Can You Take Pictures With the Kindle Fire HD?

by John Lister, studioD

The Kindle Fire HD does contain a front-facing camera, but it is designed mainly for use with video call services such as Skype. You can take still shots if you have the latest software updates. However, this feature has some significant physical limitations.

Step 1

Check you have the latest edition of the operating system software. Swipe down from the top of the Kindle Fire HD's screen and tap "More" followed by "Device" and then "About." You must have version 7.2.2, released in December 2012, or later to use the camera for still pictures. In most cases you should have got this through an automatic over-the-air update.

Step 2

Download the latest software if needed. Swipe down from the top of the device's screen and then tap on "Sync." The update should automatically download and then install the next time your device is in sleep mode.

Step 3

Tap "Photos" on the home screen. Tap the camera icon at the top right of the screen. Move the camera to line up your shot. Tap the shutter icon at the bottom left of the screen to take the shot.

Step 4

Tap the "Options" bar at the bottom of the screen if you want to e-mail the photo to somebody else or if you want to delete the image.


  • These instructions apply to both the original seven-inch model and the later and larger Kindle Fire HD 8.9".
  • Until the 7.2.2. update, you could only access the camera for stills use by installing a third-party application. This application allowed you to access features that were powered by files in the Kindle Fire HD operating system but were not made available to users by default. Since the 7.2.2 update, using third-party applications to enable stills shots is no longer necessary.


  • Because the Kindle Fire HD camera is front-facing (meaning it faces in the same direction as the screen), it is extremely limited as a stills camera. When holding the device to point the camera away from you and towards the subject of the photograph. you cannot easily see the screen. This makes it difficult to check your subject is both in shot and in focus. It is also hard to even take a shot, as this relies on tapping on-screen icons rather than pressing a physical button. For this reason, the camera is only really practical for taking pictures of yourself.

About the Author

A professional writer since 1998 with a Bachelor of Arts in journalism, John Lister ran the press department for the Plain English Campaign until 2005. He then worked as a freelance writer with credits including national newspapers, magazines and online work. He specializes in technology and communications.

Photo Credits

  • David McNew/Getty Images News/Getty Images