Yes, you can still take photo bursts with iPhone 11. Here’s how.


balloons photo burst mode
Any one of these balloons could burst at any time.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Before the iPhone 11, holding down the shutter button in the camera app would capture a burst of photos. That was great for capturing action, or for making sure you get a group photo where everyone has their eyes open (and is grimace-free). But press and hold the shutter on the iPhone 11, and you get a QuickTake video.

Fortunately, burst mode is still there. It’s just hidden behind a secret gesture.

Photo bursts on iPhone 11

Just like pretty much everything else in iOS, the camera’s shutter button is now totally overloaded with gestures. Tapping it once takes a photo, as you’d expect. And as I mentioned, pressing and holding the shutter button now captures videos for as long as you hold the button down, just like recording a voice message in the Messages app.

QuickTake burst mode
QuickTake stole burst mode’s gesture, and for what?
Photo: Apple

But there’s more. If you press the button and hold it, then slide it to the right, you can lock the camera so it keeps recording video. You might mess up the slide-to-lock gesture, so this isn’t as reliable as using the dedicated video panel in the camera app, but it’s good for quick-start video. On the iPhone 11, the dedicated video pane also lets you choose video quality from a drop-down menu — settings that users of older iPhones have to find inside the Settings app1.

How to capture photo bursts with iPhone 11 camera

And finally, if you swipe left on the shutter button, you will capture a photo burst. Of course, you run the risk of capturing a QuickTake video instead, but that’s the problem with adding too many gestures to simple controls — they stop working reliably. One nice touch is that the burst counter displays the number of shots captured, inside the shutter button.

I guess Apple wanted to showcase the great new video camera in the iPhones 11, but you still have to learn an undiscoverable gesture to do it. And at the same time, this change ruins the gesture for anyone who already learned to use burst mode. Dumb, in two directions at once.

Still, if you thought that the burst mode had been removed, you now know better. And tell your friends — they’ll love you for it.

  1. QuickTake videos also lack stereo audio and audio zoom.