The iPad Pro 9.7 cameras have gotten a pro-level upgrade, even though taking photos with a tablet is considered a major tech faux pas, at least in public. Its still-photo specs are 12MP on the back and 5MP on the front, which, amazingly for a tablet, matches the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S Plus.
I see tablet cameras being useful for simple reference shots and work situations. Realtors and store managers take photos on devices all of the time where I live. For them, snapping photos on a more capable phone only to transfer them to a tablet to show a client is an extra step. Airdrop and iCloud Photo don't always work 100% of the time. The iPad Pro 9.7 solves this problem, something the last-generation iPad Pro 12.9 camera can't even claim to do.
If you're going to violate your contract with society to by taking pictures with an iPad, you might as well make it worth your while. I risked being shunned from the world forever many times over by wielding four tablets at once, simultaneously testing out the cameras of the iPad Pro 9.7, iPad Air 2, Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 and Google Nexus 9 and I found vast differences.
The 12MP iSight camera shows markedly better photo quality over the 8MP camera that's in the iPad Air 2 and also the iPad Pro 12.9. There's less noise in low light photos, giving every subject a brighter, yet cleaner look than every other tablet I have tested. The Samsung Galaxy Tab S2 trailed, and the HTC-made Google Nexus 9 finished last.
There's really no comparison on a tablet, and everything I photographed on the newest iPhone turned out exactly the same, as unheard of as that is. Only the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge I was also carrying around offered photos that looked better. That's no surprise, given the fact that Samsung has the best camera phone that takes brilliant pictures, even in low light settings.
The 5MP front-facing camera is also a considerable upgrade over the 1.2MP sensor found in recent iPads. This FaceTime Camera, as it's officially called, has a Retina Flash, meaning it shines the display three times brighter than normal to achieve the proper True Tone lighting.
All photos comes with Apple's Live Photos feature, which captures a snippet of video and sound 1.5 seconds before and 1.5 seconds after you press the shutter button. This is a neat, though not groundbreaking feature when scrolling back through vacation pictures. Seeing a little bit of life as you thumb through your photo gallery to people makes it seem less like you've trapped them into looking at the 21st century version of endless family vacation slides.
Both front and back cameras also stitch together Panorama photos, with the main rear-facing camera able to shoot 63MP, topping the 43MP pieced together by the iPad Air 2 and iPad Pro.
The rear camera also is capable of shooting 4K video at 30fps now and Slo-mo video mode has been upgraded to 1080p at 120 fps and 720p at 240 fps. Before, we were limited to 720p at 120 fps. You won't find any of these video features on its tablet competitors. Not even the 12.9-inch iPad Pro can do all of this.