Can You Record Video With an iPad?

by Anne Hirsh

You can record video on the second-generation iPad, often called the iPad 2, but not on original iPad models. The original iPad models, released in April 2010, have no cameras for recording photos or videos. In March 2011, Apple released the second-generation iPad, which includes two cameras built into the device.

iPad 2 Cameras

The iPad 2 has one camera facing the front, or screen side, and one camera facing the back side of the iPad. Both cameras can record video as well as taking photos. The front camera is most useful for recording video of yourself, so you can see the video on the screen as it is recording. The rear camera allows you to capture video of anything behind the iPad, so you can view the image on your screen as you hold up the iPad as you would a video camera.


The iPad 2 comes preinstalled with the basic software you need to record, save and share the video you record on your iPad. If you want more features, such as live video chat, the FaceTime app also comes preloaded on iPad 2 models. For video editing, Apple offers iMovie for iPad, an advanced video editor in a moderately priced app -- $4.99 at time of publication. You can record video directly into iMovie, then add effects, music and other features, or use it to import and edit video you already recorded.


Both iPad 2 cameras are not equal. The rear camera records high definition 720p video and has a 5x digital zoom. The front camera uses only VGA quality, not HD, and has no zoom. Both video cameras record up to 30 frames per second. This results in decent quality video for a multipurpose device, but if you are a video quality connoisseur, you may want to stick with a dedicated video camera rather than iPad video. When you use the camera while connected to a Wi-Fi Internet service, your videos are automatically geotagged with the location where you shot them.


All controls for the video cameras use the iPad's touchscreen interface. If you are in the video app and do not see the controls, tap the screen once to make the control options appear. You can alter the exposure on photos and videos, but the cameras on the iPad do not include flashes for additional lighting.

About the Author

Anne Hirsh has been writing and editing for over 10 years. She has hands-on experience in cooking, visual arts and theater as well as writing experience covering wellness and animal-related topics. She also has extensive research experience in marketing, small business, Web development and SEO. Hirsh has a bachelor's degree in technical theater and English and post-baccalaureate training in writing and computer software.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images