How to Shoot Photos in 16:9 Aspect Ratio on iPhone

The iPhone camera is capable of shooting two aspect ratios, 4:3 and 16:9. The 4:3 aspect ratio uses the full megapixels, whereas the 16:9 crops in for a wider view.

RAYMOND OGLESBY @RaymondOglesby2
November 22, 2022

The iPhone Camera is capable of shooting two aspect ratios, 4:3 and 16:9. The 4:3 aspect ratio uses full megapixels, whereas the 16:9 crops in for a wider view. Let’s explore this feature.

This is for the iPhone. Screenshots are from iPhone XR running iOS 16+

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The difference between 4:3 and 16:9 is the width of the photo. However, it’s not that simple on the iPhone. Shooting in 16:9 does not necessarily mean you will get captured more from the sides of the shot. Depending on the cameras on your iPhone, it may simply crop the 4:3 photo.

First, open the Camera app on your iPhone. Refer to the below image:

Photo 1
Accessing Camera

Next, tap the Arrow at the top of the screen. To turn off Live Photo, tap the Concentric Circle icon. See the below image:

Photo 2
Accessing the Arrow and optionally turning off Live Photo

Now, some controls will slide up from the bottom of the screen. Tap the 4:3 or 16:9 button. See the following image:

Photo 3
Accessing the Aspect Ratio

Next, you can choose 16:9, Square, or 4:3. Refer to the below image:

Photo 4
Changing the Aspect Ratio to 16:9

Again, keep in mind that the 16:9 aspect ratio typically is a lower resolution than 4:3 since it’s cropping the shot. If you want to always take full advantage of the Camera hardware, shoot in 4:3.

To set your last Camera settings go to:

Settings > Camera > Preserve Settings > Camera Mode

and turn it ON, then open the Camera and take a photo.

Photos with Aspect Ratio

Photo 43 1
Aspect Ratio 4:3
Photo 16 9 1
Aspect Ratio 16:9

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How to Mirror Selfies on iPhone

Instead of flipping photos after taking selfies, you can capture “mirror selfies” automatically as they appear in the preview on your iPhone.

RAYMOND OGLESBY @RaymondOglesby2
January 19, 2022

Instead of flipping photos after taking selfies, you can capture “mirror selfies” automatically as they appear in the preview on your iPhone. Let’s explore this feature.

The Camera app on the iPhone packs several features, including an option to automatically take mirror selfies. This feature is available on iPhones running at least iOS 14 or later.

First, open the Settings app on your iPhone. Refer to the below image:

Camera 1
Accessing Settings

Next, in Settings, scroll down and tap Camera. See the below image:

Camera 2
Accessing the Camera

Now, scroll down to the Composition section and toggle the switch for Mirror Front Camera to ON. (On some iPhones, this option might be labeled Mirror Front Photos.) See the following image:

Camera 3
Enabling the Mirror Front Camera toggle

Next, open the Camera app on your iPhone. Turn the camera to face yourself and snap a selfie. The saved image will appear as you see yourself in the mirror, instead of flipped as it usually is. Note that your front camera automatically mirrors the front camera viewfinder, so this setting only affects the image that’s saved to your photo library.

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How to Access iPhone Camera From Lock Screen

If you need to quickly take a photo or video on your iPhone, you can swipe into the Camera app quickly without unlocking your phone. Let’s explore how this is done.

If you need to quickly take a photo or video on your iPhone, you can swipe into the Camera app quickly without unlocking your phone. Let’s explore how this is done.

This is for the iPhone

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First, wake up your iPhone. Place your finger anywhere on the lock screen and swipe it to the left until the Camera app appears. If you try to swipe on a notification that will reveal options for the notification rather than opening the Camera app. Refer to below image:

Camera 1
Swipe left to open the Camera

Next, with the Camera app open, you can take photos or videos as you normally would, and they will be saved automatically to your Photos library. You can even use the volume buttons to trigger the shutter if you like. See below image that will be saved to Photos library:

Camera 2
Your photo

Now, to exit Camera mode, press the top button (for iPhones with home buttons) or the side button (for iPhones without home buttons) to turn off your screen. The photos you took will still be saved.

iPhones Without Home Button

If you have an iPhone without a home button (one that uses Face ID) you might notice a tiny camera icon in the lower-right corner of your lock screen. See following image:

Camera 3
Access Camera by the photo icon

You can use this button to launch the Camera app with a long-press. Just place your finger on the camera icon for a moment. When you lift your finger, the Camera app will launch.

When you are done, press the side button, and the photos and videos you have taken will be saved automatically.

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How to See Which Apps Are Accessing Your Camera or Microphone on iPhone

Some iPhone apps require camera/microphone access to function properly, and some do not. Apple has introduced new app privacy settings with iOS 14 and higher, which allow you to see what apps have camera/microphone access. This way, you can change camera/microphone settings for any app, all in the same place, so apps that do not need to see or hear you, can not.

Some iPhone apps require camera/microphone access to function properly, and some do not. Apple has introduced new app privacy settings with iOS 14 and higher, which allow you to see what apps have camera/microphone access. This way, you can change camera/microphone settings for any app, all in the same place, so apps that do not need to see or hear you, can not.

Let’s explore how to allow camera/microphone access on your iPhone or turn it off.

This is for iPhone running iOS 14+

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First, open Settings (the gear icon) on your iPhone. Refer to below image:

Camera 1
Accessing Settings

Next, scroll down and tap the Privacy option. See below image:

Camera 2
Accessing Privacy option

Now, scroll down and tap the Camera or Microphone option. See following image:

Camera 3
Accessing Microphone or Camera option

Here, you will see a list of apps that have asked you for camera or microphone access in the past. Apps that currently have access to your iPhone camera/microphone will have the switch turned On. Apps that do not have access will have its switch turned Off. Refer to below image:

Camera 4
List of apps with Facebook and Gmail turned On

If you.would like to remove iPhone camera/microphone access from an app, tap its switch to turn it off Off. Likewise, you can also grant camera/microphone access to a listed app by turning the switch On. See below image:

Camera 5
Facebook app is turned Off

Now, exit Settings.

If you want to know if your camera/microphone is in use, look in the upper-right corner of your screen at the status bar. If you see a green dot there, then an app is using the camera. If there’s an orange dot, that means your microphone is in use. The color scheme depends on your display mode. See following image for microphone in use as a blue dot:

Camera 6
Colored coded dots to indicate if Microphone or Camera is in use

If an app is using your camera/microphone when you do not expect it to, revisit the above steps and flip its switch to Off.

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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.

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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