Where’s the iOS5 iPhone Camera Icon in the Lock Screen? How to Use the New Camera Features
NOTE: THESE FEATURES ARE AVAILABLE ON ANY iPHONE THAT CAN ACCEPT THE iOS5 UPDATE–including the iPhone 3GS and iPhone 4. Some people have made the mistake thinking that these features are only on the new iPhone. While the iPhone 4S has a better camera, the features described below are on any iPhone that has been updated to iOS5.
The new iOS5 iPhone update (included on all iPhone 4S) has a feature that allows you to take photos with the push of a button from the lock screen (the screen where you slide to unlock your phone). Excited at the idea of being able to quickly shoot a picture and not miss a special moment, I updated my iPhone 4 and looked at the lock screen…but I saw nothing new. There was no camera icon or other indication of how to shoot a photo. It seemed that I would have to continue the old method–sliding to unlock the phone, tapping on the camera app and then shooting the photo. Was I doomed to miss all of those special moments– that blink-of-an-eye photo of my dog balancing a ball on his nose or the look on a toddler’s face when his ice cream drops off his cone?
Make the Lock Screen Camera Icon Appear
Alas! The camera icon is there, but hidden. To make the camera icon appear, double click the home button. You can do this when your screen is blank or when the lock screen is displayed on your iPhone. Now just tap the camera icon and you’re ready to shoot! You won’t miss the moment (unless, of course, you have to fumble around in your purse or pocket to find your iPhone).
Use the Volume Button to Shoot the Photo
The second new feature is that you can use the volume up button on the side of your phone as the shutter release. In other words, you don’t have to contort your fingers to press the onscreen camera icon in order to shoot the picture. You can also shoot the picture by pressing the volume-up button –the one closest to the top of the iPhone.
Pinching to Zoom
Another new camera feature is pinch-to-zoom the photo. Actually, if you want to zoom in to make a distant object closer when shooting your photo, you do the opposite of the pinch. Put your thumb and index finger in the center of the iPhone screen when looking at what you want to shoot, then open your fingers away from each other toward the corners of the phone. This is the same motion you need to learn to zoom into a web page or to zoom in to see detail on a photo you have already taken.
When you pinch on the screen, the zoom slider will appear. You can further refine how much you want to zoom in or out by using the slider. If you prefer, you can continue using the pinch method.
It’s easy to tilt your iPhone when shooting a picture. Tilting can make the horizon angle down to one side of the photo. It can also create angled lines when looking up at a building or when you are not shooting straight-on. If you want to be sure your horizon or other lines in your photo are straight, and not distorted, you can turn on the grid. Line up the line(s) in the picture that you want to appear straight and not angled, with the lines of the grid. (In this photo you could line up the picket fences or the deck boards.)
To turn on the grid– while you are looking at what you want to shoot–tap the Options bubble. You will see the option to turn on the grid. Slide the switch to on. Tap Done. The grid appears. To turn off the grid, tap on Options and slide the switch to the OFF position.
NOTE: The grid will continue to appear onscreen the next time you turn on the camera app–even if you have exited or closed the app. Be sure to turn off the grid if you don’t want it to appear when you shoot your photos. And no, the grid lines do not appear in the photo, they are simply a guide.
HDR – “High Dynamic Range”
Turning on HDR follows similar steps to turning on the grid. (see photos in Grid section). While in the camera app, tap Options. Then slide the HDR switch to On. The camera will shoot three consecutive shots –underexposed, normal exposure, and overexposed–then will blend them into a single photo. If you want to have a normal photo saved along with the blended HDR photo, you will need to be sure to set that up. The advantage is that you will later have a choice to save the normal photo and edit it yourself later if you don’t like the outcome of the HDR photo.
To save the normal photo along with the HDR photo, start by tapping on the Settings icon on your home screen. Go to Photos. You will see the option under “HDR” to Keep Normal Photos. Slide the switch to on and exit the Settings.
Again,until you turn off HDR, the iPhone camera will continue to shoot the 3 consecutive photos every time you press the shutter to take a picture. Be sure to tap on Options and slide the switch to off when you are done with this feature.
NOTE: HDR works best on static shots like landscapes or posed portraits. Any movement will appear blurry in the final HDR blended shot.
