Code Quality Rank: L3
Programming language: Swift
License: BSD 2-clause "Simplified" License
Tags: Hardware     Camera    
Latest version: v4.0.0

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SwiftyCam is a a simple, Snapchat-style iOS Camera framework for easy photo and video capture. SwiftyCam allows users to capture both photos and videos from the same session with very little configuration.

Configuring a Camera View Controller in AVFoundation can be tedious and time consuming. SwiftyCam is a drop in View Controller which gives complete control of the AVSession.

For Swift 4 support, see Swift4 branch


:sunglasses: Snapchat-style media capture
:+1: Support iOS8+
:camera: Image capture
:movie_camera: Video capture
:chart_with_upwards_trend: Manual image quality settings
:tada: Front and rear camera support
:flashlight: Front and rear flash
:sunny: Retina flash support
:mag_right: Supports manual zoom
:lock: Supports manual focus
:last_quarter_moon_with_face: Low light setting
:speaker: Background audio support


  • iOS 8.0+
  • Swift 4.2+


SwiftyCam is available under the BSD license. See the LICENSE file for more info.



SwiftyCam is available through CocoaPods. To install it, simply add the following line to your Podfile:

pod "SwiftyCam"


Add this to Cartfile

github "Awalz/SwiftyCam" ~> 2.2.1
$ carthage update SwiftyCam

Manual Installation:

Simply copy the contents of the Source folder into your project.


Using SwiftyCam is very simple.


As of iOS 10, Apple requires the additon of the NSCameraUsageDescription and NSMicrophoneUsageDescription strings to the info.plist of your application. Example:

    <string>To Take Photos and Video</string>
    <string>To Record Audio With Video</string>

Getting Started:

If you install SwiftyCam from Cocoapods, be sure to import the module into your View Controller:

import SwiftyCam

SwiftyCam is a drop-in convenience framework. To create a Camera instance, create a new UIViewController subclass. Replace the UIViewController subclass declaration with SwiftyCamViewController:

class MyCameraViewController : SwiftyCamViewController

That is all that is required to setup the AVSession for photo and video capture. SwiftyCam will prompt the user for permission to use the camera/microphone, and configure both the device inputs and outputs.



SwiftyCam comes with a very convenient method of capturing media. SwiftyCamButton captures photos with a UITapGestureRecognizer and captures video with a UILongPressGestureRecognizer

To use a SwiftyCamButton, simply create one and assign the delegate to your SwiftyCamViewController:

let captureButton = SwiftyCamButton(frame: buttonFrame)
captureButton.delegate = self


Capturing media with SwiftyCam is very simple. To capture a photo, simply call the takePhoto function:


Capturing Video is just as easy. To begin recording video, call the startVideoRecording function:


To end the capture of a video, call the stopVideoRecording function:



In order to acquire the photos and videos taken by either the SwiftyCamButton or manually, you must implement the SwiftyCamViewControllerDelegate and set the cameraDelegate to your view controller instance:

class MyCameraViewController : SwiftyCamViewController, SwiftyCamViewControllerDelegate {

    override func viewDidLoad() {
        cameraDelegate = self

Delegate methods:

func swiftyCam(_ swiftyCam: SwiftyCamViewController, didTake photo: UIImage) {
     // Called when takePhoto() is called or if a SwiftyCamButton initiates a tap gesture
     // Returns a UIImage captured from the current session

func swiftyCam(_ swiftyCam: SwiftyCamViewController, didBeginRecordingVideo camera: SwiftyCamViewController.CameraSelection) {
     // Called when startVideoRecording() is called
     // Called if a SwiftyCamButton begins a long press gesture

func swiftyCam(_ swiftyCam: SwiftyCamViewController, didFinishRecordingVideo camera: SwiftyCamViewController.CameraSelection) {
     // Called when stopVideoRecording() is called
     // Called if a SwiftyCamButton ends a long press gesture

func swiftyCam(_ swiftyCam: SwiftyCamViewController, didFinishProcessVideoAt url: URL) {
     // Called when stopVideoRecording() is called and the video is finished processing
     // Returns a URL in the temporary directory where video is stored

func swiftyCam(_ swiftyCam: SwiftyCamViewController, didFocusAtPoint point: CGPoint) {
     // Called when a user initiates a tap gesture on the preview layer
     // Will only be called if tapToFocus = true
     // Returns a CGPoint of the tap location on the preview layer

func swiftyCam(_ swiftyCam: SwiftyCamViewController, didChangeZoomLevel zoom: CGFloat) {
      // Called when a user initiates a pinch gesture on the preview layer
      // Will only be called if pinchToZoomn = true
      // Returns a CGFloat of the current zoom level

func swiftyCam(_ swiftyCam: SwiftyCamViewController, didSwitchCameras camera: SwiftyCamViewController.CameraSelection) {
     // Called when user switches between cameras
     // Returns current camera selection   


The flash(torch) can be enabled by changing the flashEnabled property:

flashEnabled = true

Flash is now supported for front and rear facing cameras.

Rear Camera

For photos, the camera will flash much like the stock iOS camera. For video, the torch(flash) will enable for the duration of the video capture.

