How to Take Photos and Record Video at the Same Time on an iPhone

Don't Miss a Chance to Capture the Perfect Photo

taking a photo while recording video on iphone
image credit: Jody King/EyeEm/Getty Images

Most iPhone users don't realize they can take a still photo while they are recording a video with their phone. When a perfect moment happens, you can capture it.

What You Need

All you need to use this feature is an iPhone 5 or newer—the 5C, 5S, SE, 6 series, 6S series, 7 series, 8 series, and iPhone X all support it. The 6th generation iPod touch and the 4th generation iPad or newer offer it as well.

How to Take Photos and Record Video at the Same Time

If you have one of the compatible iOS devices, here's how you do it:

  1. Tap the Camera app to open it.
  2. Slide the menu at the bottom of the screen to Video.
  3. Tap the large circular red button to begin recording a video.
  4. When the video starts recording, a circular white button appears in the corner of the screen Whether it's at the top or bottom depends on how you're holding the device. Tap the white button to snap a photo of what's on the screen without interrupting the video.

All still photos you take while recording a video are saved to the Photos app, just like any other photo.

The One Drawback

There's one important thing to know about the photos you take this way: They're not the same resolution as photos you take when you're not also recording video.

The standard photo taken with the back camera on an iPhone 8's 12-megapixel camera is 4032 x 3024 pixels.

The resolution of the photos taken while the phone is recording video is lower and depends on the resolution of the video. Photos taken during 4K video recording are higher resolution than those from 1080p videos, but both are lower than the standard photo resolution.

Here's how the resolution breaks down for recent models:

iPhone ModelStandard Photo
Resolution
Photo Resolution
While Recording
Video - 1080p
Photo Resolution
While Recording
Video - 4K
Photo Resolution
While Recording
Video - Slo Mo
iPhone 5 & 5S3264 x 24481280 x 720n/an/a
iPhone 6 series3264 x 24482720 x 1532n/an/a
iPhone SE4032 x 30243412 x 19203840 x 21601280 x 720
iPhone 6S series4032 x 30243412 x 19203840 x 21601280 x 720
iPhone 7 series4032 x 30243412 x 19203840 x 21601280 x 720
iPhone 8 series4032 x 30243412 x 19203840 x 21601280 x 720
iPhone X4032 x 30243412 x 19203840 x 21601280 x 720

So, taking a photo while recording a video isn't top resolution, but the photos you get from an iPhone 6S while recording video are nearly as good as the standard photos on an iPhone 6.

The loss of resolution is greater if you're recording in slow motion. Still, the standard resolutions are more than enough for many people's uses. Plus, losing some resolution is a decent trade-off for being able to capture both the photo and video at the same time.