Five tips for the new Camera app on iOS 7

Apple has redesigned the Camera app for iOS 7, adding new features and navigation options. Here's how to use them.

Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani
Jason Cipriani Contributing Writer, ZDNet
Jason Cipriani is based out of beautiful Colorado and has been covering mobile technology news and reviewing the latest gadgets for the last six years. His work can also be found on sister site CNET in the How To section, as well as across several more online publications.
Jason Cipriani
3 min read

How to use the new Camera app in iOS 7
Watch this: How to use the new Camera app in iOS 7

There isn't a single app or screen left unchanged in iOS 7, and the Camera app is no exception. From the way you navigate through the app, to the new option to use live filters when framing a shot -- the entire app has been redone. We've rounded up five new features in the Camera app to help you get started.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET


The first thing you'll notice when you launch the Camera app on iOS 7 is a horizontal list of the different camera modes. The default mode is Photo, with Square and Pano to the right of it. On the left side you'll find Video.

In order to change between modes you no longer have to tap on a button, or hidden buttons for that matter. Now you simply swipe in either direction to change modes.

For example, when in portrait mode, swiping to the right when you first launch the Camera app will activate Video mode. Swiping to the left will activate Square mode, which perfectly frames a photo for popular photo-sharing services such as Instagram. When holding the device in landscape orientation you'll need to swipe up or down to navigate the different modes.

Going one step further to the left will activate Pano, aka Panoramic mode.

Screenshot by Jason Cipriani/CNET


Speaking of Instagram, which is synonymous with filters, Apple has added live filters to the camera app on iOS 7 (only available for the iPhone 5 and later). To activate the live filters view, tap on the three-circle filter icon in the lower-right corner of the Camera app.

A total of eight filters will be displayed on the screen (the middle photo is non-filtered), with the subject of your photo being shown overlaid with filters in real time. Tap on a thumbnail to bring the filter selection to full-screen. Taking a photo with a live filter applied will only take a filtered photo, and not save the original plus filter in your Camera Roll. If that doesn't work for you, take the photo as you normally would and then go back and edit it, applying the filter at that time.

Also, your HDR setting is still honored and applied even with filters selected.

Zoom while recording video

In the past when recording a video with an iOS device the only way to zoom in was by using your feet. With iOS 7, you can now zoom in by using the familiar pinch-to-zoom gesture.

Place two fingers on the screen with Video mode selected and move them apart to zoom in, bringing them back together to zoom out.

Keep in mind when you zoom in the quality of video may suffer, so don't go overboard, and try to not zoom in and out repeatedly while recording.

Burst Mode

There were plenty of new camera features shown when Apple announced the iPhone 5S last week. One of those features was a new Burst Mode that allows users to hold the shutter button and take successive photos at the impressive rate of 10 frames per second.

What Apple didn't mention is that older iOS devices would also be gaining the ability to take photos in succession, just not nearly as fast or with the same software powering the editing process.

When taking a photo on iOS 7 you can hold either the onscreen shutter button or the volume-up button as long as you'd like to take a burst of photos.


You'll also notice the Options button formerly at the top of the Camera app is no longer present. Instead you'll see a quick toggle button to activate HDR mode. But what about the option to enable the Grid view?

That's been moved to the actual Settings app on your device, under Photos & Camera.

Moving the Grid setting makes sense, as most users who activate it are likely to leave it activated. Plus this gives one-tap access to enable or disable HDR mode, when in previous iOS builds it took two taps.

If you find any other hidden gems in the Camera app, be sure to leave a comment to let us know.