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.
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).
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
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