Are you an iPad photographer and proud of it? [Poll]

It's a discussion we've had many, many times before; using your iPad – or any other tablet for that matter – as a camera. Some love it, some hate it, some ridicule it and others just don't care, but it's a subject most of us have an opinion on. We always say that the best camera you have is the one you have with you, and increasingly folks are carrying their iPads with them everywhere they go. So, are you an iPad photographer, and proud of it?

The camera on the new iPad Air and iPad mini with Retina Display produces pretty good results in some situations. I'm still in the camp of avoiding using it at all costs – despite what the picture above may indicate! – for two main reasons. Firstly, I never travel without my iPhone, and so I would much rather take pictures with that. And secondly, I personally find it frustrating when at public events people in front of me hold up an iPad to take pictures obscuring my view. I'd hate to be "that guy" to someone else.

But it is still pretty staggering to see how many people in different situations are using an iPad to take a picture. I recently visited New York City, and the amount of tourists in Times Square holding iPads at arms length taking photos and even selfies in such a massively busy location was pretty high. As it becomes more and more a common occurance, does any social faux pas begin to fade away?

So, what about you guys? Regular iPad photographers? Avoid it at all costs? Or perhaps somewhere in between. Drop a vote in the poll up top, and jump into the comments with your thoughts on the subject!

Richard Devine

Senior Editor at iMore, part time racing driver, full time British guy

More Posts



← Previously

CloudMagic for iPhone lets you search your inboxes faster and more efficiently than ever

Next up →

How to setup Exchange or Google mail, calendar, contacts using ActiveSync on your iPhone or iPad

There are 78 comments. Add yours.

Ih8reno says:

Only time I ever have taken pics is around the house for fun. Carrying around an iPad 3 for photographic purposes is simply ridiculous .

Sent from the iMore App

Geohistoria says:

The best camera is the one you have when you need one. My experience as a photographer and a photo finisher in the pre-digital age taught me that people are more interested in capturing the memory than in quality. As I age, I have also learned that for people with limited vision ability the iPad camera is very handy.

Sent from the iMore App

IIJBII says:

Interesting point. I didn't think about people with limited visibility. I don't use my ipad for pictures but if it's what you have it's the best for the job.

Sent from the iMore App

marchie_78 says:

I like your point. I'm not sure why we tend to judge. Whatever people use is up to them.

Sent from the iMore App

TLKoontz says:

If, only if, it's the only camera happen to have available…. And, only if the situation would allow it without embarrassment!

I'm certainly not an "avoid it at all cost person." But, It does look weird!

blessed2bamommie says:

Only when my iPhone is dead....and yes..."that guy" at events smh.

Negaduck says:

I don't tack pics but I do scan files with it. A lot.

Sent from the iMore App

Metro1088 says:

I've never really understood people who ridicule iPad photography. There's nothing wrong with it. Sure it makes people more visible but I don't find it wrong at all.

Master Jedi Alejandro says:

I did when my iPad's camera was better/more enjoyable to use than my phone's camera. But once I got my iPhone there was no need. Except, like mentioned above, round the house or out and about and messing around (calling someone over to 'have a look at this' then snap a shot with the front facer, type idea).

SockRolid says:

Negative (pardon the pun.) I forget that my iPad mini even has a camera. Always use the iPhone for photos on the go when I don't have the DSLR. And sometimes even when I do have the DSLR.

SockRolid says:

OMG. Is that a Pebble on the iPadographer's wrist?

Dakidc says:

It is definitely getting out of hand

Sent from the iMore App

kataran says:

Tried to take a tablet photo once it came out pretty bad never did it again

Sent from the iMore App

go3fan says:

I don't even bother, you can get better pics from an iPhone anyway!

Sent from the iMore App

Premium1 says:

Nope. Think it is too cumbersome to take pictures with a tablet. My phone works fine.

News_Dr2521 says:

Using the iPad camera app doesn't even cross my mind. In fact, this article reminded me that there is actually a camera on it. I use my iPhone camera for photo evidence at work and it beats our digital camera hands down.

Sent from the iMore App

Sarcone says:

My kids use the ipad camera a lot more than I do. They love the photo booth app. I'll use it if I don't have my iphone nearby, but I greatly prefer my iphone's camera. The quality of the pictures is so much better on the iphone.

