10 hidden iPhone camera features to try

The iPhone famously has no manual, and leaves it to us to figure things out. That’s fine. The camera works. Open the app, click the white button and take a photo, right?

True, but what about all those secret features Apple never told us about? I’ve stumbled onto many of them, just by using the camera all the time and trying to figure things out, so I thought I’d pass on 10 of my favorites here.

1. Stop action with Burst Mode

The iPhone isn’t a full-service big camera like a Sony or Nikon. But believe it or not, you can stop action if you use Burst mode. Take lots of photos in rapid fire succession, and this will work wonders at a soccer game, jump shot, you name it.

How to do it: Place your finger on the white shutter button, and pull it to the left. It takes skill to master this one, so please NOTE: if you press down instead of swiping on the white button, it will start shooting a video. Ignore, and swipe.

You’ll hear the shutter start to snap immediately.

There’s another, surefire method as well. First, you’ll need to go into SETTINGS, scroll down to Camera, open it up and make sure Use Volume Up for Burst is clicked. Then turn the camera to the horizontal position, and use the top left volume button as your shutter. Hold down on it, and you’ll be in burst mode.

2. Take photos and videos at the same time

Open the Video mode, click the red record button and start recording. A white photo shutter button appears on the screen. Click the white button while recording and stills will go straight to your Camera Roll. This works a lot better than the old method, which I’ve done a lot of. Make a (fuzzy) screen grab, and then crop it.

3. Mirror selfie camera to stop backward text

Don’t you hate it when you’re wearing a shirt with lettering, and in the Selfie photo, the letters are backward? There’s an easy fix for this one, and it’s in the Settings Menu too. General/Camera and swipe down to Composition. Make sure “Mirror Front Camera” is not clicked, and your words will look the way you saw them.

4. Wipe people from your shot

I’ve got two methods here, the free way, and the paid version. Free brings us to the Apple feature called “Live Photos,” which was originally a gimmick to add a few seconds of video to your photos. (Hence, live!) There’s also an option in Live for “Long Exposure” which I usually use for photos of water, and making the water all silky and smooth. Try it out on people to get rid of them some time, as noted in the above shot. It’s hit and miss, but sometimes when you reach for the feature, it will make them disappear!

The paid option is an app called Photo Eraser, and it works well. Just open the photo, press your finger on the area you want to ditch and draw on it, then the app does its magic. However, the cost is a steep $2.99 weekly — or over $150 a year.

5. Better selfies with Timer

It’s hard to hold your arm out and get the shot you want, while also reaching for the shutter button. My better way is to use the Timer, hidden in the camera menu, put it on 10 seconds and have time to get relaxed and compose your shot. (Again, the menu is accessed by opening the Camera app, clicking Photo, and then the carrot in the top middle of the screen. Scroll from left to right: you’ll pass Flash, Night Mode, Live, Styles, aspect ratio, exposure control and then finally, you’ll find the Timer.)

6. Fix lighting

The iPhone is great at taking perfect photos. They’re not fuzzy and they’re perfectly exposed, because automatic always gets everything right. Until it doesn’t. The hidden menu (click the carrot in the top middle of the photo menu) pulls down a drop-down list of options, and one of them is Exposure Control. I use it all the time. It allows me to brighten the image by two F stops, or go darker by 2.

Real time use case: I was photographing a stained-glass window in Half Moon Bay, and the iPhone wanted to expose for the entire scene, making the glass too light so that we could see the walls too. No, I just wanted the stained glass to look great. So I opened the Exposure tool, and brought it all the way down. Vastly improved shot with richer colors!

7. Find photos easier

How many people have you seen mention a photo, and then scroll through their iPhone trying to find and show it to you? There is a better way. But it takes some effort to set up.

First, try tagging people who have been photographed many times. Open the picture of a person in the Camera Roll, and click the “I” button at the bottom of the screen, which is in-between the Trash Can on the right and the Heart tab next to it.

In the photo, there’s now a little circle image at the bottom left. Click it and get the drop-down menu, which encourages you to name the person. Do so, and then the next time you want to find the photo, look for Albums (in-between For You and Search) open it, go to People, and the photos should be awaiting you there.

8. Make a headshot in Portrait Mode

Portrait Mode is great for taking images of people with a professional blurred background look. There are six preprogrammed looks in Portrait Mode, ending with High-Key Light Mono, a black and white look that adds a clean white background to your shot. If you don’t mind a black and white headshot (and why should you? It pops off the screen) you can eliminate the background and get a pro look from your iPhone.

9. Change crop of a photo after you’ve taken it

You took a normal photo and on second thought, you want to convert it into a square image after the fact. Not a problem. Click Edit in the Camera Roll, Crop and then look to the Top menu, and a series of 3 squares. Click that, and now you can convert it to Square or other sizes.

10. Dramatically improve photos with Edit

I can make any iPhone photo look way better in seconds, just by clicking the Edit tab at the top right of the photo. Here I’m given several options, but all are basically a variation of increased or decreased exposure, and contrast. My go-to tools are the Wand, an auto feature that brightens the image, and the Black Point slider, which boosts the colors. Try it.

Author Profile

Renée Bourke

Renée has carried out many celebrity interviews for us from boybands to hanging backstage at showbiz parties. The Aussie stars acting credits include Home and Away + Across The Pond.

Email https://markmeets.com/contact-form/

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