Chapter 9. The Camera

Incredible though it sounds, the iPhone is the number-one most popular camera model in the world. More photos are posted online from this phone than from any other machine in existence.

And no wonder; you’ve probably never seen pictures and movies look this good on a pocket gadget. With each new version of the iPhone, Apple improves its camera—and on the iPhone 8 and X models, it’s unbelievably good.

And the videos look amazing. They’re auto-stabilized. The 6s and later models shoot in 4K (four times the resolution of high-def video), and the iPhone X can even play back high dynamic range videos (incredibly dark darks and bright brights).

This chapter is all about the iPhone’s ability to display photos, take new ones with its camera, and capture videos.

The Camera App

The little hole(s) on the back of the iPhone, in the upper-left corner, is its camera.

On the latest iPhones, it’s pretty impressive, at least for a cellphone cam. The iPhone 7 and later, for example, have four LED flashes, manual exposure controls, optical stabilization, and phase-detection auto­focus (the same kind of very fast refocusing found in professional SLR cameras). These phones can manage 10 shots a second and do amazingly well in low light.

Now that you know what you’re in for, here’s how it works.

Firing Up the Camera

Photographic opportunities are frequently fleeting; by the time you fish the phone from your pocket, wake it up, unlock it, find the Camera app, and wait for it ...

Get iPhone: The Missing Manual, 11th Edition now with O’Reilly online learning.

O’Reilly members experience live online training, plus books, videos, and digital content from 200+ publishers.