Sent from the iMore App

dalyapp says:

I always take pictures with my iPhone but I don't think using an iPad is any more ridiculous than using a huge, expensive DSLR to take snapshots.

Sent from the iMore App

akdj says:

I'm with ya dalyapp. I'm a part time photographer and own an audio/video production business. To me, it's actually MORE annoying to see the guy/gal with more money than photography skills shooting with a $3,500 body and $2,500 piece of glass....with the little 'green' (auto) mode selected;) ....than it is to see the hobbyist hold an iPad up for a quick snapshot. We use DSLRs. We use RED cams and Panasonic handhelds along with GoPro for motion. DSLRs specifically for still shots, along with iPhones of small point and shoot cams for discreet shots.
That said, if I'm somewhere with my 'mini' or regular iPad and don't have the phone or another camera handy....the iPad will definitely take a decent shot if there is light and you aren't in situations that exceed their abilities.
Scanning receipts, documents, payments etc....we use the iPads often in those situations, including contract extensions and signatures.

joshrocker says:

I've taken a few pictures here and there with it. They're mostly throwaway shots of the kids when they're doing something cute. Taking photos with the tablet is a cumbersome process but if it's the only camera you have, you know what they say.

Sent from the iMore App

sir17reeder says:

Only photo booth pics with my dad's iPad.

Sent from the iMore App

Becjr says:

Yeah, I could wear clothes that are 3 sizes too big... The basic need could still be met, but...
I use the iPad in down time situations. My "portable" for convenience sake is my phone because it stows away so well. ... Much better than a much larger tablet.
I can understand taking photos with a tablet after which you'd edit the photo with the larger screen space, but... Meh... I still only rarely use the iPad for photography.
It's just not as spontaneous as me trusty iPhone.

Sent from the iMore App

G.4 says:

Since I have my iPhone 5s with me 99.9% of the time, I have no use for tablet photography. Or any other photography for that matter lol - I always use my iPhone!

Sent from the iMore App

Tarin Paul says:

I don't feel the difference between people using iPad or using professional DLSR camera in term of disturb others. They are the same. Someday, people will get used to it and it will not disturb anyone anymore.

goodevening says:

I haven't used iPad for pictures because I use my phone and the only time I have my iPad out of the house is for reading in the car and it doesn't leave the car. I feel strange when I carry it in public still.

Sent from the iMore App

tool022611 says:

If anyone drops $400 + for a tablet and it has a camera, and if they want to shoot pictures with it, shouldn't they be able to? Now I don't use my iPad air or my prior 3rd gen for pictures but the camera is there for a reason, so I say hold your iPad high and proud if that's what you want to do with it.

CORYK333 says:

Nope, that last line is the problem b....these clowns holding their iPads up in the air at public events, blocking the person behind them. There's a time & place..........

HoangJm says:

Its ridiculous of you taking pictures with an ipad ! look like show off how rich you are in the public

Sent from the iMore App

allthingspixel says:

I take pictures of marker boards and presentation slides when using Evernote. I feel pretty ridiculous doing it but it's a good use of the iPad's camera.

Last month I saw a woman on the Maid of the Mist at Niagara Falls using her iPad to take pictures as we were pelted with spray from the falls. That was the epitome of ridiculous use of the iPad camera.

Sent from the iMore App

Francine Gamory says:

I have used my iphone and ipad mini to take pics.i find at times I rather use the mini ipad over the iPhone . At times my hands shake with the mini I can use two hands to hold it steady and not get part of my hand in the picture or a blurry picture.

oscaramzz says:

I don't think it matters which camera you use. Which ever is most convenient at the time is what I think. I am in a graduate program and I use my iPad to take pictures of presentations and documents and do scans all the time.

Sent from the iMore App

rneglia says:

I've been pretty persuaded by a lot of the comments here on iMore. There really is no reason why not to use the iPad as a camera, except that you look like a complete idiot!

Having said that, I've taken at least two or three pictures of my cat today with my new iPad.

caffine_dreams says:

I take so many cool pictures with it and I take around 30 pictures a day. I just love how the camera really focuses Ito what your taking

Sent from the iMore App

Tujax says:

iPads should only be used as a camera in an emergency.

Sent from the iMore App

mjh483 says:

I think Apple intends it as more for FaceTime calls, when you want to show what you are seeing.

