Grand Theft Auto has incorporated an in-game camera in its franchise since 2002, growingly giving importance and expanding the capabilities of photography in the gameplay and as a free photo tool independent from the game missions. Camera simulation in GTA is always a first person view, with the frame of the camera viewfinder. The player has the ability to zoom, but no other control (like focus, aperture…) is available. Alternative to the camera, there is also a smartphone with a camera app, in more recent GTA editions (GTA IV and V).
[…] The device was also available in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, albeit with more functionality, allowing Carl to use it freely. It can be used in San Fierro to collect snapshots, which is required to achieve 100% completion. The camera has a capacity of 36 pictures per film, and pictures taken can be saved. If the player recruits a gang member, the player can give the camera to him by walking up to him and pulling the left trigger. After that, the game is viewed through the perspective of the gang member and pictures of CJ can be taken. The player can also aim the camera at a girlfriend and CJ will say something related to photo-shooting and she will wave. If you aim the camera at a gang member, CJ will say something like he says to his girlfriend, but the gang member will not respond or wave unless the player has recruited him.
[…] [In Grand Theft Auto IV] The camera is used in certain missions where a picture is required. Outside of missions, snapshots can be taken, but there is no way of saving them.
[…]In Grand Theft Auto V, the camera is replaced by the Snapmatic app on smartphones. Snapmatic has the same function as regular cameras, but allows users to take selfies or use filters. In the mission Paparazzo, Franklin follows Miranda Cowan’sLimo so Beverly Felton can take pictures of the actress consuming drugs. Subsequent Paparazzo missions also feature the use of cameras. In the mission Casing the Jewel Store, Lester givesMichael a pair of glasses fitted with a camera, to study Vangelico’s vents and security systems, which can’t be used outside of missions.
Prominent appearances in missions
GTA: Vice City
GTA: San Andreas
GTA: Liberty City Stories
GTA: Vice City Stories
The Lost and Damned
source: GTA wikia, http://gta.wikia.com/wiki/Camera
[selected missions featuring photography]
GTA VICE CITY – “Martha’s Mug Shot”
Grand Theft Auto Vice City was the first GTA to feature a camera mode in its gameplay. In one mission the player had to take incriminating pictures of a politician.
GTA SAN ANDREAS – “Photo Opportunity”
In this mission, the player has to get on the roof of a building to take pictures of each target.
GTA LIBERTY CITY STORIES – “Snappy Dresser”
GTA VICE CITY STORIES – “The Mugshot Longshot“
GTA IV – “Photo Shoot”
In one mission in GTA IV called “Photo Shoot”, the player has to take pictures of gang members and send it to another character, to individuate the target for an assassination. The photo is taken with the character in-game camera phone, which allows zooming.
GTA V – “Paparazzo photo missions”
In GTA V, all of the three main character has a smartphone with camera capability, and the player has the ability to take pictures freely and indipendently from missions and gameplay objectives. Photography however is also integrated in missions related to the “Strangers and Freaks” side storyline. Here the player works with a Paparazzi to get pictures of specific targets.
GTA V – Wildlife Photography Challenge”