The best tablet camera in 2024: iPads, Android and Windows tablets with photo smarts

Even the best tablet camera won't be anything like as good as even an average smartphone camera. So you certainly wouldn't want to buy a tablet just to take pictures. But if you're looking for a new tablet anyway, it's still worth knowing which ones have the better cameras. 

Because there are occasions you may want to take a photo or video with a tablet. Maybe don't have your phone to hand. Maybe your phone battery is low. Maybe you just want a nice big tablet screen on which to line up your shot. Or maybe you don't care about the quality of the shot: you just want to do something like use a QR code reader, or photograph the Wi-Fi passcode in Starbucks.

Also bear in mind that, 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 photography. Some, though, are awful. So to steer you right, we list the best tablet cameras on sale today below, from Apple, Samsung, Microsoft and more.

Our top picks

The best tablet camera 2024

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The best tablet camera overall

(Image credit: Future)
The best tablet camera overall

Specifications

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.

Read our full Apple iPad Pro (2022) review

The best tablet camera for Android

(Image credit: Basil Kronfli)
The best tablet camera for Android users

Specifications

Rear cameras (2): 13 MP, f/2.0, 26mm (wide), 1/3.4", 1.0µm, AF 8MP, f/2.2, (ultrawide)
Front cameras (2): 12 MP, f/2.2, 26mm (wide) 12 MP, f/2.4, 120˚ (ultrawide)
Screen size: 14.6-inch
Resolution: 1848 x 2960
Weight: 732g
Dimensions: 326.4 x 208.6 x 5.5mm
OS: Android 13
CPU: Octa-core (1x3.36 GHz Cortex-X3 & 2x2.8 GHz Cortex-A715 & 2x2.8 GHz Cortex-A710 & 3x2.0 GHz Cortex-A510)
Storage: 128/256/512GB

Reasons to buy

+
13MP & 8MP rear sensors
+
Fast processor
+
Strong battery life

Reasons to avoid

-
Premium price

Samsung has just released the Galaxy S9 Tab Ultra, its latest and greatest tablet. And it boasts the best camera on a Samsung tablet to date. Indeed, we'd describe this as the best tablet camera for Android tablet overall. 

There is a caveat, though. Its camera isn't really a huge jump up from its predecessor, the S8 Tab Ultra (next on our list below). Yes, it has has slightly better low-light performance thanks to an aperture that can shift between F2.4 and F1.5. And the second, ultrawide sensor in the rear camera has been boosted a little in resolution, from 6GB to 8GB. But we're really not talking a lot of difference overall. So you certainly wouldn't want to upgrade if you already had an S8 Tab; certainly not for photography anyway.

In fact, there aren't too many reasons to upgrade at all, as the new tablet is pretty similar to the old one. If you're new to Samsung, though, this is the one to get as it has a slightly faster processor (Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 vs Gen 1), double the maximum storage (1TB), better battery life and Android version 13.

See our full Samsung Galaxy Tab S9 Ultra review

The best value tablet camera for Android

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

Specifications

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

+
Capable camera
+
Support for 4K video

Reasons to avoid

-
Not the latest model

As we mention above, the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra is pretty much identical to the newer S9 Ultra, especially in terms of photography. 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. 

The ultrawide is 2MP higher res in the S9 Ultra, which also performs better in low light, but that's about all the difference there is.

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.

Compared to the new model, the The Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor with 8-16GB RAM, isn't as fast, the operating system is older (Android 12) and the battery life isn't as good, although 14 hours of video playback is still not too shabby. In other words, for most people (and especially in terms of photography) this is probably better value if you can get it for a lower price.

Read our full Samsung Galaxy S8 Tab Ultra review

The best value tablet camera for Apple

(Image credit: Rosie Hilder)
The best value tablet camera for Apple users

Specifications

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

The 10.9-inch iPad Air 2022 matches many of the specs in some recent iPad Pro models, yet at a significantly lower price. For example, you get an M1 chip, support for 5G, a 12MP selfie camera, and the Centre Stage feature.

On the back, you just get one 12MP wide sensor: no ultrawide or LIDAR scanner here. However, you do get 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. There's also a 12MP selfie camera on the front

On the whole, the iPad Air 2022 isn't the most powerful in terms of specs, with storage of just 64GB or 256GB, and RAM of only 8GB. But frankly, it's still pretty smooth and fast-working in practice. And so overall, anyone looking for a modern iPad with a great camera will find much to like here. 

