iPhone Camera Settings : The very latest iPhones, from the iPhone 11 onwards, have a wealth of extra features for mobile photographers. Let’s take a look at them.
There are excellent cameras on the latest high-end iPhones, and a revised interface for the Camera app to help you make the most of them. The Zoom function is implemented a little differently; there is a QuickTake feature to allow you to film a video quickly without changing modes, and a new gesture is also required for the Burst Mode. There are extra controls, including the famous Night Mode, and you can take a wider image using Capture Outside the Frame. While most of the Camera app is just like it is on other iPhones running iOS 13 or later, these are the new features and interface changes and how to use them.
Capture Outside the Frame
Recent high-end iPhones offer a wider angle than previous iPhones, for both still photos and video footage. The option is turned on and off in Settings > Camera. In the Composition section, there are three options; turn on the feature for photos, for videos and auto-apply. If you want to use the Capture Outside the Frame feature, turn them all on. Then, when you take a photo, you can edit it using the Photos app’s Crop tool (see the Photos tutorial) to include areas outside the original photo.
If you don’t edit the photo in this way, the additional information captured is automatically deleted after 30 days.
Wide Angle and Zoom
Open the Camera app, and at the foot or side of the viewfinder (depending on how you’re holding your phone), you’ll find zoom controls. On the iPhone 11, there are two buttons: 0.5x and 1x. The iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max add a third button: 2x. Tap ‘.5’ for 0.5x, wide-angled photography. Tap ‘2’ for 2x, zoom photos. Tap and hold any of these buttons for a control wheel, which you can drag to set the camera at anything from 0.5x to 10x zoom. Note that zooms over 2x are digital, meaning they work by enlarging a portion of the photo rather than magnifying the subject; therefore, the quality might be reduced.
There’s a different way of taking ‘burst’ photos, that is, a series of pictures, one after another. Instead of simply holding down the Shutter button, as was the case for older iPhones, you now tap the Shutter button and drag your finger left (portrait mode) or up (landscape mode) towards the thumbnail of the previous picture you took. The iPhone takes photos in rapid succession, with the number of photos taken shown in a circle where the Shutter button was. Lift your finger to stop taking pictures. If you decide to delete one, you’re asked whether you want to erase just the one photo or the entire burst.
To take a QuickTake video, simply hold the Shutter button (or the physical Volume control button if you prefer) and you’ll start to record a video, even if you’re in photo mode. The button for the shutter will turn red and your video will be recorded. To stop recording, lift your finger. To continue recording without holding your finger on the screen, slide it towards the Lock icon to the right (in portrait mode) or bottom (in landscape mode) and release. You then stop recording by tapping the Shutter button again. This feature is now available on the iPhone XR, Xs and later.
On the most recent Pro and Pro Max iPhones, when you’re taking a panoramic photo, you can choose which lens to use. Just set the control wheel to Pano as usual, then tap ‘.5’ for a wide-angled lens, ‘1’ for the regular lens or ‘2’ for the zoom lens.
Night Mode is a great feature for taking pictures in low light conditions. If you’re taking a photo in the dark, and the iPhone’s camera decides your picture needs a longer exposure than usual, a moon icon appears in the top left corner of the screen. Tap it to activate Night Mode. If it’s really dark, it might activate automatically.
The Night Mode icon acquires a yellow background when enabled and the exposure time is shown. You can increase or decrease this exposure time by dragging the slider under the picture, from ‘Off’ to a maximum time (in seconds) determined by how dark it is. When you’re ready, tap the Shutter button to take your photo, but keep the iPhone steady, as longer exposures can cause blur if you’re not careful.
The yellow icon shows Night Mode is on. Tap it to set a longer or shorter exposure time with the wheel found above (portrait) or to the right of (landscape) the shutter button.
Slofies: Slow-Motion Selfies
The latest high-end iPhones, you can take selfie videos in slow motion (known as ‘slofies’) using the phone’s forward-facing 12MP TrueDepth camera. Simply tap the twin-arrows icon to switch from the rear-facing to the front-facing camera, and use the selection wheel to select Slo-mo, an option not previously available when using the front camera. The slofie video is recorded at 120 frames per second and is automatically in wide-angle, so you can capture far more of what’s around you.