Complete guide to the iPhone 12 camera with 5 essential tricks

One of the main functions of the iPhone is the camera, and iPhone 12 and 12 Pro introduce many important improvements to take truly incredible photos. The iPhone 12 camera can be your main camera if you know how to get the most out of it.

iPhone 12 Pro Max camera
The iPhone 12 Pro camera

If you want to learn everything about the iPhone 12 camera, its different shooting modes and some tricks to take better photos, you are in the right place. Stay tuned and take note of all these tips to take the best photos with iPhone 12.

IPhone 12 Camera Guide: Everything You Need to Know

The iPhone 12 has a spectacular camera with which we can take incredible photos and videos. Here you will find everything you need to know about the camera functions of the iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Pro and some great tricks to take better photos.

IPhone 12 Camera Specifications and Resolution

Depending on the iPhone 12 model you have, the cameras will vary between two or three. But nevertheless, the two sensors of the iPhone 12 and 12 mini are identical in the iPhone 12 Pro, to which we also add a telephoto lens.

  • Main chamber. Resolution of 12 Mpx and aperture of ƒ / 1.6 in the 4 iPhone 12.
  • Ultra wide angle camera. 12 Mpx resolution and ƒ / 2.4 aperture on the 4 iPhone 12.
  • Telephoto camera. 12 Mpx resolution, only available on the iPhone 12 Pro with ƒ / 2 aperture in the Pro and ƒ / 2,2 in the Pro Max.
  • Frontal camera. 12 Mpx resolution and ƒ / 2.2 aperture on the 4 iPhone 12.
iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 mini
iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 mini

IPhone 12 Camera App

Apple is characterized by having a very simple and minimalist camera app. But that’s not to say that we don’t have a lot of cool features available.

The camera app is divided into two zones, one upper and one lower. In the upper area, from left to right, we have: the flash indicator, the night mode icon, an arrow to show new settings and the Live Photos icon.

In the area below we have, first the sensor change indicators and below the different modes. From left to right we have: Time-lapse, Slow motion, Video, Photo, Portrait and Panoramic. Below we have access to recent photos, the shutter button and the button to switch to the front camera.

iPhone 12 camera app
The iPhone 12 Camera app

Advanced settings of the Camera app on iPhone 12

By clicking on the small arrow that appears at the top in the iPhone 12 Camera app, or by sliding up the screen, the bottom appears a series of icons with advanced settings. This is what each of them does:

  • Flash. An icon to turn the flash on or off.
  • Night mode. Pressing we will activate the night mode, being able to slide the exposure time. It only appears in low light conditions.
  • Live Photo. The icon to activate or deactivate this type of photos.
  • Format. We can change the format of the photo between 1: 1, 4: 3 and 16: 9.
  • Exposition. The icon with a “+ -” has a slider to modify and set the exposure.
  • Timer. With this setting we can take photos at 3 or 10 seconds.
  • Filters. We have several filters to apply directly to photos.
iPhone 12 camera app settings
The advanced settings of the iPhone 12 Camera app

Zooming with the iPhone 12 camera

To make zoom with the iPhone 12 camera we have three options. The system will automatically choose the most suitable sensor depending on the zoom we do and the conditions.

  • By pinching on the screen, we can increase or decrease the zoom.
  • By pressing the 0.5x, 1x and 2x or 2.5x buttons.
  • By sliding on these buttons a wheel will appear to zoom.

You should know that the Maximum zoom on the iPhone 12 and 12 mini is 5x, on the iPhone 12 Pro it is 10x and on the iPhone 12 Pro max it is 12x. In video it is reduced to 3x, 6x and 7x.

zoom camera iPhone 12
The zoom of the iPhone 12 camera

Volume buttons

The volume buttons are very useful in the iPhone 12 Camera app. By pressing any of them we can take a photo, so there is no need to touch the screen. If you hold them down, you can start recording a video or take photos in burst mode, depending on what you have activated.


Imagine that you are taking photos and suddenly something happens that you want to record on video, with QuickTake you just have to hold down the shutter button to start recording a video. It is a function that we find in the iPhone 12 and other iPhone and that you should know. Recording a video is as fast as holding down the camera’s shutter button.

Burst mode

Before, to take a burst of photos we had to hold down the shutter or camera button, but now that records a video. To take a burst of photos with the iPhone 12 you have to press the button and slide it to the left, if the iPhone is vertically, or down if it is horizontal.

