First launch

With this post, we start a series of short tutorials covering all aspects of using the CameraPixels app. CameraPixels is the most advanced and adjustable photography app available on iOS and with that flexibility and power comes the initial complexity in using the app efficiently. We hope that these tutorials will help you utilize the full photographic power of CameraPixels and your iOS devices.

After the installation of CameraPixels, during the first launch, you will be asked to grant permissions to the app. Not all permissions are required, but disabling them will limit the app’s functionality. The following permissions are requested at the first launch of CameraPixels:

  • Camera – required permission. Disabling this permission will make CameraPixels unusable. A good indication of Camera permission turned off is a black viewfinder.
  • Photos – required permission. Disabling this permission will make it impossible for CameraPixels to store captured photos and videos. A good indication that Photos permission is turned off is the absence of captured media in the camera roll.
  • Microphone – semi-required permission. Turning this permission off will make it impossible for CameraPixels to record audio during the video capture.

The last permission Location is requested when you activate the Location option in the CameraPixels’ settings page. Turning this permission off will prevent CameraPixels from embedding location information into the captured media.

In case you disabled one of the required permissions or simply want to review the state of each permission granted to CameraPixels use the Settings app of your iOS device. In the Settings app scroll down until you see CameraPixels. After selecting the CameraPixels item, you should see the list of all permissions set for the app:

Basic elements of the User Interface

CameraPixels has a rather classical layout for the User Interface (UI) and should be familiar for most users of the other photography apps.

The whole screen can be divided into four distinct areas:

  • Top toolbar
  • Viewfinder
  • Manual settings toolbar
  • Capture controls toolbar

Top toolbar

The top toolbar contains controls that are required often enough to be present on the screen. For example, you always want to make sure of the status of the device flash and output media format to avoid unpleasant surprises. From the top toolbar, you can also access the CameraPixels’ global settings and a grid type.

Pressing a button on the top toolbar will open a corresponding popup dialog with the additional settings, e.g. Flash/ Torch dialog will show available flash and torch modes, and when the torch is available and active – its brightness.


The viewfinder is where a live preview of the scene is shown. The viewfinder in CameraPixels is touch-sensitive and tapping on it will change focus and exposure points if those are accessible at a given time. The viewfinder supports multiple gestures:

  • Single-tap with one finger – change the focus and exposure points
  • Single-tap with two fingers – split focus and exposure points
  • Press and drag – when the focus and exposure points are split and press performed on top of the corresponding reticle, it can be repositioned independently from the other reticle (you can independently adjust focus and exposure points)
  • Double-tap – reset focus and exposure points and set their modes in auto mode

Manual settings toolbar

The manual settings toolbar as its name suggests allows changing manual settings of the camera, e.g. white balance, ISO, or shutter speed.

By default, all settings are in auto-mode and changed by the camera automatically based on the lighting conditions and distance to the subject. If a setting is in a manual mode, its value can be changed using the value selector.

Capture controls toolbar

To capture a picture or start/stop recording a video, change a capture mode, and adjust its settings, switch between front and back cameras use a capture controls toolbar.

Additional elements of the User Interface

Depending on the CameraPixels’ settings and device capabilities, there could be additional UI elements present on the screen.

Both histogram and zoom slider are enabled by default and should be visible on the screen unless the feature is not supported by the underlying hardware. The camera selector is available only on dual and triple-camera devices (e.g. iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X, iPhone 11, etc.).


In this tutorial, we learned what permissions are required for CameraPixels and what limitations will appear in case some of the permissions are turned off. We also had a first look at the user interface of CameraPixels and described the main and some additional elements visible on the screen. In the next tutorial, we’ll learn how to set up CameraPixels, choose the language, get access to the Quick User Guide, and contact support.

Configuring CameraPixels >
    • Gary r
    • May 7, 2022

    My zoom bar disappeared. How do I get it back?

      • BasicPixels
      • May 8, 2022

      The zoom slider disappears in certain modes (like Portrait) or when you select DNG as your output format for images (more like any configuration, that include DNG, so all outputs DNG+JPG, DNG+HEIC, DNG+TIFF, DNG won’t show the zoom slider)

    • carlo
    • October 21, 2021

    what is the maximum time which can elapse between shots in the intervalometer?

      • BasicPixels
      • October 21, 2021

      180 seconds

    • Luigi
    • September 13, 2020

    Come posso riprendere direttamente in bianco e nero?

      • BasicPixels
      • September 14, 2020

      Unfortunately, there is no capture mode that outputs directly Black&White photos. You can always use the Photos app to convert the photo to B&W version

    • Tom Auciello
    • July 29, 2020

    I am thrilled with your new re-written CameraPixels app. It is much better than the previous model. I like these tutorials, as well. I thought I’d give you some feedback as I go through them. In the first tutorial it would be good to better define the “focus” and “exposure” symbols. I had to experiment a bit to determine that the “circle” was the “exposure” and the “rectangle” was the “focus.” Otherwise it is very good.

    Thanks………… Tom A

      • BasicPixels
      • July 29, 2020

      Dear Tom,

      Thank you for your feedback, we’ll update the tutorial with some clarifications regarding reticles.

      Team Basic Pixels

  1. Pingback: » Capture modes basics

  2. Pingback: » Configuring CameraPixels

Reply to BasicPixels. cancel

Copyright © 2020 Basic Pixels
With love from The Netherlands