How to Control Exposure in Camera App on iPhone in iOS 14

The iPhone’s user-friendly Camera app makes it possible for anyone to take great photos. But the app does not get it right every time, and sometimes you might want to brighten or darken your scene.

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The iPhone’s user-friendly Camera app makes it possible for anyone to take great photos. But the app does not get it right every time, and sometimes you might want to brighten or darken your scene.

To do that, you will need to use the Exposure Compensation dial. Apple added it in the iOS 14 update released in September 2020. This built-in feature works on the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and newer iPhones. On older iPhones, you will have to use a third-party camera app.

This is for the iPhone running iOS 14

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Exposure Compensation Dial

To enable the Exposure Compensation dial, launch the Camera app, and tap on the arrow at the top of the viewfinder in portrait orientation.

A row of icons will appear just above the shutter button. The Exposure Compensation slider is the plus/minus (+/-) icon. Tap on it and a new slider will appear along the bottom of the frame.

You can now move the slider left and right to decrease or increase the amount of light in your scene.

If you tap on the plus/minus (+/-) again, you will get back to the main row of icons. You can close the menu using the arrow at the top of the viewfinder. Keep in mind that, if you set an exposure compensation value, it will persist until the next time you open the camera app; even if you close this menu.

The Exposure Compensation feature added in iOS 14 is not full manual control, but fine-tuning of a scene. As you move around the Camera app will continue to adapt to lighting conditions unless you manually lock exposure and focus. It is an effective way to get more control over the image without having to go fully manual.

If you do not have an iPhone 11 or newer, you will not see this option as it is not available on older devices.

Third Party Apps

If you own an iPhone XS, XR, or earlier, you will not be able to access the Exposure Compensation dial. You’ll have to make do with the old method of doing things, which means locking focus and exposure to a single point and then making micro-adjustments inside the yellow box.

If you have an older device and want to set exposure and focus separately in a more intuitive way, try VSCOManual, or Camera+ 2. My favorite is the latter, Camera+2.

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Author: Raymond

I am Raymond Oglesby, an Information Technology (IT) specialist with 30 years in the field. I have taught Microsoft Applications and troubleshot computers in 15 countries and many States. My career was focused on mainframes and desktops from application development to implementation. I have written hundreds of programs for various architectures. I decided to start a blog to share my knowledge and experiences with you. I plan on updating this blog at least twice a week about smart phone apps to Windows. Please feel free to leave a Comment or Tweet. I would love to hear from you. Do you have a computer tech question? I will do my best to answer your inquiry. Please mention the app and version that you are using. To help me out, you can send screenshots of your data related to your question.

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