Getting the Most from Your iPhone Camera


A few weeks ago, I gave a presentation to the South Bay Mac Users Group (SBMUG) on the iPhone’s camera. This presentation was basically an update of the one I gave about three years ago. The camera in the iPhone and the software that supports it has gone through a lot of technical advancements since then.

I decided to post the slide show here, because I suspect that many people (including myself) just use camera to take simple selfies and are unaware or forget just how capable the iPhone camera is.

Slide 1 iPhone

To view the slide show, just click on the link above. It is a large file, so it will take several seconds to open.  To go from slide to slide, just click. There are embedded videos, so you may have to click to start and/or stop them.

The presentation uses the iPhone 7+ camera, since that is the iPhone I own. Most of the material is directly related to the camera in the iPhone XR, as well as older recent versions of the iPhone.

For those of you who have a different smartphone, check out its camera’s capabilities. I bet you will find that it can do a lot more than you thought.

If you found this information helpful, please star-rate it at the top of the page. Also, I welcome any comments that you may have. They can be entered at the bottom of the page.

I Learned a New Word–iPhoneography


Last week I watched parts of a two-day live webinar presented by http://www.creativelive.com/ and featuring photographer, Jack Hollingsworth. The webinar was presented free to promote their course, “iPhoneography Workshop”.

There is a whole world out there that is using the iPhone and other smart phones to create photographic art. I’ve had my iPhone 4 for a few months now, and frankly still know very little about using it, except to use it as a simple point and shoot camera. And I was not even doing that right.

After watching the webinar, I’m looking at the camera on my iPhone with increased respect. To be honest I’m still not that versed on the basic capabilities of even the native camera, let alone the thousands of iPhone apps that are available. Its features were expanded with the release of iOS 5. I have never read the manual, so I did not have a good grasp of even the basics. Here are six things I learned.

  1. The picture is not taken until you lift your finger from the camera button, not when you tap it. This means you can compose the shot, hold down the shutter release button and then remove your finger the instant you want to take the picture.
  2. To zoom in on a scene, pinch your fingers and then drag outward. You should see the slider bar open allowing you to adjust the zoom by dragging the slider.
  3. The iPhone has a AF/AE Lock capability. To turn it on, tap and hold on that part of the image you want to lock in on for a second or two. Remove your finger, and you will see the AF/AE Lock at the bottom of the screen. To turn it off, tap on the screen again.
  4. You can quickly bring access the camera from the Lock Screen mode. Double click on the Home button, and then tap on the camera icon on the right.
  5. You can also use the Volume Up button as the shutter release to take a picture.
  6. This really has nothing to do with the camera, but you can make a screen copy. First hold down the sleep button, and then quickly double tap the Home button. The captured screen is added to the Camera Roll. This also works on the iPad.

The above are what the native camera and its apps are capable of. My next step is to explore some of the cool apps available available for the camera. I suspect the camera in Android phones have similar capabilities and apps.

If your using an iPhone or iPad 2, and know of a good app or two to exploit their capabilities, leave a comment. Also, if you like this article and would like to see more like it here, please let me know by giving it a high star rating above. Thanks.