When you need a camera at Wimbledon you should reach for your...iPad?

The simple question; would you take your iPad to a major sporting event like the Wimbledon Championships? Better yet, would you use it as your go-to camera to capture the memories of said major sporting event? My own answer? A categorical no to both. How about you?

I've been following this years Wimbledon quite closely — a British player doing well helps — and noticed an increasing amount of folks in the crowds on the televised courts holding up an iPad to take a photo. The same people who likely also had a smartphone with a much better camera in their pocket. That's without even getting to the point that holding up a 9.7-inch tablet to take a photo just looks plain ridiculous.

So, am I being a little old fashioned here, or is the notion of taking an iPad to a sports event to use a camera something you guys agree with? Why else would you need your iPad at the Wimbledon finals? I'm really curious to get your collective thoughts on this!

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Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

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When you need a camera at Wimbledon you should reach for your...iPad?


NO! It's ridiculous. I go to school events for my kids all the time and see parents holding up their ipads to take photos. It looks stupid and serves no real purpose

Totally agree with Stryf3, it is simple not usefull. I use the iPad cámara for two functions. 1. Skype, 2. Facetime. Other then that hte iPhone has a superior cámara and it is simpler to carry in your pocket.

I disagree. I was at a training seminar and had my ipad taking notes. At one point I used it to snap some photos and to record a how-to. Was it great quality? No. But it did give me something to refer back to when I had to train the people at my office on what I had learned. Fortunately, we were all at tables and mine was up front so I didn't have to block anyone's view, no more than my body was already blocking. I do disagree with holding an ipad up and bothering other people.

One thing to consider though, does it really take up more space than a large DSLR and telephoto lense?

Yes, my Nikon D70 plus lenses take more room than my iPad Mini.
The quality of the videos and pictures are more than acceptable. I am no going to publish them in National Geographic.

The problem with using and iPad isn't about how it makes the user look, it's about how obtrusive it is to everyone behind you. It's a giant screen that is distracting and physically obstructs the view of others. And that is rudeness that society should not embrace.

Call me a dork, but I use mine for pics and to video my son's bball games; works for me and beats having to squint into some tiny display to see what I'm capturing.

Do you also wear a giant cowboy hat and take phone calls on the speakerphone?

I'm not talking about you directly but I do feel that many people do what's "convenient" for them with absolutely no though as to how it is inconvenient or obnoxious to others.

Most people would love to listen to podcasts over the loudspeaker or not wear pants when eating out but most people know that's just not acceptable in public. But nowadays you see these kids blasting Kanye on their iPod Touch or moms holding their iPad in the air to take a picture and they could care less how it affects those around them.

Technology is great but unfortunately most people are not.

No I don't wear a cowboy hat, nor do I take calls on a speakerphone; and no one behind me is inconvenienced since I stand on the top bleacher against the wall when I do this. I don't carry a separate camera so this is what works best for me.

It's discouraging to see how many people here (and in other surveys) can't seem to stop at answering the question and giving their input without going on to trash the other options or ridicule other people's choices.

The iPad has a fair camera why not use it? Some people prefer the bigger screen to take pictures. It's your personal opinion on the matter and calling it "stupid" may be a bit disrespectful for people who uses it. You don't like it? Don't use it, some people do. What's the problem with that?

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Where did I call it stupid? I said I think it's ridiculous, which is a different word with a different meaning. I'm pretty sure I've laid out my opinions and have asked the iMore readers for theirs in this post, so I'm not sure exactly what you're getting at?

I am also pretty sure, although not 100%, the comment wasn't a direct response to you, specifically.

I am also pretty sure there's not enough worthwhile distinction between calling someone's actions "ridiculous" as opposed to "stupid."

As to the question of whether my iPad is my go-to camera: it is not...except for when it is.

I recently burned thugh the batteries of my faux-dslr and my iPhone, not long before another Kodak moment occurred at my family reunion. I reclaimed my iPad from the people who were using it to view pictures, so that I could record some moving pictures.

Perfectly reasonable. The obnoxious part isn't exclusive to the iPad as my big camera can block views pretty well. And of course, many of us have had people stand up to record, standing right in front of us. They do the same thing to see or applaud. It's an unfortunate part of the group dynamic.

We should be aware enough to try to minimize the inconvenience we cause others and fair enough to recognize that sometimes inconvenience from others is unavoidable or at least quite likely and understandable.

