Affiliate Disclosure
If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Read our ethics policy.

How to make the most of iOS 8's new built-in camera features

The iPhone is possibly the most popular camera of any kind in the world, and Apple has made a number of improvements to iOS's built-in camera app that give mobile photographers even more control. AppleInsider took a look at how users can take advantage of the new features.

Focus & Exposure Controls

With iOS 8, Apple finally provides a way to set the focus and exposure separately for a shot. Focus is still set by tapping on a specific area of the display —  but the focus indicator is now accompanied by a new exposure slider.

To adjust the exposure, just use your finger to move the slider up and down its track. This trick works in every mode except Pano.


Found to the left of Video mode on the ring selector, Time-lapse mode is a set-it-and-forget-it way of capturing long sequences of video. To use it, just select Time-lapse, set your focus point and exposure, and then press the red button.

Apple says that iOS will dynamically adjust the frequency of the photos it takes for Time-lapse mode, depending on the action in the scene. The only limit to the length of a time-lapse video is your iPhone's storage capacity and charge.

The above video, of your esteemed author typing this very article, was captured over approximately 5 minutes.

Timer mode

For the first time, users can now take timed shots using iOS's default camera app. The timer toggle is located on the top (or left, in landscape mode) between the HDR and camera swap buttons in Photo mode.

Tapping the toggle brings up two options: 3 seconds and 10 seconds. Select a time, the hit the shutter button —  the iPhone's rear flash will shine once for every second that ticks off the clock, then flash twice in rapid succession before snapping the photo.