The best tablet camera 2023: iPads, Android and Windows tablets with photo smarts

Closeup of Apple's iPad Pro, one of the best tablet cameras
(Image credit: Apple)

What's the best tablet camera around today? Well, we hate to say it, but there isn't a single tablet on the market with a camera that's particularly great. None of them are as good as the cameras you'll find on the latest smartphones... or, indeed, anything close. But that said, if you're looking for a new tablet anyway, it's still worth knowing which ones have the better cameras. 

Because while you probably won't often use a tablet for taking pictures, there are times you might. For example, maybe you don't have your phone to hand, or are using it for something else. Maybe your phone battery is low, or has died completely. Or maybe you just want a nice big tablet screen on which to line up your shot. Maybe you want to use a QR code reader, or some other app that needs a camera. You get the idea.

Plus, while the best tablet cameras won't ever match up to the best camera phone or the best cameras, they are getting much better at it. Some, though, are truly terrible. So to save you from the latter, we list the best tablet cameras on sale today below, from Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and more.

You'll notice that our most recent pick is from last year, and there are no 2023 models on the list. That's because no one's yet released anything this year that's worth including in our roundup. For instance, we'll probably have to wait till the summer to see the Samsung Galaxy S9 on the market, and the rumours are that the M3 iPad Pro won't hit until 2024. So the options below are likely to be the best in show for some months to come.

best tablet camera: our top picks

The best tablet camera 2023

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Apple iPad Pro 2022

(Image credit: Apple)

1. iPad Pro 12.9 M2 (2022)

The best tablet camera overall


Rear cameras (3): 12MP wide (f/1.8), 10-MP ultra-wide (f/2.4)
Front camera: 12MP ultra-wide (f/2.4)
Screen size: 12.9-inch
Resolution: 2048 x 2732 pixels
Weight: 685g (5G), 682g (Wi-Fi)
Dimensions: 280.6 x 214.9 x 6.4 mm
OS: iPadOS 16.1
CPU: Apple M2 chip
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB/2TB

Reasons to buy

High resolution stills
4K video
Shoot ProRes video

Reasons to avoid

Only minor improvement on 2021 model

The best tablet camera experience you can get at the moment comes from the iPad Pro 12.9 M1 (2022), launched last October. 

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 of up to 4K at up to 60fps, and Full HD (1080p) capture at up to 240fps. There's also a front-facing 12MP ultrawide camera with the 'Centre Stage’ feature, means you’re automatically cropped into a shot when on a video call or taking a selfie. 

It’s worth noting, though, that you could also get all this with the previous model, iPad Pro 12.9 M1 (2021). The main thing that's new, in terms of the cameras, is that Apple has for the first time added the ability to record ProRes video. 

Perhaps more significantly, the chip has been upgraded from M1 to M2, so everything is going to run more smoothly in general. The 12.9-inch screen is quite beautiful too: a Liquid Retina XDR mini-LED LCD display, offering a 120Hz refresh rate, HDR10, Dolby Vision, and up to 1,600 nits peak brightness. And there's support for the Apple Pencil 2, with a cool new 'Hover' feature adding extra functionality in a range of apps.

In short, while it may only be a slight improvement on its predecessor, this is still the best tablet camera available today, and one of the best iPads for photo editing too.

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli/Digital Camera World)
The best tablet camera for Android users


Rear cameras (2): Wide: 13 MP, f/2.0, 26mm; Ultrawide: 1/3.4", 1.0µm, AF 6 MP, f/2.2
Front cameras (2): Wide: 12 MP, f/2.2, 26mm; Ultrawide: 12 MP, f/2.4, 120˚
Screen size: 14.6-inch
Resolution: 1848 x 2960
Weight: 726g
Dimensions: 326.4 x 208.6 x 5.5mm
OS: Android 12
CPU: Qualcomm SM8450 Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 (4 nm)
Storage: 128/256/512GB

Reasons to buy

13MP & 6MP rear sensors
Wide & ultrawide front sensors
Support for 4K video

Reasons to avoid

Premium price

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra has the best tablet camera for Android users we've seen to date. On the rear, you get two cameras, a wide and an ultra-wide. The first sports a 13MP sensor, measuring 1/3.4-inch, an f/2 lens, and a 26mm focal length. The second boasts a 6MP ultrawide sensor with an f/2.2 aperture. 

There are also two selfie cameras, both featuring 12MP resolution. With auto-framing, you can position your tablet and move around in front of it, and it will choose the optimal framing for you. And both front and rear cameras support 4K at 60fps.