Finally, another family member was recording video on her iPad. I'm thinking it was a combination of its longer battery life, bigger screen, and superior recording abilities relative to any other devices she owns.

Not so ridiculous, despite how weird it may initially look. Cellphones looked pretty damned goofy next to our faces oh so many years, ago.

We got over it.

I think people should think about the people sitting behind them before sticking up their iPad to take a picture. I know of someone who missed seeing an event just because someone stuck an iPad up right in front of them and there was no room to maneuver around it without blocking the people behind them.

i think one of the reasons people do this instead of using the camera on their phone or a dedicated camera is for "workflow" reasons.

for whatever reason they want the photo on their iPad and for them the easiest way to get the photo onto their iPad is to take the photo with the iPad.

Possible. Say I want to edit the video clip using imovie. Makes sense to record on my ipad, since there is no easy way to transfer a video file from iphone to ipad.

I also use the camera of my ipad a fair bit as a teacher ( in class, take photos of pupils' work to show on the screen, since my classroom has no visualiser). Definitely way more useful than people are giving it credit for.

Maybe with a mini but the 9.7 inch one I believe is a little awkward. I've used the PlayBook for pictures before but I'd rather just bring my GE X600!

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I've been using my iPad as a camera for the last 5 weeks, after selling my iPhone 5. I don't see what the big deal is, so long as you're using it in socially acceptable situations. Taking a pic at your sons ball games is fine, but at Wimbeldon, maybe not, like 2BTs4Me said. I wouldn't take a pic of a plate of food at a restaurant with my iPad, as that would be really dickish, but I'd take pics of nature stuff, or an outing with it, especially with iOS 7 and the cool filters and HDR. Lighten up people!

"Lighten up", after saying taking a picture of your food would be dickish...if you used an iPad, specifically?

So, it's not the food images but the devices they're taken on, in a setting where no one will be inconvenienced?

Lighten up.

whey do people have to take pictures of sporting events or concerts. youre not getting quality photos, just enjoy the show

Have you never seen quality photos of sporting events or concerts? Many of us have.

And if not, if they want that lower quality image because it means that much to them, more power to them.

It looks as dorky as ever, but you know some people don't have an iPhone AND an iPad. I know people who only have an iPad and I would guess they would use the 5 mp camera it has, when necessary.

Some people just use it to show they have an iPad. Which is chief dorkery which says "hey look! I am different, I have an iPad just like 200 million other people!"

No, just NO.....please make this stop. Chillin on your couch with your iPad & you see your dog/kid/gf is doing something dumb/cute, then by all means use that rear camera or use the front facing camera for a selfie/video chat.......but it stops there b. No rear camera selfies should be taken, nor should you be holding it up in public to take a pic, let alone a major sporting event. End. Of. Discussion.

There's this thing that they used to make.... it was called a "camera"..... it had far better image quality than an iPad, it did real zoom instead of an electronic shortcut... and oh yeah, it was actually smaller.... and cheaper.

This must be like going on Jerry Springer's show to sit in the audience, knowing you've got the freedom to openly judge and mock those before you. No depth of thought required. No using your considerable intellect to go,"Well, maybe some people don't carry a camera everywhere they take an iPad" or "Well. I guess a cell phone costs less than a regular camera, too," or...

Nah. Blanket, simple thoughts and statements rule the day.

And I'm the idiot not smart enough to leave you all to it. Well, I'm going to try to do just that...for at least five minutes.

Baby steps.

Sometimes it's just faster if you are already using it. If my phone is in my pocket and I am currently using my ipad, I'll use my ipad to take a quick picture.

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I was at Wimbledon last year for the Olympic Gold medal match.....I had my iPad 2 as my iPhone was refusing to give me good battery life at the time and I needed ongoing Internet access. Got to the stage where the iPhone died and I ha to be taking photos with my iPad. I felt totally ridiculous!

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I used my iPad mini to take photos at the World Baseball Classic in Phoenix. I don't have/need a smartphone.

Some people don't have one because it costs $150 a month for 2 iPhones for 6GB, all for the amazing privilege to check Facebook and receive email. If you need one for work, cool. If you can afford it, cool. But everyone isn't you. And when I say some people, I mean me. So don't be so presumptuous.

