There’s a saying in photography that the best camera is the one you have with you the most. For many people, that’s the camera on their smartphone. Luckily for iPhone owners, the camera that comes with your smartphone is pretty impressive.
The original iPhone had a very simple camera. It took photos, but it lacked features like user-directed focus, zoom, or a flash. The iPhone 3GS added one-touch focus, but it took until the iPhone 4 for the iPhone camera to add important features like flash and zoom. The iPhone 4S added a few nice features like HDR photos, while the iPhone 5 brought support for panoramic images. Whichever feature you’re interested in, here’s how to use it:
The iPhone 4 4th generation iPod touch and iPad 2, and all newer models, have two cameras one facing the user, the other on the back of the device. This is used both for taking pictures and using FaceTime.
Choosing which camera you’re using is easy. By default, the higher-resolution camera on the back is selected, but to choose the user-facing one (if you want to take a self portrait, for instance), just tap the button in the top right corner of the Camera app that looks like a camera with rotating arrows around it. The image on the screen will change to the one picked up by the user-facing camera. To change back, just tap the button again.
Works with: iPhone 4 and higher
The iPhone camera can not only focus on any element of a picture when you tap it (more on that in a moment), you can also zoom in or out.
To do this, open the Camera app. When you want to zoom in on an aspect of the image, simply pinch and drag to zoom in as you would in other apps (i.e., put thumb and forefinger together on the screen and then drag them apart towards opposite ends of the screen). This will both zoom in on the image and reveal a slider bar with a minus on one end and a plus on the other will appear at the bottom of the image. This is the zoom. You can either keep pinching and dragging, or slide the bar left or right, to zoom in and out. The image will automatically adjust as you do this. When you have just the photo you want, tap the camera icon at the bottom center of the screen.
Works with: iPhone 3GS and higher