Personally I don't use an iPad for taking photos. You can do so and the results are not bad but it is cumbersome holding an iPad to do so. I suspect that your friends have loaded their photos captured on mobiles or digital camera to the iPad. The best display is the retina display on the later iPads. All iPads have internet access via wifi. If you want to access the internet on the move and virtually everywhere, like a smartphone, then you will require a 3G version, but watch data costs. I find that a wifi only version is sufficient. If you have lots of photos and/or video then go for at least the 32Gb version. You will need iTunes. You may also need to buy an adaptor to connect the iPad to the HDMI port of a TV so that you can view the photos on that.
Suggest that you go to a store (PC World/Currys, Tescos, Apple store) and ask to have a "play" with one and demo.