If I spent the amount of money it took to get a seat at Wimbledon, I would pull out a respectable DSLR camera. To this day I have friends that are shifting from using their smartphones at any event that is worth a damn to an actual built for taking pictures camera... instead of their smartphones. Impromptu photos? Smartphones are great for that surprise shot you would have never thought to bring a REAL camera to.

If you're using an iPad to take photos or record video, it's ok, you must be over 70 with terrible vision. You don't have to be a photo snob to realize... Bad pictures hurt your eyes once you've seen the good stuff.

Ridiculous? How about the people that carry a 5x7 Graflex camera?
I used my iPad Mini, pictures, presentation with ZoomNotes, and video/music with iMovies on the spot at a Table Tennis Tournament. Not possible with my Nikon D70.

See here : https://vimeo.com/67477565

Nice! Everything, start-to-finish was done with and in an iPad mini? No post production work done on a mac or anything?

Affirmative. Start-to-finish done in the iPad Mini, no post production. The picture animations done with Zoom-Notes, then inserted the picture animations into iMovies to add the titles at start and end plus the music. Since doing that I have figure out that I could have done the music and titles with Zoom-Notes.

This is actually REALLY COOL! Thanks for sharing this. I'm going to use your method to make a movie about our trip to the Olympic Peninsula.

Glad you like it.
I am still playing with Zoom-Notes to figure out other features.
I did the cropping of pictures and minor color adjuting using FilterStorm, great picture editing program.
Place all the pictures in one canvas, and for "effect" rotate to different angles. You can place pictures inside of pictures, the zoom is infinite. You can select the time to show each picture and the transition time between pictures.
Take a look at the videos on the subject by Zoom-Notes in YouTube.

Here is another one I did for my brother in Chile:


These are his pictures he email to me. I did the collage at the end last year with PhotoWall before I found out about ZoomNotes capability.

I don't own an iPad, but maybe there's something to be said for the photo/video editing apps being better/easier to use on the iPad than any smartphone on the market... Even the iPhone. Again, I don't own an iPad, so can't speak from experience.

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Battery life would be a main factor, IMO.

I tried editing a clip recorded on my iphone, iMovie for ios worked easily enough, but the problem then came when trying to export the clip. It can take a while for a larger clip and burn through your battery life.

It would be less of an issue on the ipad, with its longer battery life.

I don't take pictures with my ipad but they say the best camera is the that's with you. If someone's phone is dead and they only thing they have is their iPad so be it. I'd rather take a picture with my iPad and capture the memory then let it get away. To each is own.

People shouldn't care what people think about how they look using their ipad.

And people take ipads to games to follow other events while there. I don't own an ipad but who cares if some guy uses it to take a picture?

Exactly. The only reason I could see there being a problem is if you hold it up and block someone else. If you keep it relatively chest level, there is no reason anyone should have a problem. Sure the quality isn't that great, but it is better than nothing.

I agree. I have better things to do with my time than laugh at someone's choice of photography device. I only draw the line when their device is somehow impacting me negatively.

Whether the photo turns out okay is their problem, really.

Another thing, in the photo used for this story, I only see 1 person using an iPad. I'd rather not use one, but if its all he has so what?

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My wife and I both have our own iPhone and iPad. I use my iPhone 5 to take pictures because I want a higher quality picture (I'm better at taking pictures). My wife uses her iPad so she can see better what the final result will look like. To each their own. Either way when you stand up to take a picture you are blocking the person behind you just as much. People who go to shows holding up big signs can die -- I think most of us can agree on that.

If ever there were a place for a nice cam with a zoom lens, Wimbledon is it. iPad taking pics? Can you say DWEEB?

Why did so many people complain when the first iPad didn't have a camera, only to complain now that people actually use it? Some people just like to complain.

I generally carry my iMac around for photo ops. Lugging around the extension cable for power is kind of a pain, but the camera takes good pics and I'm certainly not going to buy and carry another camera device when my iMac is perfectly capable of taking a photo. Plus I can scoff at those who claim the PC is dead.

As long as it's not blocking the view of others then why not? I know someone who videoed a whole classical music performance on their iPad 3 because they didn't want to have a dead battery on their phone.

Well, I think one aspect that's not being discussed here is that iPad has very many (and useful) apps which you can very conveniently use, while at the match, for statistics, news, historical references, all the other gamut, to be your sidekick and side-reference for the match (the way people have started using their iPads while watching TV). Some of those guys who were using their iPads for such, might have just picked theirs up to take the snap also at the right moment.