How to Take Pictures and Video with the Fire Phone Camera App - dummies

How to Take Pictures and Video with the Fire Phone Camera App

By Dan Gookin

A camera snob will tell you that no true camera has a ringtone. Phones don’t make the best cameras. Regardless, your Fire phone has a camera. It can capture both still and moving images. That task is carried out by using the Camera app:

  • Press the Camera button to both unlock the phone and instantly start the Camera app. The button is found on the left side of the device.

  • You can press the Camera button at any time to start the Camera app; the phone can be on or off.

  • The Camera app doesn’t provide any features for adjusting the image resolution or video quality. All images and videos are shot at the highest quality.

  • The Fire phone’s main, or rear, camera offers a resolution of 13MP (megapixels). It also features an LED flash. The front camera has a resolution of 2.1MP. Both cameras support a video resolution of 1080p, where the p stands for “pretty good.”

Snapping a picture

After it’s started, the Camera app takes over the phone, turning the touchscreen into a viewfinder. It’s set for taking still images, as shown by the Mode icon in the lower-left corner of the screen.


To take a still image, follow these steps:

  1. Start the Camera app.

    Pluck the app icon from the App Grid, or simply press the Camera button on the side of the phone.

  2. Ensure that the camera mode is set to Single Shot.

    The Camera app shoots both still images and video. To snap a picture, tap the Mode icon. When the still camera (the SLR icon) appears up front, the Camera app is in Still Shot mode.

  3. Point the camera at the subject.

  4. Tap the Shutter icon or press the Camera button.

    The phone makes a noise and the picture is snapped.

After the image is snapped, it’s saved and it appears in the thumbnail preview onscreen. If you have the Image Review feature active, the image is previewed on the screen, where you can accept or reject it.

Pictures taken by the Camera app are stored in the Fire phone’s internal storage. You can review the images by opening the Photos app.

  • To focus the camera, tap the screen to adjust the focus square. The camera focuses on whichever item you choose, near or far.

  • Your phone can take pictures in either landscape or portrait orientation. No matter how you take the picture, the image is stored upright. Even so, you can reorient images later.

  • You can take as many pictures as you like, as long as you don’t run out of space for them in the phone’s storage.

  • If your pictures appear blurry, ensure that the camera lens on the back of the phone isn’t dirty.

  • Zooming in or out is done by using your fingers on the touchscreen: Spread to zoom in; pinch to zoom out.

  • The phone doesn’t use the Volume button to zoom! Some phones may use this technique, but on the Fire phone, pressing the Volume button snaps another photo.

Recording video

To capture moving pictures, or video, switch the camera mode to Video Recording: Tap the Mode icon, found in the lower-left corner of the screen. When the Video icon is shown “in front,” the Camera app is set for Video mode.

In Video mode, the Shutter icon changes to the Record icon. Tap the Record icon to begin recording video.


To stop recording, tap the Stop icon. It replaces the Record icon while video is recording:

  • An onscreen timer appears while video is recording. It informs you of the video’s length.

  • Tap the viewfinder while recording to adjust focus.

  • To zoom in while recording, spread your fingers on the touchscreen. Pinch your fingers to zoom out.

  • While recording, the Shutter icon appears in the lower-left corner of the screen. Tap that icon to grab a still image.

  • Hold steady! The camera still works when you whip the tablet around, but wild gyrations render the video unwatchable.

Shooting yourself

That front-facing camera isn’t just there so that the government can spy on you. It’s actually for taking self-shots, called selfies. That makes it easier to video-chat, but it also avoids the awkward situation where you have to find a mirror to take your own picture.

To take your own mug shot, start the Camera app and switch to the front camera. Tap the Switch Cameras icon. When you see yourself, you’ve done it correctly.

Smile. Click.

Touch the same icon again to switch back to the rear camera:

  • You can shoot both still images and videos by using the front-facing camera. First change the Camera app’s mode.

  • The front camera does not have a flash.