When Apple unveiled the new iPhone 11 last week, the internet cooked up plenty of hilarious memes poking fun at the dual-camera and triple-camera systems that make for quite the impression on the back of the latest models. But looks like the joke’s on everyone that clowned around, because the new camera systems have made way for a bunch of useful features.
I got my hands on the new tech early and was able to give the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro a spin, playing around with the camera to test out all the new tools. Check out some of my favorite ones below.
How to Make Use of the Ultra Wide Camera
On the iPhone 11, you’re able to toggle between a “1x” and “0.5x” camera, with there being a third “2x” option on the Pro. Essentially, this gives you the ability to stand at one vantage point and take photos with a variety of views, with 0.5x being the most zoomed out. It's also great for capturing a subject in a tight space where you can't take a step back. You can take a look below at how those sorts of photos come out.
The wide cameras can also capture more of a picture or video than what you see in the camera app. Go to Settings > Camera > and toggle on “Photos/Videos Capture Outside the Frame.” While taking a photo in the Camera app, the black space at the top and gray will eventually go a light gray so you can see what else is being captured. This is helpful if you end up taking a photo and realize you might have cut something off at the top or bottom of the frame.
Photos captured with this setting will have an icon of a box when you look at it in your Photos app. To shift the parameters of the photo, hit Edit and use the crop tool to move the selected area up or down.
Take better photos in a dark room using Night Mode
Apple’s new Night Mode is a total gamechanger. When you try to take a photo in a dark setting, you’ll see the Night Mode icon (a black crescent moon with lines making a full moon) pop up next to the flash icon. It’ll tell you how many seconds you’ll need to hold your phone steady to get a good shot. Night Mode automatically activates, but you can tap the icon to manually change how long you want it on during the photo capturing.
On an old school camera, lengthening the exposure lets more light in. The iPhone 11’s Night Mode works by capturing multiple images and fusing them together to get a more natural and detailed image. It’ll seriously up your ability to get photos in dark restaurants or while out at night.
Lots of new selfie features
There was lots of hype for “Slofies” aka slow selfies now that you can use slow-motion on the front-facing camera. It’s cool and will be plenty useful for dramatic videos showing off your new haircut, but the most useful selfie tool on the iPhone 11 is the widescreen selfie camera.
Sometimes you wouldn’t be able to get everyone into a group selfie. But when you turn your phone on its side to a horizontal position, you’ll access a full widescreen view. You can toggle this manually by tapping the icon of the two arrows facing each other in a circle, which you can do while taking photos both horizontally and vertically.
Portrait mode… now for pets too
The iPhone XR used machine learning to fake portrait mode and didn’t work on non-human subjects. But now that there are several cameras on all the models of iPhone 11, they can capture stereoscopic depth. You can adjust the depth of field before or after you shoot and there are now six different lighting effects: Natural, Studio, Contour, Stage, Stage Mono, and the new High-Key Mono. All great, but we’re probably most excited about being able to take glam shots of dogs, cats, and any other animals.
Easier transition from photo to video mode
One of my favorite new features is being able to easily go from taking a photo into capturing video. There’s been plenty of moments where I’m snapping some pics and the subject begins moving, but it takes a moment to slide into video mode.
The new QuickTake video mode lets you hold down the shutter button (a la Snapchat and Instagram) so you can quickly take video. And by holding down the shutter button and swiping right, you can lock video recording on. You can still capture Bursts by swiping gently to the left on the shutter button.
Overall, all the new camera tools are great on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. Between that, all the new colors, and a variety of new functionalities, there’s plenty to love about the new models from Apple.
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Originally Appeared on Teen Vogue