One of the main attractions that iPhones have each year are their cameras, since generation after generation the Cupertino company is capable of providing them with greater possibilities, functions and features that increase the potential when it comes to taking professional photographs. Well, in this post we are going to tell you everything you need to know to get the most out of it.
The evolution of cameras on the iPhone
By way of introduction and above all so that you can put into context the enormous evolution that Apple has made at the level of cameras on the iPhone, we are going to briefly review the way in which the iPhone has evolved at the level of photographic features. The first thing you have to know is that, as usual in the Cupertino company, it has never focused on numbers, it has not wanted to boast of cameras with a large number of megapixels to impress the public with it, since what has always seduced users have been the results obtained with the cameras of the different models.
The great strength of the iPhone cameras is not in the lenses themselves, but in the processor and the way it has managed to process that information captured by the device’s cameras, resulting in images that in many moments they can pass perfectly for photographs taken with completely professional cameras.
It all started with the first iPhone , which already incorporated a lens, in this case only 2 Mpx, something that today seems ridiculous but was already considered one of the best cameras on the market back then. This was evolving until the iPhone 4 arrived, which was the first to also have a camera on the front of the device to be able to take the famous selfies. In this case the rear camera had increased to 5 Mpx, rising to the iPhone 4s. We would have to wait several generations, specifically until the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus to see this metric grow, reaching 12 megapixels, which remain to this day. Meanwhile, the competition continued to offer devices with lenses that far exceeded the number of megapixels to the iPhone, however, this has always been in the top 3 smartphones that managed to take the best photographs, once again, giving good faith that the megapixels are not everything.
With the iPhone 7 Plus , a marked moment in the history of the iPhone arrived, since this was the first model of the Cupertino company to have a double camera, made up of a wide-angle lens and, also, a telephoto lens. In addition, the lens aperture was also improved, reaching f/1.8 at wide angle and f/2.8 at telephoto. With the arrival of this double lens, the popular portrait mode also arrived. With the passing of each and every one of the generations, Apple has always been adding cash to the possibilities that the camera of its devices gave users. However, it was not until the arrival of the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max that we saw, again, a resounding leap from the company, the triple camera module arrived. Wide angle lens, telephoto lens and finally ultra wide angle lens. Since then, and until now, improvements in iPhone lenses have focused on stabilization, aperture, and night mode, which is another of the most acclaimed shooting modes by the general public.
Different lenses, take advantage of them
Once you know how the evolution has happened, far above, at the level of iPhone cameras, it is time for us to start making the most of it. First of all, what you have to be very clear about is what you have, that is, depending on your iPhone model, you will have one number of lenses or another and, above all, the number does not matter so much as the type, that is, what lenses do you have at your disposal to be able to play with them and take advantage of them 100%.
First of all we will talk about the lenses that you have on the back of your device, which will usually be the most used to take “professional” photographs. The first thing you have to know is that the lens that will always offer the best results is the one that is present in all models, that is, the wide angle . This corresponds to the “x1” that always appears by default when you open the camera application. In all iPhone models, this is the one with the largest opening, therefore, it allows light to enter much better and thus better capture all the information in the photograph. Obviously, this opening will vary depending on the model you have.
The second to arrive on the iPhone was the telephoto lens , which consists of being a small zoom with which you can get much closer to the objects, surfaces or landscapes that you want to photograph. In this case, you have to keep in mind that not all iPhones have the same optical zoom, since depending on the model you have, this focal length will vary. However, it is really useful for certain moments when you cannot get close to something and want to photograph it in more detail. It also allows you, on many occasions, to create a blurred background effect without having to use portrait mode, obtaining very natural results.
Finally, we have to talk about the lens that has taken the longest to reach the iPhone, but which has undoubtedly given users more joy since it became available. The ultra wide angle lens was something that everyone was claiming, and of course this claim is well justified because it provides tremendous versatility when it comes to taking pictures. It is a lens that is commonly called a fisheye, that is, it covers a large field of vision, giving users the possibility of taking very striking photographs, especially in good light conditions. In addition, we must also take into account that it is the lens in charge of taking the photographs in macro mode, obviously in those devices that have this functionality.
There is a fact that cannot be denied, and that is that many images are taken every day with the front camera of all smartphones, and obviously with that of the iPhone as well. This has been evolving over the generations, until we find results that are quite similar, at least in terms of quality, to those that can be obtained with the lenses on the back.
In fact, shooting modes, which we will talk about later, such as the possibility of performing the portrait effect or even taking advantage of the night mode , are also present in the front camera of the iPhone. Even in some models, the newest, Apple gives the possibility of expanding the field of vision to be able to perform typical group selfies in a better way.
Use the different shooting modes
Another of the points that you have to always keep in mind in order to make the most of all the options that your iPhone puts on the table are the different shooting modes that it has. Obviously, depending on the device model you have, you’ll be able to opt for some, others, or all of them if you’re lucky enough to get your hands on one of the latest iPhones launched by the Cupertino company.
