iPhone 6s camera 4K video image 001

The ability to take a still photo while shooting video has been available on iPhones since the iPhone 5.

The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus take this further thanks to the super-fast A10 microchip with its much-improved image signal processor. On these devices, you can take clearer eight-megapixel snaps during full 4K video capture (2,160-by-3,840 pixel resolution) at 30 FPS, without skipping a beat.

How to take a picture while shooting video

Step 1: Launch the Camera app on your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad.

Step 2: Swipe your way to the video shooting mode.

Step 3: Start recording a clip by tapping on the red Record Video button at the bottom of the interface. You can also press either volume button to start recording.

Step 4: While recording, tap the white Take Picture button in the lower left corner of the interface. The screen will blink whenever you capture a still during video capture. You can tap the Take Picture button during a single recording session as many times as you like in order to take multiple stills.

Supported devices

Snapping photos while recording is supported on any iPhone from the iPhone 5 onward. On iPads, this feature is compatible with the fourth-generation iPad and later. In terms of iPad touches, only the sixth-generation model supports taking stills while recording (if you own a fifth-generation iPod touch, there’s a jailbreak tweak for just that).

Limitations

Due to their more advanced hardware, the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus let you snap stills at eight megapixels while recording 4K video. But what about the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, I hear you ask.

These devices can snap four-megapixel stills at 1,532-by-2,720 pixels while shooting full HD 1080p video in 30 or 60 frames per second. By comparison, the iSight camera on these iPhones normally takes eight-megapixel photos at 2,448-by-3,264 pixels.

Lowering video capture resolution to 720p in Settings → Photos & Camera → Record Video has no effect on the resolution of stills you snap during video capture.

However, capturing stills while recording in Slo-mo lowers the quality of your stills to a paltry 720-by-1,280 pixel resolution on the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, regardless of your Slo-mo quality settings under Settings → Photos & Camera → Record Slo-mo.

You cannot take stills while capturing a Time-lapse.

How’s this useful?

I’ve been actually using this feature quite a lot on my devices.

Whenever an interesting moment presents itself for a second or two during a video capture session, I hit the Take Picture button without thinking twice.

It’s much better to snap a photo this way—albeit at a bit lower resolution than your iPhone’s camera normally allows—versus missing that perfect shot altogether or having to find and export a blurry still from the video at a later stage.

See also: iPhone photography tips and tricks

How do you like this tip?

If you want to share your own iPhone camera tips with fellow readers, you can do so down in the comments. And if you have a great idea for our tutorial series, shoot us an email at tips@iDownloadBlog.com.

  • Bradley Hines

    @Christain Zibreg under supported devices, line 5, you put “iPad touches”. It must have been an error, which everyone makes, but it should be “iPod touches”. 😛