The iPhone 11 and 11 Pro/11 Pro Max are both good phones with powerful specs and excellent camera.
Before you go ahead with the camera on an adventure with the best smartphone cameras, we’ve got a few tips and tricks that’ll help because the Camera app’s developed somewhat. Some things have moved around and there are some hidden settings you may not be informed of.
1. Use ultra-wide
Both the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro comes with new ultra-wide cameras. The 12-megapixel (f/2.2) camera is similar to a 13mm DSLR lens and has a 120-degree field of view, which is able to fit A LOT more in a single shot.
Shooting with the ultra-wide lens is very easy: on iPhone 11, tap the 1x button to switch to the 0.5x ultra-wide lens and on iPhone 11 Pro, just hit the 0.5x button.
2. Ultra-wide panoramas
The ultra-wide camera also works for panoramas. Ultra-wide panoramas are way more distorted than with the wide lens.
3. Smarter selfies
The iPhone 11 and 11 Pro both are packing 12-megapixel front-facing cameras. However, you don’t always get 12 megapixels for every selfie.
If you hold your iPhone 11 vertically, the image sensor zooms in to take a 7-megapixel selfie. Tap the expand button on the screen to zoom out for the whole 12-megapixel camera.
Rotate your iPhone 11 for a horizontal selfie, though, and the camera itself zooms out for 12-megapixel selfies because it thinks you might want to fit other people or more of the background into the photo. You can also zoom back in to get a 7-megapixel shot if you want that instead.
4. Change the aspect ratio to 16:9
On older iPhones, you have two aspect ratios to choose from 4:3 (rectangle) or 1:1 (square), both of which are their own shooting styles.
With the new Camera app on iPhone 11 and 11 Pro, aspect ratio settings are arranged into a single-mode, and there’s a new 16:9 aspect ratio. To adjust the aspect ratio, swipe up on the screen to take up a new row of camera settings.
5. Record video while taking a photo
On older iPhones before the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro, you can record video and, really, take screenshots at the same time by tapping the small shutter button in the corner.
On the new iPhone 11 and 11 Pro, there’s a new QuickTake feature, which lets you record a video within photo mode by pressing down the shutter button. If you’ve used the Instagram Stories or Snapchat Stories before, it works exactly the way they do.
QuickTake works on all of the front and rear cameras. One thing to be careful of is the aspect ratio. If your photos are set to 4:3, QuickTake videos will also be that aspect ratio. For 16:9 videos, you’ll have to set the photo aspect ratio respectively.
6. Burst shooting is now a swipe
If holding down the shutter button now records QuickTake videos, how do you take a burst of photos?
For vertical photos, simply swipe left from the shutter button, and for horizontal photos, swipe down instead.
Sadly, there’s no way to change the default setting for the shutter button.
7. Using the volume buttons as shutter
Speaking of shutter button functions that have changed: A single press on each volume button still takes a photo, but holding down either volume button doesn’t shoot a burst of photos anymore and now it records a QuickTake video. There’s no way to change this setting.
8. Controlling Night mode
The iPhone 11 and 11 Pro both have a Night mode. Unlike on Android phones, where the mode is one you can select, Night mode on the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro boots automatically when the scene is dark.
A Night mode icon is right next to the flash icon and shows you how long you need to hold still for. Tap the shutter button and a measure will appear and count down from the suggested exposure time.
If you want to revoke the automatic Night mode exposure to turn it off or extend the exposure time to the maximum, you can tap the Night mode icon.
9. Use a tripod to improve Night mode
Night mode is excellent for long exposures that last only a few seconds. But if you really want to produce the longest exposures, you’re going to want to mount your iPhone 11 or 11 Pro to a tripod. The gyroscope identifies whether the phones absolutely still and then dials up the exposure time to as long as 30 seconds.
10. Recompose photos and videos
Within the Settings app under Camera, there’s a segment called “Composition” which lets you turn on “Photos Capture Outside the Frame” and “Videos Capture Outside the Frame.”