This is a great tablet in general too. It's ultrathin at just 5.5mm thick and boasts a huge 14.6-inch Super AMOLED screen that's great for watching movies and working in creative apps like Photoshop. It offers superior picture quality, with an 1848 x 2960 resolution, deep blacks, zingy colors, and a fast refresh rate of 120Hz. The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor, with 8-16GB RAM, does a great job of running Android 12. The S-Pen has been redesigned and improved. And a powerful 11,200mAh battery promises up to 14 hours of video playback.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S8 Tab Ultra review

Multiple shots of the iPad Air 2022, one of the best tablet cameras

(Image credit: Apple)

3. iPad Air 10.9" (2022)

The best tablet camera for value


Rear camera: 12 MP, f/1.8 (wide), 1/3", 1.22µm, dual pixel PDAF
Front camera: 12 MP, f/2.4, 122˚
Screen size: 10.9-inch
Resolution: 1640 x 2360 pixels
Weight: 661g
Dimensions: 247.6 x 178.5 x 6.1 mm
OS: iPadOS 15.4
CPU: Apple M1 chip
Storage: 64GB/256GB

Reasons to buy

Good front camera
Thin and light
Affordable price

Reasons to avoid

Cameras not as good as iPad Pro 2021

Released last March, the 10.9-inch iPad Air 2022 matches many of the specs in the iPad Pro 2021, yet at a significantly lower price. For example, you get the same M1 chip, support for 5G, a 12MP selfie camera, and the same Centre Stage feature.

On the back, though, you just get one 12MP wide sensor, so you're missing the ultrawide lens and the LIDAR scanner of the iPad Pro 2021. On the plus side, it does match the latter's digital zoom (up to 5x) and Smart HDR 3 for photos. 4K video is supported at up to 60fps, and 1080p maxes out at 240fps.

On the whole, the iPad Air 2022 is a less powerful tablet than the iPad Pro 2021, with storage of just 64GB or 256GB (the Pro offers up to 2TB), and RAM of only 8GB, to the Pro's 16GB. But frankly, that's not much of a climbdown in specs. And so overall, anyone looking for a modern iPad with a great camera will find much to like here. 

Why not take a look at our Best 11in laptops?

(Image credit: Apple)

4. iPad Pro 12.9" (2020)

An older option for budget buyers


Rear cameras (3): Wide: 12 MP, f/1.8, 1/3", 1.22µm, dual pixel PDAF; Ultrawide: 10 MP, f/2.4, 11mm; Depth: TOF 3D LiDAR scanner
Front camera: 8 MP, f/2.0, 26mm, 1/4", 1.12µm
Screen size: 12.9-inch
Resolution: 2732 x 2048
Weight: 639g
Dimensions: 280.4 x 214.8 x 5.8 mm
OS: iOS 13.4
CPU: A12Z Bionic
Storage: 128GB/256GB/512GB/1TB

Reasons to buy

Brilliant rear cameras
4K video at 60fps
Good value

Reasons to avoid

Lacks auto-centering feature

Want an iPad with a decent tablet camera, but on a tight budget? The increasingly affordable 2020 model is still pretty decent. 

After all, you’re getting 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 front-facing camera is just 7MP and doesn’t have the automatic centering feature. And more recent iPad Pros are much faster; so if you’re doing very resource-intensive tasks such as video editing, that might make a difference. If that’s not the case, though, and the front camera isn’t important to you, it's worth opting for the more affordable 2020 iPad Pro.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

5. Microsoft Surface Pro 8

The best tablet camera for Windows users


Rear camera: 10MP
Front camera: 5MP
Screen size: 13-inch
Resolution: 2880 x 1920
Weight: 891g
Dimensions: 287mm x 208mm x 9.3mm
OS: Windows 11
CPU: 11th Gen Intel Core i5-i7
Storage: 128-1TB

Reasons to buy

10MP rear camera
Vibrant display
Runs Windows 11 

Reasons to avoid

Not a budget model

Want a Windows tablet with a decent camera? Then we recommend the Microsoft Surface Pro 8. 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 in 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 Surface Pro for improved brightness and color. 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. 

But why, you might ask, is this the tablet camera we're recommending, rather than the latest Surface Pro 9? Quite simply, because the latter is much more expensive, and yet has the exact same camera setup as far as we can see. 

The only difference is that in the SQ3 version there's extra support for Windows Studio Effects like automatic framing and portrait blurring on the selfie camera. But that's not worth the price hike, in our eyes. So right now, we'd say the Surface Pro 8 is the best tablet camera for Windows users.