But the best camera is the one you always have with you. It doesn't matter how awkward you look when you are using an iPad and want to capture that specific moment. It's sill better missing the moment.

Sent from the iMore App

tpeazy says:

Try to avoid it, but when it's all I got, I'm sure happy to have it.


Sent from the iMore App

abazigal says:

Used my iPad to take photos extensively when I was overseas with my pupils on an exchange programme. I was tasked with updating my school blog, and with the iPad, this was as easy as taking photos and uploading them straight to the wordpress app.

Why not use my smartphone? Battery life. The iPad has more than enough juice to fuel a day's worth of aggressive photography and wireless internet use (in the form of uploading), plus whatever else you may need to use it for (web browsing, correspondence via email etc). I tried with my iPhone, and the battery was dead by noon. I had an external power pack on me, but with the tablet, you don't need to stop to recharge.

dorante2009 says:

Since I use a back cover that snaps onto the smart cover it's very awkward to take pictures with the iPad for me. But I can see the use case wherein you use it to take video capture because of the larger view screen.

Sent from the iMore App

vajrakagyu says:

The best camera is the camera you have with you. If you need to take a photo then just use it. In addition, the larger screen is a plus for recording video and also a plus for those with visual problems.

Sent from the iMore App

GlennRuss says:

I did not fit the poll. I use it all the time to take pictures/scan documents. There are many doc scanner apps. I like Readdle, but also use evernote camera function for recipes. The first camera in the iPad was not that great, even for documents, but now, it is great for that.

Sent from the iMore App

LozBlanko says:

I don't think most people would miss the rear camera on the iPad Air if it wasn't there. The front camera is different. In fact, the front camera should be the full quality one. It is handy to sometimes flip round in a FaceTime call I suppose but that's about it.

Sent from the iMore App

rclark07m says:

People like the large screens for taking pictures, which makes sense. However, using them in a crowd seems to be the most important drawback, because they disrupt the view of others--very obtrusive, which is ironic, given that their unobtrusive nature compared to a laptop had made them very popular for other uses, including for speakers notes and as ereaders.

zeroneon says:

I don't think there is anything wrong with using an iPad to take pics, I usually use my phone but if I couldn't and only had my iPad on me I wouldn't think twice about using it to take some pics.

Sent from the iMore App

trtmazda3 says:

No. My iPad Mini's photo quality still isn't good enough to use it often. My iPhone 5 is the main picture taking device in the household.

Sent from the iMore App

Cyrano says:

You have camped your space at Walt Disney World for the perfect view of the fireworks. Then just as the show commences some lovely person pulls out an iPad and holds it abouve there head....yes I voted stop this ridiculous practice.

samsin92 says:

Taking pictures with an iPad would be cumbersome. The iPhone camera is just fine for good photos.

Sent from the iMore App

gvndeb60 says:

I will use it mainly around the house. My 5S takes way better pics, no need to use the iPad.

Sent from the iMore App

eric6052 says:

I occasionally use my iPad to take pictures if it's in my hands when my kids or pets do something I want to take a pic of right them. Otherwise it's nice for FaceTime and the kids playing with PhotoBooth. I typically use my 5S when I'm planning on taking pictures. I will say my Mother in Law uses the camera in the Mini all the time to take almost all of her pictures. She has a flip phone with a really crappy camera so the iPad gives her the best shots she can get and the easiest way to share them.

Sent from the iMore App

benlee78 says:

I recently used my iPad to take pictures and notes during an open house. It was great to do everything on one device!

Sent from the iMore App

johnnybe65 says:

I avoid it mostly because i have an ipad 2 and the photo quality is horrible. Newer ipads would be much better for higher quality pics.

iNitvizn says:

The only pictures I've ever taken on my iPad are silly faces my daughter makes in photo booth. It captures the moment, but the quality is too poor to use for anything else.

Sent from the iMore App

bachiles1 says:

I just did a blog post on this same thing----I avoid it, think it is a bit silly and distracting to those around and kind of chuckle when I see folks doing it in public. :-) But I guess if it is the only camera you have it works

veevans01 says:

I use my iPad camera mainly when my wife wants to take pictures of her outfits that she sends out to casting companies for extra roles.

