Use camera modes on your iPhone or iPad

Find out how to use Portrait, Pano, Slo-mo and other camera modes on your device.

Find the perfect mode for your moment

The camera modes built into your iPhone and iPad can help you take the ideal photo or video. Swipe left or right on the camera screen to switch to a different mode. You can choose from Photo, Video, Time-lapse, Slo-mo, Square, Portrait, Cinematic and Pano modes. You can also take a photo while you're recording a video or use QuickTake to record videos when you're in Photo mode.

Before you start, make sure your device is running the latest version of iOS or iPadOS.

The Photo mode in your iPhone Camera app. 


Photo is the standard mode you'll see when you open the Camera app. You can use this mode to take still photos and Live Photos.

Your camera will focus the image and adjust the exposure automatically based on what you're pointing it towards. You can tap a different area in the viewfinder to change the focus and exposure. If you want to keep the focus and exposure in the same spot, press and hold on the screen until you see AE/AF Lock.


On iPhone XS, iPhone XR and later iPhone models, you can use QuickTake to record videos easily in photo mode. On other iPhone models, you can press and hold the shutter button to take a quick burst of photos. Just let go of the shutter button to stop.

Portrait mode in your iPhone Camera app.



Portrait mode will create a depth-of-field effect that keeps your subject sharp while blurring the background. You can use Portrait mode on iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus and later iPhone models. If you have an iPhone X or later, you can also take a selfie in Portrait mode. You can also use Portrait Mode with the front-facing camera on iPad Pro 11-inch (all generations) and iPad Pro 12.9-inch (3rd generation and later).

To use Portrait mode, open the Camera app and swipe to Portrait mode. Move further away from your subject if the app suggests it. When the Depth Effect box turns yellow, take the picture.

On iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X and later iPhone models, you can make your Portrait mode images even more captivating with studio-quality lighting effects. After you’ve taken your photo, tap Edit and choose from Studio Light, Contour Light, Stage Light or Stage Light Mono. And on iPhone XS and later iPhone models, you can create a beautiful, classic look with High-Key Light Mono.

On iPhone XR, the Stage Light, Stage Light Mono and High-Key Light Mono effects aren't available with the rear-facing camera.


Square mode limits the frame of your camera screen to a square – the optimal photo size for many social media apps. So when you take a photo, you can quickly share it on your favourite social platforms.

On iPhone 11 and later iPhone models, tap the arrow to access Square mode and other options.

Pano mode on your iPhone Camera app 


Use Pano mode to capture a wide-angle landscape by moving your device slowly. Pano mode gives you a guide bar in the middle of the screen to help you take your photo. If you want to start the photo from the left, make sure that the arrow is pointing to the right. If you want to start from the right, tap the arrow and change its direction.

Tap the shutter button, then move your camera slowly in a straight line from one side of your shot to the next. Try to keep the arrow on the yellow guide bar while moving it.

Recording a video on your iPhone using the Camera app



When you go to any video mode, the shutter button turns from white to red. Tap the shutter once to start recording, then tap it again to stop. While you're recording your video, you can tap the white shutter button to take a still photo.

Want to edit the length of your video? Tap Edit or the edit button the edit button, then move the slider to adjust the start and stop times. Tap Done to save your changes.

Cinematic mode

With Cinematic mode, your iPhone camera can record videos with a shallow depth of field and add beautiful focus transitions for a cinema-grade look.

Cinematic mode is available on iPhone 13 and later iPhone models. Find out more about using Cinematic mode on your iPhone.

Action mode

With Action mode, you can capture smooth hand-held video even when you're moving around a lot. To turn on Action mode, tap the button.

Action mode is available on iPhone 14. Find out more about Action mode on your iPhone.



With slow-motion videos, your video will be recorded as normal. But when you play it back, you will see the slo-mo effect. You can edit your video so that the slo-mo action starts and stops when you want it to.


Capture footage at selected intervals to create a time‑lapse video that’s quick and easy to share. When you go to time-lapse mode and tap the shutter button, your camera takes photos periodically until you tap the shutter button again.

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