Episode #295

Setting Up The Project

Series: Camera Capture and Detection

9 minutes
Published on August 4, 2017

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We start by setting up the project to take photos. We start by disabling rotation, which is typical of a camera app. We then add the appropriate Info.plist entry so that we can inform the user why we need camera access. We organize the view controller intro sections to keep things tidy as we add code to the project. Finally we setup the camera capture session, which is the first step to capturing video from the camera.

Initial View Controller

class CaptureViewController: UIViewController {

    // MARK: - View Lifecycle

    override func viewDidLoad() {

    override func viewDidAppear(_ animated: Bool) {

        if AVCaptureDevice.authorizationStatus(for: .video) == .authorized {
        } else {
            // prompt the user...

    // MARK: - Rotation

    override var supportedInterfaceOrientations: UIInterfaceOrientationMask {
        return [.portrait]

    private func setupCaptureSession() {
       // ...


Finding the Capture Device

    // MARK: - Camera Capture

    private func findCamera() -> AVCaptureDevice? {
        let deviceTypes: [AVCaptureDevice.DeviceType] = [

        let discovery = AVCaptureDevice.DiscoverySession(deviceTypes: deviceTypes,
                                                         mediaType: .video,
                                                         position: .back)

        return discovery.devices.first

Setting up the Capture Session

First, we add a lazy property to return a new instance.

    // MARK: - Properties

    lazy var captureSession: AVCaptureSession = {
        let session = AVCaptureSession()
        session.sessionPreset = .high
        return session

Then we can add inputs to it...

    private func setupCaptureSession() {
        // if we've added inputs already, don't do it again...
        guard captureSession.inputs.isEmpty else { return }

        // make sure we have a camera to attach to
        guard let camera = findCamera() else {
            print("No camera found")

        do {
            // add the input
            let cameraInput = try AVCaptureDeviceInput(device: camera)

        } catch let e {
            print("Error creating capture session: \(e)")

This episode uses Xcode 9.0-beta3, Swift 4.