Hi-tech : Complete guide to iPhone camera: all the secrets

If we go to the Flickr photography website we will see how the iPhone is indisputably the most widely used camera among its users to capture incredible images. For its part, Apple strives that each generation has a good dose of improvements in the photographic system of their iPhone, this being always one of the reasons that justify updating the device year after year by its users.

In order to get the most out of your camera though, first you have to learn to control it like a professional. The guide we bring today is a compilation of everything there is to know to get the most out of the iPhone camera. Shall we start?

Launch the Camera app

Possibly the option we first think of is click on the Camera appHowever, if we start from having the device blocked, the easiest way is to start it from the lock screen.

For this, if you have an iPhone with FaceID you just have to press on the camera icon that you will find at the bottom right of the lock screen, or failing that slide your finger across the screen from the right edge to the left. If you are still using an iPhone with TouchID only the second method is available.

Another situation that we may find ourselves in is using another app at the moment we need the camera. In this case the simplest is add a dedicated camera button in the Control Center, so that simply by opening it we have direct access.

To add a quick access button to the camera inside the Control Center we must go to Settings-> Control Center-> More Controls-> Camera, we simply have to press the button + green that we will find in front of the option for this button to be added to the Control Center.

More options that we have go through use Siri to open the Camera app or in the event that we have an Apple Watch launch the application from this. This is a good option for when we decide to take group photos where someone has to shoot the capture. The Apple Watch allows you to view the frame on your screen and press the shutter directly from it.

Basic controls

When you open the Camera app one meets most of the controls on this and the camera starts by default in photo mode, in case you need to make a quick capture. Taking a photo is as simple as pressing the white round button that we will find in the center of the bottom of the screen, however We can also make captures taking advantage of the physical buttons to increase and decrease volume of our device.

Along the camera screen you will find all these controls:

Flash: An icon illustrating lightning.

Live Photo: The option to take animated screenshots from Apple is illustrated with a circle within a circle surrounded by a dotted line.

Timer: With a drawing of a circular clock with a hand.

Filters: With a drawing of three overlapping circles in different shades of gray.

In the latest generation iPhone, in addition to these controls, if we click on the small arrow that points down in the upper center of the screen we will also unlock controls such as:

Night mode: Illustrated by a crescent with its dark face shaded.

Format selection: Illustrated by 4: 3 inside a circle, it allows us to change the image format we take between 1: 1 (square), 4: 3 (standard) and 16: 9 (panoramic).

Exposure compensation: A circle with a + and – symbol on top of each other inside.

In addition to all these controls, at our disposal is the change of camera mode, which sliding over its different options allows us to switch between these modes:

Time-Lapse: Allows you to record a time-lapse video on the iPhone automatically.

Slow motion: Allows you to record slow-motion video.

Video: Record video clips up to 4K resolution.

Portrait: Available on iPhones with two lenses or more, as well as the iPhone XR and SE 2020. It allows taking shots with the background out of focus simulating photographs taken with large aperture lenses.

1: 1: Changes the camera mode to take shots with an aspect ratio of 1: 1 (square).

Panorama: It allows capturing large images by moving our phone and the iPhone itself will take care of joining them.

As a final point to the controls section, at the bottom of the camera screen we will find a direct access to our most recent photos to the left of the shutter and to its right the button in charge of changing between the rear and front camera system.

Focus and exposure control

By default, when focusing, if a face appears on the scene the iPhone will always prioritize that it is in focus. If, on the contrary, we want to choose where we want the focus to be we can click inside the frame to select the placeThis will also adjust the exposure so that part of the image is correctly exposed.

The iPhone also allows you to lock both focus and exposure on particular elements. For this we must press and hold on the desired area. In this way, the image will not change in exposure or focus even if the scene changes.

The exposure can be changed manually to suit our idea of ​​the scene. For this there are two options available, the first by clicking on the area that we want to expose correctly and dragging our finger up and down to adjust the exposure. The second, only applicable to iPhones that have the extended controls that we have previously described is via the exposure button, where we can adjust the exposure of the scene in 1/3 steps light in a more precise way.

Focus lock and exposure variation can be used together if after holding down the key to block it, we slide our finger on the screen up or down as we want to adjust. Down we will see the exposure of the scene decrease and up we will see it increase.

Although all this information may seem confusing at first, once the user gets used to these controls, taking pictures with the iPhone rises, allowing more options.

Change goals on iPhone with various lenses

Some Cupertino devices have more than one lens in their photographic system, which allows us to have different focal lengths on our iPhones.

The standard camera, An angular lens that varies between 26 and 28mm depending on the device it is the default lens, but we can move depending on the model at wider focal lengths (13mm on the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro) or narrower (52mm on the iPhone 11 Pro and 56mm on the iPhone 7 Plus, 8 Plus , X, XS and XS Max).

