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How to Manually Control Your iPhone Camera


Apple has continued to develop and add software capabilities to the Camera app, including things like Smart HDR and Portrait Mode, as it chases after Google. Even while they are excellent, they do not completely replace manual controls. In order to capture shots out the window of a moving car, you must manually adjust the shutter speed; the iPhone’s camera will nearly always set the shutter speed too slow in order to avoid motion blur while taking such photos. In a similar vein, if you’re shooting at night or in high contrast, you’ll almost certainly want to use manual controls on your camera at least portion of the time.

Even if you mostly rely on your iPhone to do the heavy lifting (as I do, to be honest), knowing how to handle the camera manually is essential for capturing stunning images when the occasion calls for it.

Read Also: How to Combine Videos on an iPhone

What You Can Control

Your iPhone does not provide you with complete manual control over all of the available settings. In particular, the lens’s aperture and focal length are both set at f/1.8, with a full frame equivalent of 26mm (for the wide angle lens) and 51mm (for the telephoto lens) respectively (for the telephoto lens). This implies that you must manage exposure by adjusting the shutter speed and ISO, or by adjusting the exposure compensation.

With a good manual camera app you’ll be able to control:

  • Shutter speed (1/45000 to 1 second).
  • ISO (15 to 2304).
  • White balance.
  • Focus distance.
  • Exposure compensation (-6 to +6 stops).

You will also be able to capture RAW photographs, which will provide you with additional options when it comes to editing your shots.

The Free Option: VSCO (Free)

To clarify, I’m not actually endorsing VSCO, unless you only need to use manual controls on rare occasions and don’t want to pay for it. If you fall into this category, I’d recommend Snapseed instead. It’s just that it’s the most effective free alternative accessible.

VSCO is a fantastic editing app—in fact, it’s one of my favourite photography apps—but the problem is that the camera functionality is just mediocre. It provides manual options for shutter speed, ISO, white balance, focus, and exposure compensation, although the controls are not very straightforward to use in practice. Also, when you first launch the app, you aren’t immediately directed to the camera, which makes it a little sluggish.

In the event that you want to take a photo where you need to tweak the camera settings manually every now and then, VSCO will be a terrific choice for you. If, on the other hand, you frequently want to take control of your iPhone’s camera, this feature is likely to irritate you.

The Best Option: Halide ($5.99)

Halide is the greatest iPhone photography app currently available. It provides you complete control over the shutter speed, ISO, white balance, focus, exposure compensation, and depth of field mode, among other things. All of the controls are responsive and simple to operate. If you put in a few minutes of practice, you’ll be able to handle everything without having to think about it, which is exactly what you want from a camera app.

The most impressive aspect about Halide is that the developers are continually pushing the boundaries of what is possible with the iPhone’s camera technology. As the first to investigate what was going on with “beauty gate,” they’ve applied what they’ve discovered to develop Smart RAW, an exposure algorithm that produces higher-quality and crisper RAW photographs than the iPhone’s default exposure algorithm. Halide is a lot of iPhone photographers’ go-to app for a reason. It’s the best way to control your iPhone’s camera manually.



Are iPhone cameras manual?

Your iPhone is no exception to this rule. Unfortunately, iOS does not provide manual controls in the default Camera app, so we’ll have to use a third-party programme to accomplish our goal. Apple has continued to develop and add software capabilities to the Camera app in order to keep up with Google—things like Smart HDR and Portrait Mode, for example.

Are there filters for iPhone camera?

When it comes to iPhone camera effects, iPhone filters are the most often employed. There are a variety of filters pre-installed in your iPhone’s camera app. You have the ability to make minor adjustments to your photograph before you even take the shot.