Take photos and videos with Surface

Surface has two integrated cameras that you can use to make video calls, record videos, and take pictures. The built-in Camera app can help you get even more out of your cameras.

Applies to

Surface Book, Surface Pro 4, Surface Pro 3, Surface 3, Surface Pro 2, Surface Pro.

Operating system:

Surface cameras

Surface has a front-facing camera and a rear-facing camera. You can use the front camera to video chat with a friend or the back camera to record meetings and events. You can also use either camera to take photos.

Rear camera angle when holding comfortably

When you hold your Surface at a comfortable angle or rest it on its kickstand, you can see what the rear-facing camera is recording. The front camera points up at your face for optimal video calling.

Not sure where the cameras are located on your Surface? See Surface features.

Take photos and record videos

By default, the built-in Camera app is ready to take photos, but you can easily switch between photo and video mode. To take a photo or record a video:

Step 1: Go to Start Start button, and select Camera.

To pin the Camera app to Start, go to Start Start button, select All Apps, press and hold (or right-click) the Camera app, and select Pin to Start.
Step 2: Select the on-screen Camera Camera button or Video Video button button to activate the camera you want to use, and select the button again to take a picture or start recording video.

A small privacy light appears near the active camera when you’re using it. The privacy light can’t be turned off.

Adjust the focus on Surface 3, Surface Pro 4, and Surface Book

The rear-facing camera on Surface 3, Surface Pro 4, and Surface Book has an autofocus lens that can help improve the sharpness of your photos and videos. The lens automatically focuses on the main subject on the screen, but you can change the focus to a different area before taking a picture or while recording a video. (The front camera has a fixed-focus lens.)

To learn more about autofocus, see Using autofocus on Surface 3, Surface Pro 4, and Surface Book.

View photos and videos

By default, your photos and videos are saved to the Camera roll on your Surface. You can choose to save your pictures to OneDrive so you can access them from any web-connected device. For more info, see Using OneDrive on Surface.

There are several ways to look through your photos and videos:

  • Camera app: Select Photos Photos app icon in the upper-left corner to open the Photos app and view the most recent picture or video taken. Swipe right to see others in your collection.
  • Photos app: Select View collection View photo collection icon in the upper-left corner to see other photos and videos in your collection.
  • File Explorer or OneDrive app: Go to your Pictures library and open your Camera roll.

To change where your pictures are saved:

Step 1: In the Camera app, select More options See more icon in the upper-right corner and select Settings.
Step 2: Select Change where photos and videos are saved > Yes.
Step 3: Under Save locations, change the option under New pictures will save to.

Edit photos and videos

To edit photos:

Step 1: Open a photo using the Photos app or the OneDrive app.
Step 2: At the top of the screen, select Edit Edit icon.
Step 3: Choose from auto and basic fixes, light and color adjustments, and effects.
Step 4: Once the picture is how you like it, select Save Save icon or Save a copy Save a Copy icon.

To trim videos:

Step 1: Open a video using the Photos app.
Step 2: Select Trim Trim videos icon to make the video shorter. Move the handles at the left and right ends of the time line to the new start and stop points you want.
Another option for video editing is to use the Movie Moments app, which is available free from the Windows Store. For more info, see Movie Moments app help.

Change camera options

Use the Camera app to switch between the front and back camera or manually set camera options.

Change between the front and back camera

To switch cameras:

  • At the top of the screen, select Switch camera Switch camera icon.

Set the timer

To set the timer:

Step 1: Select See more See more icon in the upper-right corner, and select Photo timer.
Step 2: Select the Delay that you want to set (two, five, or 10 seconds) and select the check mark at the bottom.

Change camera settings

You can also modify the photo aspect ratio, show or hide framing grid lines, adjust video settings, and change what happens when you press and hold the camera button.

By default, pressing and holding the camera button records a video, but you can change the setting so that holding the camera button takes a quick series of still photos instead.

Here’s how to change camera settings:

  • In the Camera app, select See more See more icon in the upper-right corner, select Settings, and change the settings you want.

To learn how to adjust settings to get better results in your photos and videos, see Improve photo and video quality.

Turn off the camera shutter sound

You can turn off the shutter sound the camera makes by muting the volume on your Surface. This will turn off all Surface sounds.

  • In the task bar, select Volume Volume icon and adjust the slider all the way down to mute the sound.

Contact Us

Answer Desk
Answer Techs are available to help.
Talk to a live agent