Pinhole uses a unique method to simulate the long exposure times of a pinhole camera. It does not just simulate the distortion and visual effects, it gradually exposes the scene over time like a real pinhole camera allowing effects not achievable in other “pinhole” apps or regular camera apps.

Unlike a real pinhole camera, all photos are automatically exposed correctly no matter the exposure time.

It can optionally simulate the vignetting and/or edge light bleed typical of pinhole cameras.

Exposure time can be set to one of several presets from 15 seconds up to 2 hours, or it can controlled manually for shorter or longer exposures (up to several days, theoretically).

At any point, choose an “emphasis” image that will dominate the final output--use this to freeze a moving item in the shot (this feature is experimental and the outcome varies widely based on the scene).

Saves directly to your camera roll. Load images to Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, Instagram, Camera+, etc. from there.

Note: the simulation is very memory-intensive, especially on long exposures. For the best stability please close other apps and disable networking to prevent incoming calls and push notifications (put it in “Airplane Mode”). Try “1/4 size” mode which cuts both the horizontal and vertical resolution in half to reduce memory usage dramatically. For best results, plug in your phone before beginning a long exposure.

On the "infinity" time setting, it will run until you stop it manually, it crashes, or the algorithm used runs out of space, at which point it will automatically close the shutter. It will attempt to close the shutter prior to crashing due to running out of memory, but it's not always possible to catch this.

It's not possible to give an exact upper time limit due to variations in devices and memory, but most devices should be able to handle 2 hours, at least. Newer devices should be able to go longer in general due to increased memory capacity, although they will also fill up that memory and the internal algorithm faster.

Your mileage may vary -- if you're considering taking an important long-duration shot, plan ahead and run a test on the device you'll be using.

To reply to the reviewer that complained that Pinhole does not have infinite depth-of-field like a real pinhole camera: Yes, you're right, it does not. The primary way this app simulates a pinhole camera is by allowing for very long exposures and simulating the visual effects. The simulation is as close as the hardware allows. Since an iOS device's camera has a lens, it is not possible to simulate a lens-less camera perfectly. If we could bypass the physical limitations of the hardware, we'd be filing patents for the technique and making a lot more money than we do selling an app. :) If this is critical to you, use a real pinhole camera or choose scenes where depth of field effects are not apparent.

What’s New

Version 2.3.1

- iOS11 and latest devices supported
- Fix for iPhone 7/8 Plus crashes
- Minor code refresh

Ratings and Reviews

5.0 out of 5
2 Ratings

2 Ratings

Occamist ,

This is a big improvement

With the latest fixes this is an outstanding app.

What would make it phenomenal? The ability to control just the shutter from an Apple Watch.

Diana-pants ,


I am very experienced with pinhole photography and bought this app to sort of "sketch" some pinhole ideas out before making traditional photographs. This app was disappointing; it doesn't do what a pinhole camera does (only allows you to control the exposure time, which lets you make a blurry image). If you use a tripod to minimize the blur, there's no difference between a picture made with this app and taking a regular picture with the built-in iPhone camera. Anyone who knows pinhole photography knows one of its benefits is infinite depth of field (one of the distinguishing features). This app does not allow this and has minimal features to adjust; the interface is also awkward.

Save your 99 cents.

wolf391 ,


The problems I ran into with this app have been resolved, but I too would like a higher resolution. I have been using this app off and on my iPad 4G Retina. It is fun to work with and I plan on using it as my go to app during a two week trip in the Oregon desert.


Tom Callahan
28.9 MB

Requires iOS 9.0 or later. Compatible with iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.


English, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Malay, Norwegian Bokmål, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Simplified Chinese, Spanish, Swedish, Thai, Traditional Chinese, Turkish, Vietnamese

Age Rating


  • Family Sharing

    With Family Sharing set up, up to six family members can use this app.

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