Folks are using their iPhone camera 24/7. We carry our iPhone wherever we go, even to the bathroom, we document nearly everything we do in a day. With sites like hip-Instagram, In-Your-Facebook and a Slickr Flickr, we just love to take and share our photos to get ‘likes’ and followers. But what if there were some great tips and tricks to using your iPhone camera that you didn’t know about – and could help you create even better images?
Count yourself as an iPhone camera guru if you already use some of these tips. And if you’re an iPhone camera genius please share some of your own tips so that we all can be as learned as you.
Remote Shutter Release
I’ve had an iPhone since the 3GS came out, that would be about four years now. I didn’t know until a few das ago that I could have been using my ear buds as a remote shutter release all this time. Simply plug in your earbuds as you normally would, open up the camera, then press the volume UP or DOWN button on the earbuds. I’ve tried this with third party earbuds that have a volume button and it works. From other camera apps including Instagram and Flickr, this remote shutter should be tested in advance. In my own testing with Instagram’s camera the volume buttons did not work but with Flickr it does. You can always use the iPhone camera app and edit later in Instagram. Okay, so this isn’t new with just this iPhone, but it’s a tip we forget about.
It used to be you could only use the volume UP button as a shutter release (with or without the earbuds). But now you can use either the volume up or down button to take a photo. Why is using the volume keys better? For most people using the volume buttons makes for a steadier photo because you are holding the camera in a more natural position which equates to less shake. As of this writing this feature was not working in Instagram but was working in Flickr and Camera Awesome, two photo apps that are exceptional.
New Photo Gallery (iOS7 only)
For folks that took the plunge and updated to iOS7 you will notice a nice change with your photo gallery. It used to be you would have a grid view of all you images without any information as to when or where you took those images. Now, with iOS7, when you are in the photo gallery simply click “Photos” in the lower left and it will reveal 3 levels of organization: Moments, Collections and Years. If you have location services enabled for your camera it will include your geo tag for your images (it’s a little startling to see how precise it is). Folks will love this feature that helps you sort and scan more readily. Once you are in a level just click on an image to back out to the beginning.
Tap to Focus
The new iOS7 allows you to click the volume DOWN button to focus when you use the camera. I found that I held it too long resulting in the shutter release firing off a photo. What I prefer is to tap the screen wherever you want to focus. To see this in action great go to a room in your house and aim toward a well-lit window. Tap an area that focuses on the window and things will come into focus. Then tap outside the area of the window and you will see that area brighten up. Using this little feature can make a big difference especially in low light scenarios.
Free iPhoto and iMovie Apps
When you upgrade to new iOS7 device you will now be able to download iPhoto and iMovie (and Pages, Keynote and Numbers) at no extra charge. It used to be folks had to purchase an app such as Snapseed to have better photo editing capabilities. You will need to be in a wireless area to download these apps since they will take up 100 MB of space. But it is worth the download if you are a serious photographer or just want to improve the bad shots you already took.
Burst , Square, Slo-Mo and Pano Modes
By holding down either the screen button or volume button you can now get insane burst mode on the iPhone. Up to 10 frames per second. It is so rapid fire you can create a video when importing the images into iMovie. You now have a square image in your phone to instantly crop to fit sites like Instagram.There’s a new Slo-mo feature when taking video, and lastly you can easily create panoramic photos when you slide your camera into Pano mode. Great for those scenic vacations!
What’s my aperture?
The new iPhone 5S has an aperture of f2.2 (a ¼ stop better than the iPhone 5). Apple did not improve on the 8 megapixels with this new phone. Instead they improved the quality of the photo receptors that corresponds to a pixel. Now the receptors are at 1.5 microns up from what most phones have, a 1.4 micron pixel size. What does that mean? The bigger the photo receptors the more light your camera can gather which improves overall color saturation and noise level. Along with this the active surface area in the camera sensor has been increased by 15%. Apple claims this is a 33% improvement in the light sensitivity.
Zoom in Video
A very nice feature with the new iPhone is the ability to zoom when taking video. Now you can zoom in when your child kicks the winning soccer goal or on a detail when you’re on vacation. You just have to pinch and spread your fingers on the screen to do this. Nice!
What other cool features did you discover with your new iPhone 5S or 5C?