How to test and use your webcam in Windows 10, with the Camera app

How to change the settings of the Camera app in Windows 10

The Camera app has a few more advanced settings available for you to change. To access them, click or tap on the “cogwheel” button from the top left corner of the app.

The Settings button from the Windows 10 Camera app

The Camera app displays a series of settings that you can change as you see fit. Note that some of these settings might differ for you, depending on the make and model of your webcam and the options supported by its driver. Here’s a list of the settings that you should be able to change for most webcams:

How to adjust the webcam’s brightness, white balance, shutter speed, and manual focus

The Camera app in Windows 10 allows you to configure more advanced settings, such as the

White balance, Manual focus, Shutter speed, and Brightness (or exposure), of the photos and videos you take with it. To get access to all of that, on the Settings panel, turn on the “Pro mode” switch.

The Pro mode switch from the Camera app

Go back to the main view of the Camera app, and, on the left side of the window, you can see new options available, both in the “Take Photo” and “Take Video” modes. To adjust the White balance, Manual focus, Shutter speed, or Brightness, first click or tap on the setting that you want to change.

The various advanced settings available in the Pro mode

Then, the Camera app displays a manual slider which you can use to adjust the setting. For example, if you want to change the brightness, use the mouse or your finger to move the slider upwards to brighten your photos and videos or downwards to darken them.

Setting the brightness (exposure compensation) in the Camera app

How to make the Windows 10 Camera app display a framing grid

The “Framing grid” shows a series of horizontal and vertical lines that divide the image according to various photo composition guidelines. In Camera’s Settings, click or tap on “Framing grid,” which is Off by default, and choose between using the Rule of thirds, the Golden ratio, Crosshairs, or Square, depending on which you prefer.

Choosing to display a framing grid in the Camera app

How to change the webcam photo resolution in the Camera app from Windows 10

Depending on your webcam’s features and specs, the Camera app allows you to control the “Photo quality.”

The options you get here vary on your webcam’s make and model and can include various sizes in megapixels, as well as different aspect ratio settings, such as 16:9 or the traditional 4:3.

Available photo quality settings depend on the webcam you’re using

How to set the webcam to use focus light when shooting a photo

When you use your webcam to shoot a photo or a video, if it has a flash, the Camera app can use it to quickly spread light before taking the actual photo or video. It can then use that light to adjust the webcam’s focus better. In the Camera app, this setting is called “Focus light,” and, by default, it should match the settings of the flash. However, you can also choose to set it to Auto or “Always off.”

Setting the Focus light in the Camera app

How to configure the webcam to shoot time-lapses

Some people, us included, like time-lapse videos. The good news is that the Camera app lets you record such videos by changing only one setting. Turn the “Time lapse” switch on, and the Camera app will take photos every 2, 5, or 10 seconds after you press the “Take Photo” button. The time interval for taking photos is set by the “Photo timer” setting that we discussed earlier in this tutorial. The time-lapse ends when you press the photo button again.

Enabling the Time lapse feature

How to adjust the webcam video quality in the Windows 10 Camera app

The “Video quality” setting from the Camera app allows you to set the resolution and the number of frames per second at which videos are recorded. The options available vary wildly between webcams depending on their specs, features, and drivers.

Adjusting the video quality in the Windows 10 Camera app

You can also adjust the “Flicker reduction,” which is a setting that can reduce the video flicker by syncing the webcam and Camera app with the AC frequency of your power mains.

TIP: If you live in North America, you should set this to 60 Hz, while if you reside in the European Union or other parts of the world, you should set it to 50 Hz.

Setting the flicker reduction mode in the Camera app

How to view the photos and videos shot with your webcam and the Camera app

The fastest way to see the photos and videos you took with the Camera is to click or tap the small button from the bottom-right corner of the app. This button shows a preview of the last photo or video you took with the Camera app.

How to access your photos and videos in the Camera app

Once you click or tap this button, Windows 10 loads the last photo you took or the last video you recorded with the Camera app. Then, you can use the controls offered by the Photos app to navigate backward and forwards.

Browsing photos and videos with the Photos app

If you prefer not to use the Photos app to view your photos, you can use any other app, including File Explorer, by navigating to the Camera roll folder from your Pictures library.

The full path is: “C:\Users\Your user name\Pictures\Camera Roll.” If you do not know your username, you can copy and paste this relative path in the File Explorer address bar: %userprofile%\Pictures\Camera Roll.

The Camera Roll folder

How to change where the Camera app saves photos and videos

The Camera app offers a few Related settings which say that you can “Change where photos and videos are saved,” “Choose whether camera can use location info,” and “Change privacy settings.” The first option allows you to modify the location where new photos and videos are saved. To do that, first click or tap on “Change where photos and videos are saved.

Changing where the Camera app saves photos and videos

The Camera app launches the Settings app, taking you to the “Change where new content is saved” page. On it, there’s an option to choose where “New photos and videos will save to.”

Choosing the default location for pictures and videos

However, Windows 10 only lets you select the drive where to save the new pictures and videos that you will take. On it, the operating system automatically creates a user folder called “E:\User name\Pictures\Camera Roll,” where E is the drive letter of the drive you selected, and “User name” is your user account’s name.

The Camera Roll folder

How to enable or disable the location data stored in your photos and video

The Related settings from the Camera app also let you “Choose whether camera can use location info.” By default, Windows 10 and the Camera app wants to save your location details in the properties of the photos and videos you shoot. However, you might not want that metadata to be there. Here’s what to do in this situation: Click or tap on the “Choose whether camera can use location info” link. Then, Windows 10 launches the Settings app and takes you to the Location page from the Privacy section.

Choose whether Camera can use location info

On the Location page, you can turn the location services on or off on your Windows 10 device. However, if all you want is to turn off the location for the Camera app, you should scroll downwards until you find an area called “Choose apps that can use your precise location.” Then disable the switch for the Camera.

Disable the location info for the Camera app

How to change the privacy settings

The final Related setting from the Camera app is a link called “Change privacy settings,that takes you to the General page from the Privacy section in the Settings app.

Changing privacy options in Windows 10

However, the strange thing is that we have found no settings here that are related to the Camera app. Maybe Microsoft intends to use the Camera app to show ads in it?

Do you use the Camera app from Windows 10 to shoot photos and videos with your webcam?

The Camera app from Windows 10 is easy to use, and it does what you expect it to. It doesn’t complicate your life with confusing settings that you need manuals to understand, although it offers plenty of options. You need only a couple of clicks or taps to take pictures or record video. After you try this app yourself, let us know what you think: do you like using it? What about its manual controls: are they enough for you?

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