How to use the camera on iPhone and iPad

How do you use the built-in Camera app for iPhone and iPad to take amazing photos, panoramas, bursts, time-lapses, videos, slo-mos, and more? We’ll show you!

If the iPhone — or iPad — is the best camera you have with you, Camera has to be one of the most important apps. With it, you can capture selfies or elsies, squares or panoramas, 4K to slow motion, all with built in high dynamic range (HDR), bursts, filters, grids and more.

How to quickly access the Camera on iPhone and iPad

Unlocking your iPhone. Going to the Home screen. Tapping the Camera app. It gets you set to take a photo or video, but it’s slow. For those times when you’re in a hurry, when something unexpected, sudden, and marvelous happens, there’s faster camera access. From the Lock screen, from Control Center, with Hey Siri, and with 3D Touch, you can get to the camera more quickly than ever.

How to take photos, bursts, and panoramas with your iPhone or iPad

With the Camera app app for iPhone and iPad, you can take photos. You can also take flash photos, high dynamic range photos, timer photos, and selfies. You can even use the volume buttons or a headset remote to trigger the shutter. All that, and more, with just a few taps.

How to take and share Live Photos on your iPhone or iPad

Live Photos aren’t video, but a full-on 12-megapixel photo that animates 1.5 seconds of motion before and after the still. You can take them with an iPhone 6s or iPhone 6s Plus, iPhone SE or 9.7-inch iPad Pro, and play them back with 3D Touch or a long-press on any iOS device. All you have to do is learn how!

How to lock focus, bias exposure, enable grid, and geo-locate with Camera for iPhone or iPad

The Camera app on your iPhone or iPad is simple but powerful. It can automatically focus and refocus, expose and re-expose, on whatever part of the image you like. You can even bias the exposure with a swipe. If you want to better frame your shots, you can turn on the grid. And you can turn geo-location on and off to either track your photos or protect your privacy, whatever you prefer.

How to record video, slow-mo, and time-lapse with your iPhone or iPad

Your iPhone and iPad isn’t just a still camera, it’s also a video camera. It can record standard video in up to 60 fps, and more recent models can even do 4K at up to 30 fps. You can also capture slow motion video, to see every back flip or water drip, and time lapse to watch the sun fly across the sky or a house get built in seconds. It’s all up to you!

How to use the Telephoto lens on iPhone 7/8 Plus and later

iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus, and later devices includes two additional features not found in any other iPhone: optical zoom and Portrait mode. Both are thanks to its second, 56mm-equivalent “telephoto” lens system.

How to shoot RAW and manual-mode photos

Apple provides frameworks for full manual photography, including control over focus, exposure, bias, and aperture, as well as the ability to shoot in RAW. While none of those features are available in the built-in Camera app, you can access all of them with App Store apps.

How to quickly edit and share photos and videos from the Camera app

There’s a full-blown Photos app app for all your basic post-processing needs, but if you’re in a hurry, you can do a lot right in the Camera app. With just a tap of the thumbnail, you can call up the embedded photo and video editor, tweak your shots, share them right away, or even delete them if you don’t want to keep them.

How to quickly edit and share photos and videos

How to use the Camera on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro

With the brand new iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pros, Apple introduced some changes to the Camera app due to the new Night Mode feature, as well as the awesome new Ultra Wide camera lens. There are also a few control changes, QuickTake video, and more. It’s a bit overwhelming, but don’t worry, we have everything you need to know right here!

Any camera questions?

If you have any questions on how to shoot with your iPhone or iPad camera app, drop them in the comments below!

September 2019: This guide was originally published in March 2010. It is updated with information about iOS 13 as well as details on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro cameras.