iPad mini review

The original iPad mini is still good, apart from that screen

iPad Mini review
The definitive iPad mini review

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The camera on the iPad mini is a fairly standard affair, coming in with a 5MP camera sensor on the rear of the device.

It's not the strongest camera on a tablet by a long way, but does come with some features to help bolster its performance, such as backside illumination to improve the light sensitivity of the sensor and the same five-piece lens that helps filter the light more efficiently.

But in practice, well, you've guessed it: it's an average camera on a tablet, and people shouldn't really be using such a device for photography unless it's an absolute emergency. Simple as that.

There's also no HDR mode here, which is usually necessary to help enhance the quality of your snaps on the go – we're upset that Apple has shorn the iPad mini of the functionality, but it's nowhere to be found.

There's no flash here, so while the low light sensitivity is improved, it's a long way from usable in the real world. The same autofocus elements are in place though, so face detection and focus/exposure locks are available (the latter by long pressing the portion of the picture you want in focus and brightest).

The front facing camera is actually a little more usable, as the 1.2MP sensor helps take some above-average profile pictures, if that's what you're into. It's obviously better for FaceTime games, but it's a surprisingly high-spec sensor in a budget Apple tablet.

Check out our samples to see what we're talking about – but if you really don't want to use a phone or dedicated camera for snapping, this isn't the tablet you should be turning to.

Video

The video capabilities of the iPad mini are alongside the camera in impressiveness. While it can take 1080p video and stabilise video as you go, the lack of video light makes it a little hard to use in many situations.

You can at least focus the scene during the video shooting, which helps improve snaps in a constantly moving scene… but that's about the most impressive thing we can say about it, other than it's a decent alternative when you've got nothing else to shoot with and you can rest it securely on a surface to minimise judder.

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief


Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.