The best tablet cameras available today have a lot to offer photographers. Admittedly, they won't come close to the capabilities of the best camera phone or the best cameras in general. But if you need a tablet anyway – for photo editing, video editing or just general admin – you may as well get one with a good camera. And some of the latest tablets to hit the market have one or more lenses that are surprisingly capable.
That said, you may not wish to spend all the money you have on a tablet, when you could be directing that cash towards photography equipment instead. So in this article, we've rounded up both the best tablet cameras overall (which come at a premium price) and the best tablet cameras in terms of value (balancing quality and cost, while still being capable of shooting decent stills and video).
So read on to discover the best tablet cameras for Windows, iOS and Android, starting with the best tablet camera overall.
The best tablet camera 2022
The best tablet camera experience you can get at the moment comes from the very latest iPad, the iPad Pro 12.9 M1 (2021). On the rear you get 12MP wide and 10MP ultra-wide rear cameras, along with a time-of-flight (ToF) LiDAR scanner for depth. This setup offers video capture up to 4K at up to 60fps, and Full HD (1080p) capture at up to 240fps.
It’s worth noting that these stats are exactly matched on the previous model, the Apple iPad Pro 12.9 (2020). Subtle improvements to performance have been made, though. For example, the 2021 iPad Pro boasts Smart HDR 3 software compared to Smart HDR on its predecessor; and offers extended dynamic range for video up to 30fps.
Overall, though, if the rear camera was your only concern, you might opt for the cheaper 2020 model (number 2 on our list). Where the 2021 truly trumps its predecessor, however, is in the front-facing camera. That’s jumped up in quality from 7MP on last year’s model to 12MP. It also now boasts an ultrawide view which, thanks to the new ‘Center Stage’ feature, means you’re automatically cropped into shot when on a video call or taking a selfie.
The iPad Pro 12.9 M1 (2021) is also a fantastic tablet in general, with a high resolution screen, excellent levels of brightness, the superfast M1 processor and generous battery life making it one of the best iPads for photo editing too. To learn more, read our Apple iPad Pro 12.9-inch M1 review.
Want an iPad with a decent tablet camera, but on a tight budget? As we mention above, the latest iPad Pro for 2021 is the absolute best there is; but the more affordable 2020 model comes a very close second.
After all, you’re still getting the same 12MP wide and 10MP ultra-wide rear cameras, along with a time-of-flight (ToF) LiDAR scanner for depth, video capture up to 4K at up to 60fps, and Full HD (1080p) capture at up to 240fps.
The main compromise is that the front-facing camera drops down from 12MP to 7MP and doesn’t have the automatic centering feature. The other big difference is that the 2021 iPad Pro is much, much faster; so if you’re doing very resource-intensive tasks such as video editing, that might make a difference to your productivity.
If that’s not the case, though, and the front camera isn’t important to you, we’d probably advise opting for the more affordable 2020 iPad Pro.
Want a Windows tablet with a decent camera? Then we recommend the latest Microsoft Surface Pro. This 2-in-1 tablet/laptop hybrid boasts a 10MP rear-facing autofocus camera with 1080p HD and 4K video, plus a 5MP front-facing camera with 1080p full HD video.
The rear camera offers clean and clear images, and the extra 2MP bump from the Surface Pro 7 really makes a difference to the level of detail you can capture. The front camera, meanwhile, does a surprisingly good job of conducting video calls, as long as your room isn’t overly dim.
That’s thanks to an Ambient Color Sensor in the front camera, which Microsoft has added to this new Surface Pro for improved brightness and colour. It also allows you to log into Windows Hello using just your face.
There are plenty of other improvements over the Surface Pro 7 too, including a boost in RAM from 4GB to 8GB, a bigger and brighter 13 inch display and longer battery life, plus it runs the latest Windows 11 operating system. That means this isn’t just the best tablet camera for Windows users available today, it’s the best Windows tablet, period.
Android tablets might not be known for their photography smarts, but the best ones do come with some very capable cameras. Our top recommendation right now is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+.
On the rear, you get 13MP wide and 5MP ultrawide cameras. These are capable of shooting photos with gloriously vivid colours, especially if you take advantage of onboard modes such as Panorama, Night and Live Focus. There’s also a Single Take mode, which lets you capture multiple shots from one take, and you can capture 4K video at 30fps. On the front, meanwhile an 8MP front facing camera provides excellent picture quality for your video calls and selfies.
This is a pretty great tablet in general too. Its Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 Plus processor is super speedy, the 10,090mAh battery will keep going for hours, the S Pen stylus is a joy, and the 12.4in Super AMOLED screen delivers a lovely, hi-res picture.
If you're looking for an affordable Windows tablet with a decent camera, then look no further than the Surface Go 2. Despite the low price, you're getting a very good 8MP autofocus rear camera that shoots 1080p video.
The 5MP front camera lets you stream in 1080p too, which gives it the edge over many similarly priced laptops, which tend to be stuck around the 720p mark.
More generally, the Surface Go 2 is a 2-in-1 device that can be transformed into a laptop when combined with Microsoft's Type Cover (sold separately). It's not the fastest or most powerful device, hence it runs by default in Windows 10 S Mode, which restricts you to apps from the Windows Store only. However, battery life is good, and overall this is a great budget choice for kids, students, or just anyone who wants to keep their costs low.
If you're seeking a cheap Android tablet with a good camera, check out Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 (2018). It's a few years old now, hence the reduced price, but it's still a good performer.
Photography wise, you get an 8MP f/1.9 camera on the rear, while on the front you'll find a 5MP f/2.2 selfie camera. These perform as well as you can expect in an older model, plus there are some nice tools in the camera app, including Night Capture, Panorama, and a Pro mode that lets you adjust things like white balance and ISO. Both can capture 1080p video at 30fps.
Obviously this is not the most powerful or up-to-date Android tablet, with just 3GB RAM, and running an older version of the operating system (8.1). But it copes with most things pretty well, and for this price, you won't find better.
Tablets tend to be quite big and cumbersome, making them not-so-great for taking pictures with. If, for this reason, you'd rather opt for something on the small side, we'd recommend the latest iPad Mini.
The best tablet camera you'll find in a compact size, its rear camera sports the same 12MP sensor as the iPad Pro. This is capable of capturing 4K video at up to 60fps. On the front, meanwhile, there's an excellent 12MP selfie/video call camera. This employs the Center Stage feature that automatically centers you in picture, and can capture 1080p video at up to 240fps.
Elsewhere, the 8.3 inch screen offers a gorgeous hi-quality display, with vivid colours. You get excellent performance thanks to the speedy Apple A15 processor. And the tiny size and weight means it's easy to carry everywhere.
Want an iPad but short of funds? The best budget iPad available today is the iPad 10.2 (2019), and it's got quite a bit to offer photographers. Its 8MP rear camera provides sharp and clear images, with good, strong colours. It features HDR, and can capture 1080p video at 30fps.
On the downside, the 1.2MP front facing camera is not great at all. And on the whole this model is more basic than the latest, expensive iPads. But as long as you're not using it for important voice calls, and you're not bothered about selfies, this is the best iPad available for a cheap price today.
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