Your iPad Pro 2022 Camera is a delicate, fine-tuned instrument. Most likely, it’s the finest, most capable camera you’ve ever owned. It’s also likely to be most of the un-coddled devices you have. Your iPad goes everywhere with you, in your book bag, on the back seat of your car, or in the saddlebags of your bicycle. It’s there on the shelf, uncovered, when a dust storm hits. The least its deserves is the best iPad Pro 11 inch case money can buy it (or 12.9 case, if that’s your model).
If you have any kind of history with Apple devices, you know that their relationship with dust is not a positive one. Dust and dirt can gunk up your charge port, keeping your iPhone or iPad from getting a decent charge— unless you use wireless charging or, alternately, use a toothpick to clean out the charge outlet. Dust can get into your microphone, adding nasty interference to your recordings or bringing your voice down to a whisper. Can dust also get inside your brand new iPad camera, and if it does, what happens?
It turns out your iPad camera is iP67-rated, which means it is completely sealed off from dust or water. Yes, that’s right— you can even dunk your iPad in the bathtub and it’ll come out all right (not that I recommend you do this on a regular basis, even if your iPad is under warranty). That said, no environment in the world is completely dust free, unless we’re talking about a vacuum chamber in some ultra-specialized lab somewhere. There’s dust in your living room, there’s dust in your office, and there’s dust in the assembly rooms of the iPad factory. That room where they’re putting together those fancy cameras and sealing them from any future inroads of dust and water? Yes, there is dust there too.
Before you panic, here’s the other side of the equation: those minuscule particles of dust shouldn’t affect your iPad photography. If they do, go ask Apple for a replacement. But if they don’t, just enjoy your camera, knowing that the problem won’t get any worse.
If dust getting inside your camera isn’t an issue, what is? Well, sticky dust on the exterior of your iPad camera can be a headache, destroying your best pictures even before you take it. Good news is, exterior dust can always be wiped away.
The best reusable tool for keeping your iPad camera lens dust free is a clean, lint-free microfiber cloth. Soft enough it’ll never scratch a lens surface, absorbent enough to pick up any random moisture, and textured enough to pick up every particle of dust or stray hair, microfiber is the ideal material for lens care.
Some iPad users swear by disposable wet wipes that are especially designed for camera lenses. There’s nothing wrong with them, but with one use per wipe, it is an extra thing to stay stocked up on.
If you love gadgets and are really serious about this iPad+ dust issue, you might want to splurge and buy a LensPen (don’t worry, it’s not a huge splurge!). Shaped like a felt-tipped marker, the lid unscrews to reveal no point but instead a round flat lens cleaner. A slightly concave surface allows it to really get in there to clean, and a carbon coating is able to remove greasy fingerprints or that dribble from yesterday’s cheeseburger. This coating can be ‘recharged’ periodically by simply rubbing it inside its own cover.
It’s a personal decision, and what’s right for you may not be right for everyone. But you can’t go wrong with any of these three options, and your iPad Pro camera should be able to function dust free.
That’s two worries squared away. Toting around your iP67-rated, fully sealed iPad Pro, you don’t have to be concerned about dust getting inside. That microfiber cleaning cloth, wet wipe, or LensPens has you covered when it comes to dust on the exterior. If you don’t need to protect your iPad camera from dust, what do you need to protect it from?
Scratches are the big one. Back in the day when camera’s didn’t come on phones, no-one would have dreamed of slamming sliding an unprotected $1000 photography device lens-down across a table. Today, we do it all the time. There’s a reason, of course. Apple’s much-touted sapphire lenses are definitely scratch resistant, and they can handle a lot more abuse than the lenses that go with a standard camera or DSLR.
That said, scratch resistant is not scratch proof. Your lens still can get scratched up, and once it’s scratched, it can’t be unscratched. There are two main solutions: a protective lens sticker or a iPad cover that keeps your camera lens off the table (or other scratching surface).
Lens protection stickers are the cheap way to do it. They cost between five and fifteen bucks on Amazon, and they come in a wide variety of patterns and configurations. Some leave the lens itself uncovered, trusting in protection afforded by the rim. Others actually give you a transparent coating over your lens. If you buy one of these, be aware that your new lens coating isn’t sapphire, and you’ll have to change it up whenever it gets scratched.
The other alternative is to buy yourself a quality iPad Pro 11 inch case (or 12.9 inch case, if that is your model). If you’re protecting the camera, why not protect the whole iPad while you’re about it? A good case will both screen and camera safe from scratches, and may even limit the amount of dust that reaches your lens. It’ll also provide some key protection from impact, should you ever have the misfortune to drop your iPad. Zugu’s cases are all backed up by an impressive AppleCare guarantee, and they actually turn out to be pretty affordable.
So get protected. It’s a small investment that will give you big dividends.