Read our full iPad Air (2022) review

The best tablet camera for Windows

(Image credit: Gareth Bevan)
The best tablet camera for Windows users

Specifications

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.

Read our full Microsoft Surface Pro 9 review

Best budget iPad

(Image credit: Future)
The best iPad for photo editing on a lower budget

Specifications

Dimensions: 248.6 x 179.5 x 7 mm
OS: iPadOS
Screen size: 10.9-inch
Resolution: 2360 x 1620 pixels
CPU: A14 Bionic
Storage: 64GB/256GB
Rear cameras: 12MP f/1.8
Front camera: 12MP f/2.4

Reasons to buy

+
Affordable price
+
Powerful enough for photo editing
+
Nice screen overall

Reasons to avoid

-
Doesn't support Apple Pencil 2
-
Screen is still weaker than iPad Air
-
Lacks the M1/M2 chip power

Rolled out in October 2022, this budget-friendly iPad holds its ground as the cheapest way to get into Apple's tablet ecosystem. In a nutshell, a great-looking tablet for an affordable price, doubling as a monitor or photo/video sidekick. Camera skills? Not its forte, but certainly good enough if you are just snapping a few pics to share with friends. 

Sporting a screen matching the iPad Air in size and quality, plus an aluminum frame mimicking the Air's chic look, it's a solid choice. The USB-C port and front-and-back cameras add to its appeal.

Now, the Air face-off. While this iPad's screen lacks the Air's wider color gamut and laminated goodness, it's no biggie unless you're deep into pro-level work. Just beware of reflections outdoors – it's not the sun's best friend.

But here's the twist – no Apple Pencil 2 love here. Choose between the OG Pencil or the new USB-C version. Pencil v1 brings pressure sensitivity but needs an adapter dance, while the USB-C one skips sensitivity but keeps it simple. Decisions, decisions.

In the real world, this iPad is a smooth operator. Detailed, rich screen, and that A14 chip? Speedy for regular use. Just don't expect it to replace your laptop superhero – it's more of a trusty sidekick. It might hit the RAM ceiling with heavy image documents, but for everyday tablet fun, it's golden.

Read our full Apple iPad 10.9-inch (10th Gen, 2022) review

The best cheap tablet camera for Windows

(Image credit: Microsoft)

7. Microsoft Surface Go 2

The best cheap tablet camera for Windows

Specifications

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.

The best cheap tablet camera for Android

(Image credit: Apple)

8. Samsung Galaxy Tab A 10.5 (2018)

The best cheap tablet camera for Android

Specifications

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.

The best compact tablet camera

(Image credit: Apple)

9. iPad Mini (2021)

The best compact tablet camera

Specifications

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.

How to choose the best tablet camera

If you're looking for a tablet with a decent camera, consider several key factors to ensure it meets your needs. For photography, the rear camera's resolution will be a good guide: higher megapixels generally sharper images. If you want to use your tablet for streaming, selfies or videos, prioritize a high-resolution front camera and wide angle lens.

What's more important on a tablet: the rear or front camera?

This depends on your primary use. For video calls and selfies, you'll want to prioritize the front camera, while for photography and scanning documents, the rear camera (which is normally a much higher specification) is more important.

Should I judge a tablet camera on the number of megapixels?

Not necessarily. More megapixels do mean more picture detail, but a high number of MP doesn't necessary mean it's a great camera. Other factors such as sensor size, lens quality, and software processing play a bigger role in the quality of your photographs. Also, if you plan to do a lot of video recording, you need consider features like frame rate, resolution, and video stabilization.

Are tablet cameras as good as other cameras?

Presently, no. While tablet cameras have improved significantly, dedicated cameras and smartphone cameras generally offer more advanced features and better image quality. Tablets are convenient for casual photography, and for doing things like scanning QR codes, but they're no good for serious photography, and not particularly great for amateur photography either.

How we test the best tablet camera

We test cameras on tablets in the same way we test dedicated cameras and smartphone cameras. In other words, we carry out tests in controlled conditions to measure their performance in terms of usability, image quality, video capture and more. For full details of our process, read our full article on How we test.

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.