One that is common to virtually all models, at least from the iPhone 7 Plus onwards, is the popular portrait mode. What this effect gives you is the opportunity to make a subject in focus in the image, and the background to blur . Obviously, this is achieved with professional cameras using lenses that have a very low aperture, but Apple has managed to do this through software processing of the image.
In addition, depending on the model of iPhone you have, you can also use one or two lenses to take this photo. In the same way, you can manually choose the degree of blurring you want for the image, both before and after taking it, since you only have to touch the “f” that you have in the upper right part of the screen at the moment the one you are going to take the photo, or if you are editing it from the photos app itself, tap on the “f…” that appears in the upper left part of the screen. Finally, you also have to keep in mind the different effects, depending on the light, that you can apply in portrait mode. We leave them below.
- Natural light.
- studio light
- contour light.
- stage light
- Mono stage light.
- Mono high key light.
One of the most acclaimed photographic modes by all users is the night mode. Just as portrait mode is present in many more iPhone models, night mode is not, since it is only available from iPhone 11 onwards . In addition, you also have to keep in mind that depending on the model, you can use it whenever you want or you will have to take into account the lens that you are going to use when taking a night photograph with this shooting mode.
By default, Apple has implemented an algorithm that will automatically detect when a photo requires night mode , that is, you will not have to make or touch any settings to be able to take a photo with night mode. However, and naturally, the Cupertino company has also left this possibility open so that users can choose whether or not to use it when they deem it convenient. Of course, for this the light conditions have to be unfavorable, since for example you will not be able to use it in broad daylight.
The mode of operation is as follows. Once the iPhone detects that there is little light in the environment and that, to obtain good results, you need to use the night mode, it is activated, and you can check it because a yellow icon appears in the upper left part of the screen. Once this happens, by touching it you can configure the exposure time that the camera will be taking the picture. The longer the exposure time, the brighter the image will appear, in the same way you can also disable the use of night mode.
If you find yourself in a low light situation, but the iPhone does not consider that you absolutely need the use of night mode to obtain a good result, you can manually activate it. To do this, you just have to slide up so that the different settings appear in the camera app, among which is the night mode. You just have to press it and choose the desired exposure to take the picture.
Before the arrival of the ultra wide-angle lens on the iPhone, there was already a way to make a photograph capture much more vision space , in fact, panoramic photography allows you to capture everything that is around you, since just that is what this type of images is about, although obviously, modifying the format of the result.
To take a panoramic photograph in good conditions, you have to take into account a series of factors. The first of them is that at the moment you are capturing a part of the image, it is preferable that there is nothing moving in it, otherwise that part will be blurred. Another point that you have to keep in mind when taking the picture is the speed and stability at which you are going to move, since you will have to follow a line that the iPhone screen itself will mark. Finally, you have to keep in mind that you can not only use this shooting mode to take horizontal photos, but it is also very useful to take them vertically, obtaining really striking and eye-catching results.
Settings you have to configure
Once you know all the shooting modes that you can use to take a photo with your iPhone, it’s time for you to also know the different settings present both in the Settings app and in the Camera app of your device. With them you can play, adjusting them to your tastes or needs.
In the Settings app
The first thing you have to do before starting to take photos with the iPhone is to know the settings that are available to you and, above all, to be able to use them in your favor to use your device in the most appropriate and comfortable way for you. To do this, what you have to do is open the Settings app and enter the “Camera” section. Once inside, you just have to configure the following settings.
- Format. Here you can choose if you want the photos to be saved in “High Efficiency” mode or with a format that is the most compatible of all. In addition, if your iPhone allows you to take photos in ProRAW format, you can also activate it.
- Keep settings . Apple allows you to keep the configuration you make of the camera at a certain moment until the next modification. In addition, you can also choose the parameters that you want to keep and those that do not. Below we leave you all the available ones.
- Camera mode.
- creative settings.
- Exposure adjustment.
- Night mode.
- Portrait mode zoom.
- Live Photo.
- Volume up button for burst . With this setting you can simply select whether you want the volume up button to allow you to take a burst of photos or not.
- Preserve mirror effect .
- See the area outside the frame .
- photographic styles . This parameter is only available from the iPhone 13, and allows all users to adapt certain parameters of the photograph to their liking, so that when editing it, the steps to be carried out are fewer. Here are the different styles available.
- Intense contrast.
- Prioritize speed over quality when taking photos .
- Lens correction . This setting is used to correct lens distortion on both the front camera and the rear ultra-wide lens.
- macro controls .
In the camera app
Finally, and as we have mentioned before, you also have available in the Camera app itself, a series of settings that you can modify when taking photos with your iPhone. In order to access them, you just have to swipe up from the center of the screen, and the following options will be displayed from left to right.
- Flash. From this icon you can activate and deactivate the use of the flash.
- Night mode .
- LivePhoto .
- photographic styles .
- Image format . Here you can choose between the different formats that Apple provides you. They are the following.