GNOME devs have released the first version of a new camera app which could replace the classic Cheese webcam utility.
GNOME Incubator app Snapshot debuted on Flathub this weekend, and the tool’s description explains that it is designed to “take pictures and videos on your computer, tablet, or phone.”
And having tried it out I can confirm —shock!— that’s exactly what it does.
Naturally, there’s a wider scope with Snapshot versus Cheese. The former is designed to cater to the needs of those who run GNOME on mobile devices (both now and in the future) as well as those on traditional desktops and laptops with webcams, like the latter.
Accordingly, there are mobile-minded features built-in to Snapshot such as the ability (where supported) to switch between front and rear facing cameras.
You can browse images/videos taken with the app, inside of the app. When viewing these there is a share button that allows you to open snaps in local compatible apps for editing, saving, or sharing.
Images are saved as Jpeg in
~/Photos/Camera, videos save as WebM files in
Snapshot is not a 1:1 feature replacement for Cheese. The latter boasts a bevy of special effects, a handy burst mode, built-in “flash”, lets you set a photo and video resolution, and provides controls to adjust the brightness, contrast, saturation, of the webcam image.
Snapshot lacks those, and a few other important ones like being able to set a reflection mode (most of us are more familiar with seeing ourselves in reverse). We do get a set of countdown timers for photos, and a 10 second count-in before video’s start recording.
Will more features be added to Snapshot? Very likely, and certainly in the coming months as GNOME 45 development gathers steam. The hope is that this app will be featured-filled and mature enough to ship as a core app in the GNOME 45 release.
Another notable highlight: Snapshot is built using GTK4/libadwaita and Rust.
For the moment, Snapshot is ideal for taking pics, recording short clips, and — most important use case of all — checking that your webcam works and you don’t look a total mess just before you join that super-important Zoom call!
• See Snapshot on Flathub