Thu, 19 Sep 2013 iOS 7 Camera review - what's new in Apple's camera app in iOS 7?
Apple revamps its Camera app with filters, gestures and a new look
- Manufacturer: Apple
- Pros: Intuitive gesture-based controls; eight filters; new Square mode; faster performance
- Cons: Range of filters could be better; some older devices won't get all of the features
- Price: Free with Apple devices running iOS 7
- Star rating:
Among the many new features in iOS 7 (Apple claims there are more than 200), the Camera app had been redesigned and has brand-new features, too. Here, we explore those new features and put them to the test.
See also: iOS 7 review
iOS 7 Camera app: new features
When you first open the Camera app, you should spot the difference between the new app and the version found in iOS 6. You might also have noticed that it feels a lot speedier to open and use, too, something we're really happy about, as wel felt iOS 6's Camera app was a little too slow.
At the top, there's a transparent bar that offers three tools: the ability to turn the flash on, off or to auto, the ability to turn on or off HDR, and the ability to switch between the front-facing and rear-facing cameras.
See also: Safari for iOS 7 review
Below that, you'll be able to see a preview of your photograph or video, and then, at the bottom, there's a second transparent bar with the rest of the camera tools.
With iOS 7, you can now switch between video, photo, square and panorama by swiping left or right (according to the modes as shown just above the shutter button) anywhere in the preview window. This is a massive improvement over iOS 6, which had an options button at the top that hid access to these.
Above: The new Square mode plus the new filters feature makes instantly sharable apps easy to capture.
Square mode is a brand-new addition. We guess it stems from the success of Instagram, which requires square images.
The large circle at the bottom of the app is the shutter button, allowing you to capture your photo or video. As in iOS 6, you can also use the volume button to take photos. Press and hold it to take continuous photos.
See also: iOS AirDrop review
Another all-new feature is Filters. By tapping the overlapping circles to the right of the shutter button, you'll be able to add filters to your image. As keen social media users, we love this new feature, as it lets us quickly improve our images and share them with friends without requiring the use of another app.
There are eight filters to choose from: Mono, Tonal, Noir, Fade, Chrome, Process, Transfer and Instant. You'll see a live preview of all eight of the filters, to help you choose which best suits the photograph you're taking.
We think that the range of filters is sufficient, but some are quite similar to one another. We wonder whether Apple will add new filters to iOS 7 in the future, or whether it'll leave that to third-party apps.
You can't add filters to video or panorama photographs, though.
Above: The view from the Macworld offices (on a very cloudy day) as captured using the Panorama feature in iOS 7
Video and Panorama both work in the same way as they did in iOS 6, and produce equally as impressive results. Of course, it does depend on which iPhone or iPad you have, as older models will lack the camera hardware improvements that come with the newer models.
The final button in the bottom tool bar is to the left of the shutter button, and will show you a preview of the last photograph you took. You can click here to go to the Photos app.
iOS 7 Camera: Compatibility
That brings us on to compatibility. If you have an iPhone that's older than the 4S, you won't get Panorama or the Filters feature. For iPad owners, you won't get the Panorama feature, but iPad 3 or later and iPad mini owners will get the Square and video formats, as will those with an iPhone 4 or later.
Apple's new iPhone 5s has new Burst and Slo-Mo modes, but they'll only work on the new model. We'll update this review when we've tried out the two new modes.
iOS 7 Camera: Settings
You can adjust some settings for the Camera app by going to Settings > Photos & Camera
If you scroll down, you'll be able to add a grid to your preview to help with composition, and you'll also be able to ensure that the iPhone or iPad keeps a normal photograph in addition to the HDR version, which blends the best parts of three exposures into one photo.
The Complete Guide to the iPhone 5s & 5c is on-sale now. Click here for buying information.