By now, I would guess that most of you iPhone users have updated to the new operating system, iOS 7. And if you have, you may have noticed that this update includes lots of improvements to the Camera App.
Let’s look at some of these enhancements.
Launching the Camera
The app can now be launched in four different ways.
First and most obviously, you can launch the camera app from the iPhone’s home screen. Just find the camera icon and tap on it.
You can also access the Camera App from the lock screen.
Swipe up on the camera icon showing in the lower right-hand corner of the lock screen to open the Camera App:
You can access the Camera App through the Control Center, a few feature in iOS 7.
You can open the Control Center from anywhere on your iOS device, even from within another app and even if the device is locked.
To open the Control Center, swipe up from the bottom of the screen. When you do, the Command Center pops open, allowing you access to the most used of the iPhone settings. From there, you can change the Airplane Mode, and toggle Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Do Not Disturb and Rotation Lock on and off. You can also manage the screen brightness and control music playback.
At the bottom of the Control Center, you’ll find icons for four apps, including the Camera App. To activate the camera function, simply tap on the icon:
Finally, you can access the Camera App from anywhere on your device using Siri. To activate Siri, press and hold the iPhone “Home” button. The Siri interface will pop up and you will hear two quick beeps, letting you know it’s ready.
Now ask Siri to open the Camera App. You can use a couple of different phrases to do this:
- “Open the Camera App” or just “Open the Camera”
“Launch the Camera App” or “Launch the Camera”
At this point, Siri will open your camera and you’re ready to go. Or, if, like me, you have more than one Camera App on your phone, Siri will ask you which you would like to open:
Now that you’ve opened the Camera App, you’ll notice that the interface looks like it’s changed a bit. The shutter button—the camera button—is now a large, plain, round orb and the edges of the interface are now translucent, allowing whatever is in your viewfinder to show through in those areas.
You may also notice that the Options button that used to reside in the center of the top edge of the Camera App is gone. But don’t fret! All those options are still available, some scattered across the top of the interface, and some accessible through swipes:
- The flash can be enabled and disabled via a button in the upper left-hand part of the screen.
- You can switch between front and rear camera using an icon in the top-right of the screen.
The HDR toggle is text-labeled button in the middle of the top bar. Tap it to turn it on or off. By the way, HDR stands for high dynamic range. When you use this feature, the camera will take three pictures in a rapid succession with slight different exposures settings. The camera’s internal software will then blend the best part of each of these three photos into a single image. HDR is a great feature to use in when you are shooting a scene that includes a very wide range of contrast, scenes that include both really bright areas and very dark, shaded areas.
- The button for viewing your Camera Roll is where it’s always been—in the lower left corner.
You can see the menu of camera modes visible underneath the viewfinder:
To change between these camera modes, simply swipe across the screen to the left or right.
In addition to the changes to the interface, the Camera App in iOS 7 has some added features:
- Square Format
The Camera App in iOS 7 now features a new Square mode that allows you to capture square images. This can come in handy when you are sharing photos in apps such as Instagram that use a square aspect ratio.
Easily the most exciting part of the new Camera App is the addition of real-time, in-camera photo filters. If you are using an iPhone 4S or later or 5th generation iPod touch, you can now apply one of eight filter effects (Mono, Tonal, Noir, Fade, Chrome, Process, Transfer, or Instant) as you shoot an image.
Unlike many other filter effects apps, with this new feature, you can see the effect before you snap the photo. Or you can shoot first and apply the filter later in iOS 7’s newly designed Photos app. (By the way, we’ll be talking more about the enhancements in the Photo App under iOS 7 in our next blog post.) Or you can take the picture with a filter and later change your mind about it and, using the Photos App, change or remove the filter effect completely. And you can apply these filters to any still photo, whether it’s in the rectangular or square format.
To access the filters, tap on the three-dot icon in the bottom-left of the interface:
This will open a screen showing the effect of the various filters on the scene within the viewfinder.
You can then choose a filter and snap the pictures you want. The filter that you select will remain active until you disable. To disable a filter, or if you just decide you don’t want to use one, select the “None” button, located in the center of the screen.
- Burst Mode
Another fun enhancement to the Camera App is the addition of Burst Mode.
Burst Mode allows you to take a quick, continuous succession of photos by holding down the shutter button.
But here’s the thing. While Burst Mode is an enhancement in iOS 7, it means different things, depending on what version of the iPhone you’re using.
If you are using an iPhone 5s, you can use the burst mode feature to shoot up to 10 pictures a second. If you are using an iPhone 5, iPhone 4S, iPhone 4, iPad 3, and fifth-generation iPod touch, the burst mode feature is much slower. Burst mode isn’t available at all on earlier versions of the iPhone and iPod due to limitations in processing power.
To activate burst mode, just tap and hold on the shutter button.
If you are shooting with an iPhone 5S, the camera will then go through those photos and save only the non-blurry pictures to your camera roll.
That’s it! So, as you can see, there are a lot of new and exciting photo-taking features in iOS 7. But the photography enhancements don’t stop at the Camera App. The Photos App has been redesigned too. We’ll talk all about that in our next post…
Until then, happy photography!