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How to Take Photos or Videos on Your Surface

Your Surface displays photos much better than it can capture them. But if you’re struck with a Kodak moment and your Surface is the only camera you have handy, follow these steps to snap a photo or movie:

  1. From the Start menu, tap the Camera app’s tile.

    The Camera app appears, shown in Figure 10-1, immediately filling the screen with what it sees before its tiny front or rear lens. (Note how the Camera app’s light begins glowing next to the lens, letting you know you’re on camera.)


    Folding back the Surface’s Touch or Type covers blocks the bottom half of the rear camera’s lens. Remove the keyboard cover before snapping a photo.

  2. Change controls, if desired.

    Contrary to most apps, the Camera app always displays its App bar, which offers these options:

    • Change camera: Tap this to toggle between the front and back cameras. (A light glows next to the camera lens in use.)

    • Camera options: Rarely used, this button switches the settings from automatic to manual. The limited manual controls rarely work better than the automatic settings.

    • Timer: Tap this to set a three-second shutter delay, which is almost enough time to spring in front of the camera for a group shot.

    • Video/Camera mode: This toggles between shooting snapshots or videos.

  3. To snap a photo or shoot a movie, touch the screen.

    When shooting a photo, the Camera app emits a mechanical shutter click sound and then quickly saves the snapshot. Your new picture quickly scoots out of sight to the screen’s left edge, letting you snap another photo.

    When shooting videos, a timer appears in the screen’s lower-right corner, letting you track your movie’s length. To stop shooting the movie, tap the screen.

To view your newly shot photo or movie, slide your finger across the screen from left to right to drag your photo (or the first frame of your movie) back into view. To return to shooting, slide your finger in the other direction and the live view reappears.

Whether you’re looking at a recently shot photo or movie, the Camera app offers a few ways to edit your work, all found on the App bar. Slide your finger up from the screen’s bottom to reveal the App bar:

  • Crop: Tap this when viewing a photo, and a rectangle appears. Drag the entire rectangle or just its corners to frame a different portion of the photo. Tap OK to crop, and the app saves your crop as a new picture, preserving the original photo.

  • Trim: Tap this when viewing a movie, and a circle appears at each end of the video’s timeline, shown along the screen’s bottom. Drag the circles along the timeline to mark the video’s new started and stopping points. Then tap OK to save your video.


Your photos and videos both live in your Picture library’s Camera Roll folder, where they can both be viewed with the Photos app.

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