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Familiarity breeds assumption, or at least ingrains habits.
When it comes to camera phones and small digital cameras, we’ve all become accustomed to having the lens on either the top-left, top-center, or in the center from our perspective when we shoot a picture. As a result, we tend to grip the camera on the right and/or bottom. The iPad 2 rear-facing camera alters that dynamic by placing the lens in the top-right (portrait mode) or bottom-right (landscape mode). All this comes as a consequence of what I consider one of the iPad 2’s nicest accessories: the Smart Cover. When held in portrait orientation, most users have their Smart Cover attached at their left, so that it opens the same way the books we Western European types are accustomed to open. If the lens were in one of the traditional locations, the cover would invariably block the lens. Even with the lens’s location, we have to be careful not to block it with the cover, but this only means doubling over the last fold of the cover. Similarly, if we hold the iPad 2 in landscape orientation, we have to be alert to not grip it in the bottom-right corner, lest part of our right hand block the lens. Get a lot of practice with the iPad 2’s camera so that you don’t block the lens by accident when you choose to take a picture in a hurry.
Dennis Cohen is the co-author of The iPad 2 Project Book.