iPad Air review

What's better than an 8MP iSight camera on the iPhone 5S? Well, it's not what you can find on the iPad Air, that's for sure. Apple has kept the same 5MP iSight camera from previous iterations of the tablet, which does at least have half-decent backside illumination and acceptable low-light performance.

We're not sure what Apple is doing with the camera interface though - it's like a completely bare version of that seen on the iPhone 5S, with fewer options to choose from. Want to take a photo or video? That's fine. You can even take a square snap for those moments when you need a portrait pic too.

iPad Air review

However, there's no filter option in sight, nor the ability to change to a Slo-Mo camera as we've seen on other recent Apple hardware. Given that the Air is running the necessary A7 64-bit chip to enable the enhanced video mode, we've no idea why you can't do the same here.

Even the filters would make sense, as the iPhone 5C can use these, and that's hardly as powerful a beast. This is probably the biggest criticism of the iPad Air we can throw at the new tablet from Apple, as the decision is slightly perplexing.

But in a way, that's wonderful. You might have noticed that we're hardly fans of the cameras on tablets at the best of times, and if there was one thing that we'd happily sacrifice for a thinner tablet, it's this functionality.

That Apple has put anything in there at all is testament to some clever engineering, so while the performance isn't that good (although shutter speed was very impressive as we'd expected) it's more than adequate for something that shouldn't be replacing a smartphone or dedicated camera anyway.

iPad Air review
The darkness on the normally bright indoor scene is less impressive than expected

Click here for the full res image

iPad Air review
It's a fridge. With magnets. And good levels of darkness.

Click here for the full res image

iPad Air review
Zoomed in and the noise level is surprisingly well-processed

Click here for the full res image

iPad Air review
The front facing camera actually improved this shot

Click here for the full res image

iPad Air review
Text on the iPad is acceptable

Click here for the full res image

iPad Air review
Here's the same photo on the iPhone - the sharpness and contrast is marked

Click here for the full res image