(Image credit: Samsung)

6. Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+

The best value tablet camera for Android users


Rear cameras (2): Wide: 13MP, f/2.0, 26mm, 1/3.4", 1.0µm, AF; Ultrawide: 5 MP, f/2.2, 12mm (ultrawide), 1.12µm
Front camera: 8 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/4", 1.12µm
Screen size: 12.4-inch
Resolution: 1752 x 2800
Weight: 575g
Dimensions: 185.0 x 285.0 x 5.7mm
OS: Android 10
CPU: Snapdragon 865 Plus
Storage: 128/256GB

Reasons to buy

High-res cameras
Great shooting modes
Beautiful screen

Reasons to avoid

Lacks audio jack  

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ isn't quite as powerful overall as the S8 Ultra (number 2 on our list). But in terms of the cameras, it's not far off at all. And so if you can save money by buying this slightly older tablet, it is definitely worth considering.

On the rear, you get 13MP wide and 5MP ultrawide cameras, and you can capture 4K video at 30fps. On the front, meanwhile, you get an 8MP front facing camera 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 to use for photo editing, and the 12.4in Super AMOLED screen delivers a lovely, high-res picture quality.

(Image credit: Microsoft)

7. Microsoft Surface Go 2

The best cheap tablet camera for Windows


Rear camera: 8MP
Front camera: 5MP
Screen size: 10.5 inch
Resolution: 1920 x 1280
Weight: 553g
Dimensions: 245 x 175 x 8.3mm
OS: Windows 10 S
CPU: Dual Core Intel Pentium Gold 4425Y
Storage: 64-128GB

Reasons to buy

Good cameras
Shoot in HD
Excellent value

Reasons to avoid

Not the most powerful

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, but 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.

(Image credit: Apple)

8. Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 (2018)

The best cheap tablet camera for Android


Rear camera: 8MP, f/1.9, AF
Front camera: 5MP, f/2.2
Screen size: 10.5-inch
Resolution: 1200 x 1920
Weight: 529g
Dimensions: 260 x 161.1 x 8mm
OS: Android 8.1
CPU: Snapdragon 450
Storage: 32GB

Reasons to buy

Good cameras
Nice camera app
Great value

Reasons to avoid

A little outdated now

If you're seeking a cheap Android tablet with a good camera, check out the 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.

(Image credit: Oukitel )

9. Oukitel RT1 Rugged Android tablet

The best rugged tablet camera


Rear camera: 16MP
Front camera: 16MP, 1080p video
Screen size: 10.1-inch
Resolution: 1920 x 1200 pixels
Weight: 850g
Dimensions: 251 x 170 x 14.5mm
OS: Android 11
CPU: MediaTek Helio P22
Storage: 64GB

Reasons to buy

Fully rugged
Decent cameras
Excellent battery life

Reasons to avoid

Can run slow
Not the brightest screen

Heading out into rough terrain or hazardous conditions? Then you'll want one of the best rugged tablets. And the Oukitel RT1 offers our favorite combination of tough protection, great cameras and overall performance.

Conforming to MIL-STD-810G military standards and IP68-certified, this super-tough device is waterproof to five feet for 30 minutes, and boasts drop protection to an incredible 30m. Plus you'll benefit from 360° all-round dust resistance, to IP69K certification.

It's not a bad choice for capturing images either. Both the front and rear feature 16MP Samsung cameras with built-in photography modes such as Panorama, Night and Pro. The selfie camera offers 1080p video recording for video calls.

Plus it's a very nice tablet in general, too. Running Android 11, it has a 10,000mAh battery, which the makers say will keep your device running on standby for up to 350 hours. The 10.1 inch touchscreen, which has an aspect ratio of 16:10, offers Full HD resolution, and works even when you're wearing gloves. On the downside, the P22 processor isn't the most advanced, so it can run a little slowly. Also, the screen offers only 350 nits of brightness, so isn't great in sunlight. 
See our guide to the best rugged tablets, for other waterproof and drop-proof alternatives.

(Image credit: Apple)

10. iPad Mini (2021)

The best compact tablet camera


Rear camera: 12 MP, f/1.8, AF
Front camera: Ultrawide: 12 MP, f/2.4, 122˚
Screen size: 8.3 inch
Resolution: 1488 x 2266 pixels
Weight: 293-297g
Dimensions: 195.4 x 134.8 x 6.3 mm
OS: iPadOS 15
CPU: Hexa-core
Storage: 64/256GB

Reasons to buy

Ultra portable
Surprisingly powerful

Reasons to avoid

Small screen size

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.

Read more:
Best budget tablets
Best cases for iPad Pro
Best cases for iPad Mini
Best cases for iPad Air
Best stylus for iPads and iPhones

Tom May

Tom May is a freelance writer and editor specializing in art, photography, design and travel. He has been editor of Professional Photography magazine, associate editor at Creative Bloq, and deputy editor at net magazine. He has also worked for a wide range of mainstream titles including The Sun, Radio Times, NME, T3, Heat, Company and Bella.