Why take a regular ol' photo when you can spice it up?!

The Camera app on the iPhone, iPod touch, and iPad means you're never more than a swipe or tap or two from taking a picture and capturing a magic moment. While the camera app might look simple, there's a lot going on inside. It has auto-focus and auto-exposure, and both can be changed with just a tap of the screen. There are also options for high dynamic range (HDR), to switch between rear-facing and front-facing cameras, and even live filters and burst mode.

How to take pictures with the iPhone and iPad

  1. Launch the Camera app from your iPhone or iPad's Home screen.
  2. Tap the Shutter button.
  3. Tap the Thumbnail button at the bottom left to preview and edit your photo.

    Launch the photo app, tap the shutter button to take a picture then tap the thumbnail to review and make edits.

Your photo will now be taken and saved to the Camera Roll. You can access it at any time by launching the Photos app.

How to use the volume button on your iPhone or iPad to take a picture or shoot a video

  1. Launch the Camera app from the Home screen.
  2. Frame the scene you want to take, just like normal.
  3. Press the hardware volume up button to activate the camera shutter and take a picture.

Bonus: Use a headset as a remote!

Because many headsets now come with control modules, which include volume up buttons, they can also be used to trigger the camera shutter. Because headsets have long cords, and some are even wireless, you can use them to trigger the camera shutter over a longer distance.

How to take and select 'burst mode' photos

Your iPhone or iPad will automatically choose what photos it thinks are the best out of that burst. This makes it easy to find the ones that may have the least amount of motion blur. In my experience it's normally pretty accurate. But of course, it's completely up to you to decide which ones your want to keep.

  1. Launch the Camera app from your iPhone or iPad's Home screen.
  2. Hold down the Shutter button or Volume button to take a burst of pictures.
  3. Tap the photo thumbnail at the bottom left while in the Camera app. Launch the camera app, hold down the shutter button to take a burst of photos, then tap the thumbnail image to review your photos.
  4. Tap on the burst mode stack you want to view.
  5. Tap on Select... at the bottom.
  6. Tap the blue checkmark on each photo you'd like to keep. When perusing the thumbnails, you'll see a grey dot below the photos with the best focus and composition. Tap on the burst mode stack you want to view, then tap "select..." and then tap the checkmark on all the photos you'd like to keep.
  7. Tap on Done in the upper right hand corner when you've checked the ones you'd like to keep.
  8. Tap Keep Everything if you want to keep all the photos in your burst (in case you want to change your mind later) or tap Keep Only [number] Favorites to trash the photos you didn't pick and keep only the ones you did (if you're sure).
  9. The selected photos are now ungrouped and in your photo stream. Tap done in the upper corner when you've checked the photos you want to keep, tap "keep everything" to keep all the photos in the burst, or tap "Keep only the number favourites" to trash the photos you didn't pick. This cannot be undone.

How to take a square photo with your iPhone or iPad

  1. Launch the Camera app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Swipe left to change modes to Square.
  3. Tap the Shutter button or the Volume button to take your picture. Launch the camera app, swipe left once to set get the square photo setting, then tap the shutter button to take a square photo.

How to take a panorama with your iPhone or iPad

  1. Launch the Camera app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Swipe left twice to change modes to Panorama.
  3. Tap the arrow button to change the capture direction, if desired. Launch the camera app, swipe left twice to go over to panorama mode, then tap the arrow if you want to switch directions.

  4. Tap the shutter button to start taking a panoramic photo.

  5. Turn or pan your iPhone or iPad to capture as much of your surroundings as you like. Try to keep the point of the arrow in line with the yellow guide. The app will also give you feedback if you're moving too fast or too slow.
  6. Tap the shutter button again to end the panorama. As you're panning, try and keep the yellow line in the middle of the arrow and look for any tips from the app. Tap the shutter button again when you're done.

The Camera app doesn't currently support full 360º panoramas. You can take up to a 240º panorama in one shot, so keep that in mind. You obviously don't have to use the entire 240º if you don't want to.