Apple iPad mini 5MP 2592 x 1936 3.1MB f/2.4 3.3mm
Apple iPhone 5 8MP 3264 x 2448 3.1MB f/2.4 4.1mm
Apple iPod Touch 5 5MP 2592 x 1936 3.1MB f/2.4 3.3mm

Still image quality out of the rear camera is comparable to the 3rd generation iPad, and clearly better than the iPad mini.


 

The front facing camera sees the biggest improvement over the iPad 3. The difference is like night and day thanks to the increase in sensor quality and resolution.


 

Front Facing Camera Comparison
  Sensor Resolution Compressed JPEG Size Aperture Focal Length
Apple iPad 4 1.2MP 1280 x 960 426KB f/2.4 2.2mm
Apple iPad 3 0.3MP 640 x 480 117KB f/2.4 1.8mm
Apple iPad 2,4 0.3MP 640 x 480 105KB f/2.4 1.8mm
Apple iPad mini 1.2MP 1280 x 960 372KB f/2.4 2.2mm
Apple iPhone 5 1.2MP 1280 x 960 400KB f/2.4 2.2mm
Apple iPod Touch 5 1.2MP 1280 x 960 406KB f/2.4 2.2mm

Video

The iPad 4 shoots 1080p video from its rear camera and 720p on the front. Video shot with the rear camera is encoded using H.264 (High Profile) at an average bitrate north of 17Mbps. This puts the encode parameters similar to those of the iPhone 5 and iPad mini. The same is true for the front facing camera.


The front facing camera shoots baseline video at roughly 10.5Mbps:


Video quality is pretty good as well:

WiFi Performance

Like the iPad mini and iPhone 5, the iPad 4 uses Broadcom's BCM4334 WiFi controller. The 4334 supports dual-band 802.11n as well as fallback to 802.11b/g. On 5GHz Apple continues to support 40MHz channels for a maximum PHY rate of 150Mbps. Performance and reception both remain solid:

WiFi Performance - iPerf

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  • cheinonen - Thursday, December 06, 2012 - link

    Color quality has always been a target, just not one that was possible for us to easily measure before. Now that we can, it's in almost every review. If that seems to favor Apple, that's only because other vendors refuse to care about it, and they aren't going to start caring until consumers understand and demand better. Reply
  • ltcommanderdata - Thursday, December 06, 2012 - link

    It's not that pixel density is no longer important. It's that Apple has already satisfied people's needs for high pixel density. Most people already won't notice individual pixels on the iPad's 264 dpi display. So either Apple continues to improve pixel density for very little actual benefit, stops improving displays altogether, or they find another aspect of displays to improve. I think most people will be happy Apple choose the latter option and are improving color gamut and calibration. Reply
  • bplewis24 - Thursday, December 06, 2012 - link

    I'm glad somebody else notices this. Taking a page straight out of Apple's Marketing dept. Reply
  • teiglin - Thursday, December 06, 2012 - link

    Does Apple actually market their products this way? It's not like he's harping on it, but the S.S. Pixel Density set sail a year ago and all the high-end tablets are sufficient for most people (even the TF700, in my opinion--the steps from that to the iPad 4, then to the Nexus 10, are fairly incremental). Apple continues to differentiate its displays with proper calibration, and Anand is just pointing that out. As displays get better, it requires more attention to find the differences.

    The color accuracy on the Nexus 10 is objectively bad. I say this as someone who wants Google to step it up in this area--I have a Samsung tablet and my primary phone is HTC and have never owned an iPad or a Mac. Superior color accuracy isn't going to make me buy an iPad, but a dE over 8 on the Nexus 10 does make me think it's worth waiting for the generation of Google tablet.
    Reply
  • bplewis24 - Thursday, December 06, 2012 - link

    Check out their marketing materials and yes, even some of their commercials. When the coined the term "retina display" they immediately began publishing PPI measurements (and comparisons) in their marketing materials. The reason why this is significant is because other displays eventually caught up and surpassed in sheer resolution, but because the iPhone was smaller, the PPI measurement still stayed on top...even though, ironically, the benefits of such a high PPI and a much smaller display are harder to benefit from. Reply
  • cheinonen - Thursday, December 06, 2012 - link

    The value of PPI has nothing to do with screen size, but distance relative to PPI. Just like an 84" 4K LCD has benefits if you sit 5' from it but no benefit if you are 25' from it compared to a same size 1080p display. The half-inch viewfinder of the camera I just bought has a 2.4 million dot OLED display. If that used the same PPI as a retina iPhone, with 3 dots per pixel, then that viewfinder would only have 0.2 million pixels and would certainly not be as sharp.

    However, as my eye is literally right next to that, a resolution way beyond 300 PPI is useful, despite the incredibly small size of the display. It's all about the distance relative to the PPI, not the size of the screen.
    Reply
  • teiglin - Thursday, December 06, 2012 - link

    I wasn't asking if they market PPI; I know that's the theme of the whole "retina" marketing. I was asking if they market the color accuracy and how their calibration is better than the competitors'. I've seem them mention the iPad's gamut (albeit briefly) but never its accuracy or calibration. Reply
  • EnzoFX - Thursday, December 06, 2012 - link

    That's called avancement. The basis of technological progress. There Should always be something better to pursue. That is good for everyone. No matter how much your bias against Apple is. Reply
  • cheinonen - Thursday, December 06, 2012 - link

    One more note on this. CalMAN 5 is used for measuring smartphones and tablets (and likely monitors in the future) since it supports measuring grayscale, gamut, saturations, and Gretag Macbeth charts, at any targets that we want, and with manual patterns instead of only internal pattern generators. Most solutions only allow for internal generators, which is why previous tablet and smartphone reviews (many of which were done well before Apple made a deal out of this) lack these charts as those programs don't run on an iOS or Android device.

    CalMAN 5 wasn't even released until September of this year, making most of these measurements impossible to do before then. So you can enjoy the conspiracy theories, but had these measurements been possible for me to do 18 months ago, I'd have done them 18 months ago.
    Reply
  • JarredWalton - Friday, December 07, 2012 - link

    On a related note, we've been discussing the importance of color accuracy on our LCD and laptop reviews for... oh, let's see... May of 2007.
    http://www.anandtech.com/show/2237

    You'll notice that of all the laptop manufacturers, only Apple is consistently getting the display quality right (or at least, more right than others) for the MacBook Pro. And even that took a few years after my rant.
    Reply

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