Sent from the iMore App

karmski says:

The iPhone 5s camera is so improved that it puts to shame anything taken with an iPad. I like using my iPad camera with my Scanner Pro app because it seems easier to take the A4 shot. However really don't take other photos as I usually have my iPhone to hand. If I was using my iPad and it was more convenient, I wouldn't have any issue using it to take a photo - but then I don't care what anyone else thinks!!

Sent from the iMore App

onedunya says:

I have an iPad 3 and have rarely taken any pics with. It is quite cumbersome to carry around for that purpose. I do love taking pics with my iPhone 5s however.

bruteforce037 says:

I chuckle when I see people taking pics w/a iPad. Moments later, they pull out a iphone5 or 4S. :) To each their own I guess.

Sent from the iMore App

rtteachr says:

Personally I don't carry my iPad around with me and if I did I probably have my phone. The iPad is too awkward for taking pictures, even the mini. I'm always amazed where I see people using the iPad as a camera- amusement parks especially.

Sent from the iMore App

amre3l says:

It's kinda weird take photos with ipad, I'd rather use my iphone or camera pocket,

Sent from the iMore App

draztikrhymez says:

I don't get it personally.

Sent from the iMore App

zdn1042 says:

Only when it's the only camera I have with me and I really need to get the picture. (I personally don't have an iPad but sometimes I borrow my sisters') Haha, I'm afraid to the 200 who proudly answered yes to the poll, the others might hunt you down and who knows what they're going to do.

Sent from the iMore App

Dionte says:

I take a picture with whatever is in my hand at the time, iPhone and iPad alike.

Sent from the iMore App

bquigly says:

You can always spot people who are comfortable with themselves because they don't care about using a 10 inch camera. Or it's a sweet old person who just doesn't see very well...

Sent from the iMore App

Joshua Webb1 says:

I think it's ridiculous looking when u see people walking around the city lugging around iPads. Lol

Sent from the iMore App

AdrianGabeChen says:

I never understood why anyone would use an iPad to take pictures. It really isn't functional and sensible.

Sent from the iMore App

stewm says:

I've never actually given any thought to the subject of taking pictures. In fact I forget even that there is a rear camera on the iPad!

Though for those that do use the camera to take pictures, more power to them, I won't put anyone down for it, if it happens to be convenient for them then let them do it without mocking them.

Sent from the iMore App

Jude34 says:

Hahah @ home, yes. I remember being irritated in Epcot a year or so ago when all these folks were taking photos w/ their iPads on a ride and people were so annoyed. I wouldn't take my iPad to a theme park.

Sent from the iMore App

Nathan Bael says:

I didn't have any other option at a conference I went to last year. My phone battery was low so I used the iPad to take pictures and even video when it was needed. It wasn't what I would call ergonomic, but I made do.

Sent from the iMore App

rafaelmelo2000 says:

It is really funny, sitting in a public place such as a church or school play and see those mega shinning iPad waving from one side to the other, please stop it!!!!!

Sent from the iMore App

g_diddy says:

The iPhone or my Canon is always with me so I never have to employ the iPad, I guess that's why the camera spec has never been important to me.

mich1248 says:

I think tablets take great pics along with the bigger real estate to edit if u the comment said eariler the best camera is the one u have on u...

Sent from the iMore App

djstarion says:

Only time I use it is if there's a perfect pic opportunity and my phone isn't near me.

Although I do quite a bit of photo editing on mine using synced photos from photo stream.

mikespad says:

I don't, but if someone else does, that's their perogative i suppose. If in a crowd, I'd be worried someone would bump me, even by accident, and i'd drop my iPad, or worse, someone could easily grab it and run away in no time.

BeyondtheTech says:

I'm starting to take more photos, but until the iPad comes with a flash, it will always fall short as the first device I grab. Isn't there a Kickstarter project that offers a third-party flash product, and does it work with the iPad?

Sent from the iMore App


The only real use I get from the cameras on my iPad Air - is FaceTime.

Otherwise, I have to agree it looks ridiculous to see people holding an almost 10" tablet in the sky.

I don't even want to risk dropping my baby like that.

Sent from the iMore App

ZanKuvy says:

Not really, it's not practical unless you don't have other choice...

Sent from the iMore App

got berry says:

Use what you have at the time. I remember when the first phones with cameras came out and people "looked silly" taking a picture with a phone. In time it will become so normal that people won't give it a 2nd thought.