Change video resolution

When you are in video mode, at the top right you will see the resolution and the frames per second you are going to record. To simply change them tap on them to toggle between HD and 4K, and between 24, 30 and 69 fps per second.

video camera iPhone 12
Change video resolution easily

IPhone 12 Camera Settings

In addition to all the settings within the iPhone 12 Camera app, we have others that we can modify outside of the application. For this we only have to go to Settings> Camera. From here we can change some parameters and activate some options.

  • Formats. You can choose the format of the photos: HEIF or JPG.
  • Video formats. Both normal and slow motion video.
  • Record sound in stereo.
  • Keep settings. Inside we have different options that you must take into account.
  • Use the volume button for burst.
  • Scan QR codes.
  • Use the grid in the camera app. A grid that helps us take a good photo.
  • Mirror effect in the selfie. Selfie photos will be reversed.
  • View area out of frame. If you have not framed a photo well and you have left something out, you can retouch it later.
  • Scene detection. An artificial intelligence that detects the scene and applies improvements.
  • Prioritize speed over quality. If you take many photos in a row, you can choose if you prefer speed or quality.
  • Lens correction. This function applies a correction to the ultra wide angle lens to improve the photo.
  • Smart HDR. An option that improves photos and that you must have activated.

5 tricks to take good photos with the iPhone 12

Find a good frame

Today any smartphone is capable of taking good enough photos, so taking a good photo depends a lot on our eye. The most determining factor that will differentiate a good photo from the rest is the composition of the scene we want to photograph.

This is not something easy to find or learn, there are people a greater facility to find that effect wow in photographs that appear normal. But there they go some tips for taking different photos that impress:

  • Determine well what you are going to photograph. Everything that you want to appear must enter the scene, therefore do not leave out the top of a building and do not cut a landscape from the side. Frame well and take a few seconds before shooting.
  • Activate the grid to keep the proportions and the photographic rule of thirds. There are photos that can look good without meeting these parameters, but as a general rule the rule of thirds and knowing how to center the main areas of the scene helps.
  • Add foreground interest. That something appears in the foreground, even if it is out of focus, helps to give depth to the scene and will give us a richer composition in nuances.
  • Use different angles. Using unusual angles with different perspectives can turn a normal photo into an incredible photo, feel free to crouch, lean or climb something higher to take your photo.
iPhone 12 Pro
An element in the foreground helps add depth

Control exposure

It is something fundamental, although iPhones are characterized by taking very good photos just by pressing the shutter button, if we take a few seconds to focus and retouch the exposure, we will get much better photos.

This is especially important when we have backlights, such as a sunset. Simply tap on the screen on the area you want to focus on, and swipe up and down to brighten or darken the scene. You can also control the exposure by sliding up and using the “+ -” button.

iPhone camera exposure
Examples modifying the exposure.

Edit your photos

There are dozens of great photo editing apps on the App Store that you can use to retouch images. But nevertheless, the editing function of the iPhone Photos app is very good to improve photos and to learn.

We have many parameters With which to play until you get a more spectacular photo, do not overdo it with the effects. From the Photos app we can edit parameters such as exposure, luminosity, saturation, liveliness, sharpness and a long etcetera. Just enter the photo and above click on Edit.

Choose well the type of photography: horizontal, vertical or panoramic

Smartphones have a vertical format, and perhaps this type of photography is abused on many occasions. Depending on what you are photographing you must choose the orientation very well of the camera.

iphone photo camera
Vertical photos or horizontal photos? It depends

When photographing large skyscrapers or incredible forests, vertical photography may be the best option, but if you have to photograph a landscape, it is better to opt for a horizontal photo. By the way, don’t forget that you can also take panoramic photos, something that can help you when the stage is very wide.

Night mode before flash

The flash is fine in certain circumstances, but with it you will only be able to illuminate what you have in the foreground, and you will lose everything that is in the background of the image. Too reflections may appear and it shows a less natural photo.

Before we had no other option, but since the arrival of night mode, even on non-compatible iPhone through applications, we can get very good photos in low light conditions. Again, take your time and choose the exposure time necessary to take a good photo.

The night mode has improved a lot on the iPhone 12 and 12 Pro, is now available in all cameras and we can take portraits with the night mode activated in the iPhone 12 Pro.

portrait mode iPhone 12 Pro different lights
Portrait mode of the iPhone 12 Pro in natural light, without light and with night mode activated

Hopefully this iPhone 12 Camera guide has taught you everything you need to know, and that along with these tricks get amazing photos to surprise your friends.

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