Never Used iPhone Camera Before?
If you’ve never used an iPhone camera–this is your first iPhone or you’re upgrading from an early version–here are a couple of basics. After tapping on the camera icon, you will see a live view of what you are shooting.
- You can take both video and photos so be sure the switch on the bottom right is toward the camera and not the movie camera. If you see a red dot instead of a camera icon at the bottom of the screen, it is in movie mode and you’ll have to switch it.
- To shoot the photo, tap the camera icon, or see above for shooting with the volume-up button.
- To focus on a particular object in the picture, tap the object on the screen. A blue box will appear. This is the focus box. It will flash onscreen until it has focussed on the object. By default, the camera will try to focus on the center of the picture.
NOTE: The focus box is also the area that the camera uses to determine the photo’s exposure. If you want a dark area to be exposed correctly, tap that area of the live view screen. It will be both in-focus and exposed correctly. Because it is exposing to lighten up the dark areas, any bright areas in the photo may be overexposed. Conversely, tapping a bright area, like the sky, can make all of your shadows go black so you can’t see any details in the dark areas of the picture. If you want both the highlights–bright areas–and the shadows–dark areas–to be exposed correctly, try HDR (see above). Read the HDR article to understand more about under-exposing or over-exposing photos.
With iOS5, the camera can perform face detection. When there is a person in the frame, the iPhone will focus on, and expose for, the face. If there is more than one person, it will average out the settings so all faces are in focus and well-exposed. The iPhone camera can handle up to 10 faces. NOTE: the box may not appear as big and bright as it does in this photo. The box will be green (in contrast to the blue focus box) to indicate that it is focussing on a face. If you want to focus on another object or area of the photo–where the face may end up out of focus–simply tap on the area that you want to be in focus.
You no longer need to open your photos in another app or transfer them to your computer to edit the photos. You can improve your photos right from the camera app (or the photos app).
If you are still in the camera app, click on the small icon of the photo on the bottom left to bring up your camera roll photo album. Swipe left or right to choose the photo you want to edit. And press the Edit button in the top right corner of the screen.
There are four editing icons across the bottom of the screen. From left to right they are rotate, auto-enhance, fix red-eye, and crop photo.
Press the curved arrow to rotate the photo. (Yes, the curved arrow is for rotating the photo even though it looks like arrows for sharing photos or returning to the previous screen.) If you shot a photo that is sideways whenever you look at it on the phone, that is when you will want to rotate it.
Tap the auto-enhance icon if the photo is too bright, too dark, without contrast, or the colors aren’t vibrant. Press the Save button in the upper right if you are satisfied with the results.
To remove red-eye from a photo, click the red eye button. Pinch-zoom in on the photo so you can tap your finger on the red eye. You may have to try a couple of times if you don’t tap close enough to the eye. When you are satisfied that it removed the red, tap Apply in the upper right. It will change to a Save button. Be sure to tap Save to save your changes.
To crop a photo and cut out unwanted parts of a photo–it will also make the chosen part of the photo larger as if you zoomed in on it– tap on the Crop icon in the lower right of the editing screen. A grid will appear. You can resize the grid by dragging the corners diagonally, left, right, up or down. The grid does not move around the screen. Instead, put your finger within the grid and move it around. You’ll see the photo image move. Continue to move the photo until you see the full cropped image you want inside the grid. To keep the photo in the same proportions as it was shot, tap the Constrain button at the bottom of the screen. When you are done, tap the Crop button in the top right. It will change to a Save button. Be sure to tap Save to save your changes.
NOTE: When you crop a photo, the full frame photo is still there. Simply click on the cropped photo and you can change or remove the cropping.
Along with the camera updates, there are features that make it easier than ever to transfer, view and share your photos.
I will be covering the iCloud feature, Photo Stream next. The iCloud lets you sync contacts, calendars, mail (and more). It also stores photos so you can see them on your computer, iPad and iPod Touch (with iOS5). Learn the ins and outs of Photo Stream and you’ll never have to connect your iPhone to your computer again!
Also, if you need to know the difference between exiting an app and closing an app, be sure to read about Multitasking on an iPhone.