Chapter 9. The Camera

Why is it even called the iPhone? What most people do with it, most of the time, is take photos. In fact, 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. It should be called the iCamera.

With each new version of the iPhone, Apple improves its cameras—and on the 2019 models, they’re unbelievably good. The videos look amazing, too. They’re auto-stabilized. They shoot in 4K (four times the resolution of high-def video), and the Face ID 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 cameras on the latest iPhones are pretty impressive. 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.

And then there’s the iPhone 11 Pro: three lenses and enough artificial-intelligence photographic smarts to make it almost impossible to muff a shot.

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, ...

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