5 Best iPhone 11 camera hacks: Night mode, zoom, Deep Fusion
The iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, or 11 Pro Max has stellar cameras that offer you improved zoom capabilities, a new feature called Deep Fusion, and a new night mode for taking pictures in the dark. The three iPhones for 2019 have added an additional camera on the rear, taking the overall camera count for the iPhone 11 to two and the number for the iPhone 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max to three.
But hardware alone isn’t preventing the upgrades. New app capabilities make 11 images bright enough to compete with even those from the best low-light champ — see here how the night mode of the iPhone 11 blows us away.
It’s just as easy to take pictures with the new iPhones as it’s always been on previous iPhones, but the new photo features of Apple require some explanation, from a tool that allows you to zoom out onto a photo after you’ve captured the shot, to what Deep Fusion is, and what trade-off you need to know about before using it. We are going to get you started.
Quick settings are still there
You can have a hard time locating the toggle the next time you want to take a group photo with your iPhone and use the built-in timer! For stuff like timer and filters, Apple moved the settings toggles because, well, they ‘re not used all that much. I personally like the clean look, but you’re sure to have to make a change at some point before you take a picture.
When you are keeping your iPhone vertically, press the arrow at the top of the phone to display all of the toggles. The arrow will change directions and show the different toggles — flash, live images, aspect ratio, timer, and filters — and you tap the button again to cover them once you have done so. Alternatively, to reveal the toggles you can swipe across the viewfinder too.
Zoom out on photos after the fact
All three models of the iPhone 11 have an ultra-wide-angle camera which can be used to take some pretty dramatic photos. But there’s a secret advantage that the ultra-wide camera allows: It can be used to zoom out with the large or telephoto lenses on a photo you are taking — after you’ve taken it.
In other words, if you took a group photo, but snapped the picture without anybody in the frame and did not realize it until later, you can go to the Photos app and use the crop tool to zoom out, bringing the person back into the shot.
You’ll need to open the Settings app and select Camera to use this feature. Scroll down and toggle on Capturing Picture Outside the Window. Any details collected outside the frame that you may not end up using will be removed within 30 days.
This feature, I’ll admit, is very confusing. Several images I take show the square-star symbol, suggesting that there is more detail outside of the picture, but when I try to zoom out on the photo in the crop device, there’s nothing out there. Many images have even more to them, including the one seen above.
It turns out there are two different ways to view data collected outside of the frame. The first is to open a picture that has the above mentioned square-start icon, select the crop tool, and zoom out.
But, if you’re trying to zoom in on a picture and nothing happens, here’s what you need to do: click the Crop button, then tap the three-dot icon in the top right corner and click Using Content Outside the Picture. If you have already cropped and straightened the picture, you will see an alert that your previous crops will be reset. Tap to accept it, and edit the ultrawide shot afterward.
Depending on how you take a snap, your iPhone either stitch the ultra-wide shot around the main photo (which is when you can zoom in on it), or it takes two distinct images and only displays the ultra-wide image when you directly request it via the menu option.
It is awkward. A streamlined editing tool should be available to use the photo captured outside the frame but just know: if you see the square-star icon, you can zoom out into the crop tool or dive into the crop menu.
But wait, what about Deep Fusion?
Ah, yeah. Wide Merging. There is no environment for Deep Fusion, or toggle to switch on. By default, your iPhone 11 will take photographs using the new technology as long as you turn off Photo Capture Outside the Frame. When you have it turned on, your camera can continue to take pictures that you can zoom on after the fact, but it won’t work with the technological magic that Apple does with Deep Fusion. You will also need to make sure that you take pictures with the regular 1x camera to get Deep Fusion working.
Push Night Mode to its limits
Using the new Night Mode for iPhone 11 is something you don’t even have to worry about. The Night Mode icon (it looks like a moon with a few lines across it) will show up next to the arrow button if your iPhone decides there isn’t enough light available. That means Night mode is active if it’s dark.
The button will also display a length of time, such as “1s,” (one second) indicating how long it will take to capture the photo, which means how long after pressing the shutter button you will have to hold still.
You’re not left to the mercy of your iPhone when taking a photo of the Night Mode. By clicking on the Night Mode icon, you can change or turn off Night Mode, and then push the slider next to the shutter button. Set it to 0 for the next picture to disable Night Mode, or change the amount of time required to increase or decrease the amount of light Night Mode captures.
For instance, if you switch the timer from 2s to 9s, then your iPhone can capture a brighter overall image, at the risk of overexposure. When you walk from 5s to 1s on the flip side, the end result is likely to be a darker picture.
Play about by making some changes with Night Mode and have some fun with it.
Fine-tune the zoom
The next time you ‘re at a concert and want to get a closer picture of Taylor Swift, or take advantage of all three cameras and their respective zoom rates to make sure you catch your kid’s adorable costume during a school play.
The iPhone 11 comes with an ultra-angle camera and a large camera. The iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max and a telephoto camera have the same two sensors. The three cameras each have 12 megapixels.
Whatever iPhone you’ve got, the main camera is the big camera, the one that’s called “1x” in the camera app.
You can tap on the zoom button — either 0.5x or 2x, if you want to switch between cameras. Your iPhone viewfinder will zoom in or out automatically.
But by long-pressing on the zoom level and then dragging the zoom tool, you can fine-tune exactly how much you want to zoom, in any direction. With the latest zoom wheel, you can zoom anywhere from 0.5x to 10x.
Also bear in mind that if you choose anything other than the three fixed cameras — 0.5x, 1x, 2x — your picture quality may suffer due to digital zooming of the camera, rather than using the fixed focal lengths of the built-in cameras.
Read our article on a very simple way to set up your new iPhone 11 or 11 Pro if you are just getting started with your iPhone 11. These are the first five things you should be doing with your new iPhone once it’s installed. And instead, presumably, you should get caught up on all iOS 13 brings to the equation to make the iPhone 11 a very good handset.