How to use the 9 new Camera features in iOS 8 [Video]

BY Gautam Prabhu

Published 17 Sep 2014

Apple has introduced a number of new features in the Camera and Photos app in iOS 8.

Here’s a breakdown of the new features and how to use them.

1. Time-lapse mode

The Camera app gets a new mode called Time-lapse, which Apple says will let you capture the experience of the sun setting, a city street bustling, or a flower blooming in a whole new way. Recording time-lapse videos in iOS 8 camera app is quite similar to recording a video. Swipe on the screen to choose the Time-Lapse mode (its to the left of Slo-mo mode), and let the camera record the scene as long as you choose.

iOS 8 - Timelapse

Once you stop recording, the app speeds up the recording to create the time-lapse. There is currently no way to set the playback speed. It is estimated that the time-lapse speed used by the Camera app is about 10 to 12 times.

The Camera app organizes the time-lapse videos in a aptly named album called Time-lapse, so you can easily access them.

2. Separate controls for focus and exposure

Prior to iOS 8, exposure was automatic, you could set the exposure manually for the next shot by tapping an object or area on the screen. But tapping the screen set the focus as well as the exposure. In iOS 8, you finally get separate controls for focus and exposure in the Camera app.

First, tap to focus just like you did in iOS 7 or earlier. Once you’ve set the focus, you’ll now see a brightness scale, which is the new exposure control. Dragging your finger along the scale will make the photo lighter or darker.

iOS 8 Camera app - Exposure controls

The separate exposure and focus controls work in time-lapse, slo-mo, video and photo modes.

3. Self-Timer

The native Camera app finally gets a self-timer. You can set the self-timer by tapping on the icon at the top.

iOS 8 Camera app - Timer

You can set the timer to 3 seconds or 10 seconds. You will see the countdown on the screen after you tap on the shutter button.

iOS 8 Camera app - Timer

On the iPhone 5s (iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus), the camera will automatically take a 10-image instant burst of images in the self-timer mode.

4. New Photo Editing features

The Photos app includes a number of new photo editing tools which make it very easy to straighten photos, enhance blue skies, make colors pop, or convert your photos into richly toned black and white.

Follow our guide on how to use the new photo editing features.

➤ Read more: How to use iOS 8’s new Photo Editing features

5. Favorite Photo

iOS 8 makes it very easy to select your favorite photos, so you can easily access them later. Tap into a photo and tap on the heart icon at the bottom. The photo will be added to the Favorite album.

iOS 8 Camera app - Favorite

6. Hide your photos

iOS 8 allows you to hide photos.  To hide a photo, tap and hold on a photo, while you’re Moments, Collections and Years view or in an Album, then tap on the Hide option to hide the photo.

iOS 8 Camera app - Hide photos

However, the implementation is quite weird as it only hides the photo from Moments, Collections and Years view, the photo will be visible in Albums, and there is a album called Hidden as well. So if you’re looking for a way to hide the photo so no one can see it, this may not be the solution you’re looking for.

7. Recover Deleted photos

You can finally recover accidentally deleted photos in iOS 8. In iOS 8, the photos are not permanently deleted, insteady they’re marked for deletion and kept in an album called Recently Deleted for 30 days before they’re deleted permanently.

➤ Read more How to recover delete photos on your iPhone, iPad and iPod touch

➤ Read more How to permanently delete photos and videos in iOS 8

8. Third Party Filters

Apple’s Photos app has had inbuilt photo filters since quite sometime but most of us still use Instagram, VSCO Cam and other filter apps. With iOS 8, developers of these filter apps can make their filters available right within the Photos app, using the Extensibility framework we talked about earlier.

So for example: Instagram, VSCO cam or Aviary could have their own interface pop up within the Photos app, and you can apply your favorite filters and presets without jumping through multiple apps. We’ll update this post with more details on how this will work when the third-party photo filters are available for the Photos app.

9. Photo Search

With iOS 8 Apple has finally added a search button to the Photos app, that you can tap and find photos based on date, time, location (Location Services needs to be enabled for the Camera app for it to work), or album name. You also get suggestions as you type, as well as recent searches, so that you can find what you’re looking for as soon as possible.

photo search

Here’s a video walkthrough of the new Camera features in iOS 8:

Let me know what you think of these new Camera features in the comments below.