Chapter 9. The Camera

Incredibly, the iPhone is the most popular camera 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 taken with a pocket gadget look this good. With each new version of the iPhone, Apple improves its cameras—and on the 2018 models, they’re unbelievably good.

The videos look amazing, too. They’re auto-stabilized. The 6s and later models shoot in 4K (four times the resolution of high-def video), and the X-class phones 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, unlock it, find the Camera app, and wait for it to load, the magic moment may ...

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