Front Camera

For models that support Retina Flash, the front camera will use the default flash for image capture. If Retina Flash is not supported, a faux Retina Flash is used similar to Snapchat.

For front facing videos, a white, 85% opaque view will be placed over the video feed for the duration of the video capture.

Switching Camera

By default, SwiftyCam will launch to the rear facing camera. This can be changed by changing the defaultCamera property in viewDidLoad:

override func viewDidLoad() {
    defaultCamera = .front

SwiftyCam supports capture from both the front and back cameras. To switch cameras, call the function:


Tap-to-focus, pinch-to-zoom and camera flash are not supported when the front facing camera is selected. Switching video while video is being recorded is not currently supported

SwiftyCam also enables switching between cameras with a double tap gesture. To disable this feature, use the doubleTapCameraSwitch property:

doubleTapCameraSwitch = false


SwiftyCam has several options for configurating the functionality of the capture:

Video Quality

Video quality can be set by the videoQuality property of SwiftyCamViewController. The choices available correspond to the matching AVCaptureSessionPreset:

VideoQuality AVCaptureSessionPreset
.high AVCapturePresetHigh
.medium AVCapturePresetMedium
.low AVCapturePresetLow
.resolution352x288 AVCaptureSessionPreset352x288
.resolution640x480 AVCaptureSessionPreset640x480
.resolution1280x720 AVCaptureSessionPreset1280x720
.resolution1920x1080 AVCaptureSessionPreset1920x1080
.resolution3840x2160 AVCaptureSessionPreset3840x2160
.iframe960x540 AVCaptureSessionPresetiFrame960x540
.iframe1280x720 AVCaptureSessionPresetiFrame1280x720

The default value is .high. For use with the front-facing camera, .high will always be used.

Maximum Video Duration

If using a SwiftyCamButton, you can set a maximum video duration for the length of video. The video recording will me automatically stopped once the time limit has been reached and the delegate method SwiftyCamDidFinishRecordingVideo will be called. To set this value, simply change the maximumVideoDuration value:

maximumVideoDuration = 10.0

A value of 0.0 will allow for unlimited video recording via the SwiftyCamButton. The default value is 0.0.

Camera Zoom

SwiftyCam supports digital zoom of the camera session via pinch and pan gestures. The gestures work similar to the default iOS app and will zoom to the maximum supported zoom level. Camera zoom is only supported on the rear facing camera. AVFoundation does not currently support front facing camera zoom. To disable this feature, change the pinchToZoom property:

pinchToZoom = false

By default, pinchToZoom is enabled.

SwiftyCam also supports the ability to zoom the rear facing camera with vertical pan gestures. To disable this feature, change the swipeToZoom property:

swipeToZoom = false

By default, swipeToZoom is enabled. The default gestures zoom in the capture session with a downward swipe, and zoom out with an upward swipe. This can be reversed by changing the swipeToZoomInverted property:

swipeToZoomInverted = true

You can also restrict the amount that the rear facing camera can zoom. To do this, use the maxZoomScale property:

maxZoomScale = 2.0

By default, maxZoomScale is set to infinite. The actual maximum zoom level is determined by the device's videoMaxZoomFactor.

Camera Focus

SwiftyCam, by default, support tap to focus on the video preview. SwiftyCam will set the focus and exposure levels of the session to the tapped point. While tap to set exposure is supported on both cameras, tap to focus is only supported on rear facing cameras. Autofocus and autoexposure will be resumed once SwiftyCam detects significant movement from the tapped point. To disable this feature, change the tapToFocus property:

tapToFocus = false

By default, tapToFocus is enabled. If you wish to show a on screen animation when a tap to focus is initiated, you can use the SwiftyCamDidFocusAtPoint(focusPoint:) to get the coordinates of tap and provide your own tap animation

Device Orientation

By default, SwiftyCam will set the photo orientation to be portrait. If you wish to preserve the orientation of the capture photos to allow support for landscape images, use the shouldUseDeviceOrientation property:

shouldUseDeviceOrientation = true

Background Audio

SwiftyCam has the ability to allow background audio to continue playing within the session, and to be captured by the video recording. By default, this is enabled. If you wish to disable this feature, change the allowBackgroundAudio property:

allowBackgroundAudio = false

Low Light Boost

For supported models (iPhone 5 and 5C), AVCaptureDevice supports a low light boost when it is detected that the capture session is in a low light area. By default, this is set to true. It can be modified with the lowLightBoost variable:

lowLightBoost = false


When a user firsts launch SwiftyCamViewController, they will be prompted for permission for access to the cameras and microphones. By default, if a user declines access to the hardware, SwiftyCam will provide a prompt to the App privacy settings inside the iOS settings application.


Other properties:

  • isCameraFlashOn - Boolean
  • isVideoRecording - Boolean
  • isSessionRunning - Boolean
  • currentCamera - CameraSelection


If you have any questions, requests, or enhancements, feel free to submit a pull request, create an issue, or contact me in person:

Andrew Walz [email protected]

*Note that all licence references and agreements mentioned in the SwiftyCam README section above are relevant to that project's source code only.