Many modern devices with Windows include a webcam and, to use it, you need an app that helps you take pictures, record videos or stream video while video chatting. For this purpose, Microsoft has built an app called Camera, which is available by default in Windows 10. In this guide, we will show you everything you need to know about using it: how to start it, how to take pictures and record videos, how to set the brightness and other parameters, and how to configure the way the Camera app works. There’s plenty of ground to cover so let’s get started:
IMPORTANT: If this is the first time you will use the Camera app on your Windows 10 device, please make sure that you have a driver installed for your webcam. To create this guide we used the latest version of Windows 10 Creators Update which was released in April 2017.
How to start the Camera app in Windows 10
Just like most apps from Windows, the Camera app from Windows 10 can be launched in multiple ways. One of the fastest methods to start the Camera app is to use the search feature offered by Cortana. Click or tap on Cortana’s search box from the taskbar and type in the word camera. Then, click or tap on the Camera app.
Another way to open the Camera app in Windows 10 is to use the Start Menu. Click or tap the Start button, scroll through the apps list and click or tap on the Camera shortcut.
If this is the first time you have launched the Camera app, the app may ask you to allow it to use your webcam and your microphone, as well as your location. Allow it to access all these devices and features. Then, you should see an image of what’s in front of the webcam. That will probably be you. :)
How to take photos in Windows 10 using the Camera app
On the right side of the Camera app, you will find two buttons: one for taking pictures and one for recording videos. You will notice that one of these buttons is bigger than the other. The bigger button shows you the mode that’s currently on.
All you have to do to take a picture with your webcam is to click or tap the Photo button. Note that, if the Camera app were in Video mode, you would have to click twice on the Photo button: once to switch to the Photo mode and once to take the picture.
How to record videos with the Camera app in Windows 10
To record videos with the Camera app from Windows 10, you first have to switch to Video mode. Click or tap the Video button from the right side of the app’s window.
Then, to start recording a video with the Camera app, click or tap the Video button again. Once you start recording a video, the Camera app displays a stopwatch on the bottom of the video, that tells you the time that has passed since you started recording.
If you want to pause the video recording, click/tap on the Pause button found at the right side of the Camera app. When a video is paused, you will see the message Paused displayed on the bottom of the window. To continue recording, tap on the Pause button again.
Then, when you want to finalize your video, click or tap the Stop button, which is found on the same right side of the app.
How to set the timer for taking pictures
The Camera app also allows you to set up a Photo timer for taking pictures automatically, a couple of seconds after you hit the Picture button.
To use the Photo timer, click or tap on the small watch icon found at the top-center of the Camera app.
The Photo timer lets you take pictures with a delay of 2, 5 or 10 seconds. To select the delay you prefer to press the watch icon repeatedly. The number of seconds delayed is shown in small numbers near the watch icon from the top-center of the window.
If you change your mind and no longer want to use a timer, press the same watch button until the Camera app is set to No timer.
If you enabled the Photo timer, each time you take a picture, the Camera app displays a timer that shows you when the photo is captured.
How to adjust the brightness of your captures
The Camera app in Windows 10 allows you to manually set the Brightness, or exposure, of the photos and videos you take with it. To do that, click or tap on the left-arrow button on the top center of the Camera app, to enter the Pro mode.
Once you are in Pro mode, on the top center of the Camera app, you will get a new button for controlling the Brightness. It is called Exposure compensation. Click or tap on it.
Once you click or tap the Exposure compensation button, the Camera app displays a manual slider on the right side of the window.
With the mouse or with your finger, move the slider upwards to brighten your photos and videos or move it downwards to darken them.
Read the next page of this tutorial to find out how to view the photos and videos you captured with the Camera app, and also how to adjust the more advanced settings it offers.