All About the iPod touch Camera

5th gen ipod touch
5th Gen. iPod touch. image copyright Apple Inc.

Like its more complex sibling, the iPhone, the iPod touch has a pair of camera that can be used to take photos, videos, and even have video chats using Apple's FaceTime video chatting technology. The 4th generation touch was the first model to have cameras.

5th Gen. Camera: Technical Details


  • Back: 5 megapixels (2560 x 1920); records 1080p high-definition video
  • User facing: 1.2 megapixels (a bit over 1280 x 960); records 720p HD video

    4th Gen. Camera: Technical Details


    • Back: just under 1 megapixel (960 x 720); records 720p HD video
    • User facing: 800 x 600 pixels; records standard-definition video at 30 frames/second

    Other features:

    • Camera flash: Yes (5th gen.), No (4th gen.)
    • Digital zoom: Yes
    • Autofocus: Yes
    • HDR support: Yes (5th gen.), No (4th gen.)
    • Panoramic photos: Yes (5th gen., with iOS 6)


    Using the iPod touch Camera


    iPod touch camera zoom
    The iPod touch camera can both focus on any area of a picture (tap an area and a target-like box will appear where you've tapped; the camera will focus the photo there), it also zooms in and out.

    To use the zoom feature, tap anywhere on the image in the Camera app and a slider bar with a minus on one end and a plus on the other will appear. Slide the bar to zoom in and out. When you have just the photo you want, tap the camera icon at the bottom center of the screen to take the photo.

    Camera Flash
    On the 5th gen. iPod touch, you can take better images in low-light situations by using the built-in camera flash. To turn on the flash, tap the Camera app to launch it. Then tap the Auto button in the top left corner. There, you can either tap On to turn the flash on, Auto to automatically use the flash when needed, or Off to turn the flash off when you don't need it.

    HDR Photos
    To capture images that are made even higher quality and more appealing through software, you can turn on HDR, or High Dynamic Range, photos. To do that, in the Camera app, tap Options at the top of the screen. Then slide HDR to On.

    Panoramic Photos
    If you've got the 5th gen. iPod touch or newer, you can take panoramic photos--photos that let you capture a image much, much wider than a traditional photo taken with the touch. To do that, open the Camera app and then tap the Options button. Next, tap Panorama. Tap the photo button and then slowly move your touch across the panorama you want a photo of, making sure to keep the arrow on the screen level and centered with the line at the center of the screen. When you're done taking your photo, tap the Done button.

    Recording video
    To use the iPod touch camera to record video, open the Camera app. In the bottom right corner of the app is a slider that moves between an icon of a still camera and an icon of a video camera. Slide it to rest underneath the video camera.

    Tap the red circle button in the bottom center of the screen to begin recording video. When you are recording video, that button will blink. To stop recording, tap it again.

    Switching cameras
    To switch the camera being used to take a photo or video, just tap the icon of the camera with the curved arrows next to it in the top right corner of the screen in the Camera app. Tap it again to reverse which camera is being used.

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