To change from one lens to another we simply have to press on the circle that we will find on the shutter of the camera with the shape of a circle and that indicates X1.

When this button is displayed with a X1 means that we are in the wide angle, if it is X0.5 we will be using the ultra wide angle and if it indicates 2X we will be using the telephoto lens. All three options in one device however are only available on the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max to date.

Most scenes can be captured seamlessly with these three lenses together. The 1X gives us a natural view of the catch, 0.5X expands our field of view by 2, allowing us to capture up to 120º of amplitude and the 2X brings us closer to what is most distant.

Using different types of lenses for each scene offers endless creative possibilities on the iPhone. Try taking a portrait with the ultra wide angle Or capture distant scenes with the telephoto lens to see how the scene compresses into a single shot. The limits on these three focal lengths are set only by the user’s imagination.

Optical zoom and digital zoom

Beyond the zoom function that these three lenses can perform optically, iPhone can go up to 10x magnification. To access the zoom we can pinch the screen to zoom in or out, however, to control it more precisely we recommend doing it from the same button that we indicated to change lenses.

If we find ourselves in the need to photograph something that is very distant, we can enlarge the image by holding down the 1X button to display a roulette wheel that will allow us to move around the entire available zoom range.

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It should be noted however that while we move between the magnifications x0.5, X1 and X2 the zoom will occur optically without loss in image quality. However, when we zoom beyond the telephoto range, it will be done digitally, so the more we expand the more loss of quality we can see in our capture. Due to this, we recommend if it is possible to zoom in or out of the subject to be photographed instead of choosing to use the digital zoom, since this way we can maintain the quality of the scene.

Video mode

Selecting the video mode on the iPhone mode dial will change the capture mode from the camera to the video. The shutter button will change to red, and pressing it we will start recording. While the recording is in progress, you can press the button to the right of the shutter to take pictures while still recording video.

The iPhone 11, 11 Pro, 11 Pro Max and SE of 2020 also allow you to use the QuickTake function, with which without changing to video mode we can start recording a clip by simply holding the shutter button. If we want it to continue recording despite releasing it, we only have to slide it to the right, to the circle with the padlock.

As for the rest, the controls available for video from the camera interface are practically the same as for photo mode, and the settings regarding the quality of the video are found in Settings-> Camera.

Portrait mode

Portrait mode takes care of identify subjects within the frame in order to blur their background creating an effect similar to what you would get with a dedicated lens.

This mode works for both people and objects and animals on devices that have 2 or more cameras, however iPhones with a single lens are limited to using this mode only with people.

Although this mode substantially improves the photographs it is not without errors, and that is that there are times when the edges of the main subject look strange in the transition between the focused and unfocused area.

In addition to blurring the background, the portrait mode is complemented by what Apple calls studio lights, which simulate light schemes like those we could find in a professional studio, giving results that are less curious.

Night mode

Exclusive to the iPhone 11, 11 Pro, and 11 Pro Max, Night Mode was the big chime for the iPhone camera this past generation. Take advantage of 1X and 2X lenses to capture images with subtly higher exposure when light is poor.

IPhone stabilization helps make this process possible, but it is iPhone image processing and software that really does the job of creating images with correct exposure despite the lack of light.

Night Mode is automatically activated on compatible devices when the iPhone thinks it is necessary, and will adjust the exposure time so that the scene is properly lit. Night mode can be deactivated if we do not want to use it by clicking on the icon with the crescent that appears when iPhone activates it.

When we use Night Mode, after shooting, we must remain absolutely stillMoving the iPhone could result in blurry or out-of-focus shooting. If you want to elevate your game with Night Mode, get a small tripod for your mobile, thus ensuring that your iPhone will be completely still at the moment of capture.

Live Photos

Although Apple has insisted, its animated photographs or Live Photos have never been something to highlight about its photographic system. However, it is worth taking a look since it allows you to recreate memories in a curious way, at the same time that it takes various captures from which we can then select the one that we like the most.

The Live Photos can be activated directly from the camera by clicking on the icon with one circle within another surrounded by a dashed circle, and once captured they can be played by keeping your finger on them when viewing them on the reel.

If you don’t know about Live Photos, go ahead and try them, it may be that you don’t make sense of them, or that they become your new favorite method of taking photos.

The iPhone camera is very competent

It is clear that a camera built into a smartphone is not going to be able to be compared to a professional camera, however iPhone offers a photographic system that will satisfy the average user for everyday or vacation photos with quality more than enough.

Its compact design allows you to take it with us everywhere, and after all that is usually one of the most relevant factors when taking photos, always carry the camera with you, especially if we have the photographic quality of the iPhone.