Changes in the Windows Camera app

Some of our insiders may have noticed changes in the Windows Camera app. What is in these changes for you, the happy Windows user? You will get a more personalized behavior, like remembering the last camera and scene used. Handling two cameras simultaneously and more resolution options are available too.

What did we actually change? We made some core architecture changes to the product to remove a lot of complex handling for unsupported devices and functionality that is now duplicated in core Windows operating system functionality. We know that sometimes large changes like this can introduce problems, so we have been rolling these changes out to our insider audience and testing on the broadest range of devices we can find.

Why did we make this change? A combination of reasons, from a Windows team perspective, the complexity of the Camera application made it difficult to innovate, fix bugs, and deliver new features. From a Windows user perspective, this led to performance problems during photo capture time, lack of new features, and sometime failure of the Camera app. We think that this set of changes will long term yield a much higher quality Camera experience for all users!

UX changes for the user:

  1. Users can now use all their attached cameras in parallel (if the OS allows) on different app windows. Example: I am recording video on my right camera and I can attach a photo to my email on my left camera (see screenshot)
  2. The last used camera is always remembered and the next time the app opens we try to load that camera first
  3. The last used scene is always remembered (video, photo) and that is the one we load first the next time the app is launched
  4. Users can select now more photo resolutions (before there was only max resolution per ratio) and more video ratios (before there was only 16:9)
  5. The brightness slider (which is widely available on all USB cameras) is more smooth (more stops) and shows the actual selected brightness value to the user
  6. Swipe left on the capture button to show all sliders is not anymore possible
  7. Wheeling on the capture button between scenes (photo, video) is not anymore possible