Apple‘s iPhone comes with multiple camera modes for different scenarios. Over the years, the Cupertino-based tech giant has improved the iPhone’s camera. Back in 2007, the first iPhone came with a 2MP primary camera. Five years later, Apple launched the iPhone 5, equipped with an 8MP rear-facing camera and a 1.2MP front camera. Although, it wasn’t until iPhone 7 Plus that Apple introduced a dual-camera setup with a 12MP wide and a 12MP telephoto lens.

In 2017, Apple launched the iPhone X with Face ID, one of the most sophisticated camera systems on a smartphone. It combines the front camera with an infrared projector and a dot projector to facilitate facial recognition. Since iPhone X, Face ID has been a part of all the iPhone models. A couple of years ago, the iPhone 11 Pro came out with a triple rear camera setup for the first time. Now, the latest iPhone 13 Pro features a 12MP wide, 12MP telephoto and a 12MP ultrawide lens.

Related: What Are HEIF Photos On iPhone & How Do You Disable Them?

When it comes to clicking still images or Live Photos, the Photo mode is a no-brainer for most iPhone users. By default, iPhone’s camera app opens right into the Photo mode. In this mode, the camera automatically adjusts and focuses on the subject — users just have to point the camera towards their subject and tap on the shutter button. If users want to add a creative touch to the photograph, they can tap on a different area on the screen to manually modify the focus and exposure. Then there are other controls for zooming in and out of the scene, turning on the flash, and more.


iPhone Portrait mode

Users can get a pleasant background blur in their photographs by switching over to the Portrait mode on an iPhone. Thanks to Apple’s latest chipsets’ advanced image processing capability, users can also add various lighting effects to their portrait shots. Users get a real-time preview of the Portrait Lighting effects on iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X and later models. In addition, the iPhone models with a dedicated telephoto lens, like the iPhone 13 Pro, have the option to click portraits in either 1x or 2x zoom.

Square & Pano

Some users love to upload their pictures on social media platforms like Instagram. For them, the iPhone camera has a dedicated Square mode. It adjusts the aspect ratio of an image to 1:1, clicking ready-to-post photos right from the app. The feature is located in the upward arrow that appears at the top of the camera interface. Additionally, a Pano mode enables iPhone users to click an artistic wide-angle image. As soon as users switch to this mode, a guide bar appears on the screen that helps users move their devices in the right direction for clicking panorama shots.


Shooting a video on an iPhone is very easy. First, users have to open the Camera app and select the Video mode from the options right above the shutter button. Like the Photo mode, the Video mode also offers multiple control like video resolution that can go up to 4K 60fps from both the front and the rear cameras. Additionally, iPhones with numerous cameras can shoot videos in either 1x, 2x, or 3x zoom or smoothly change from one setting to another with the help of on-screen controls.

Cinematic Mode

Apple launched the Cinematic Mode along with iPhone 13 in Oct. 2021. Essentially, the Cinematic mode on iPhone utilizes the advanced image processor on A15 Bionic to recognize the subject in the frame and blurs the background, giving a professional camera-like look to videos. While shooting videos in Cinematic Mode, users can control the amount of background blur with the Depth Control button. However, the Cinematic Mode is only available for the latest iPhone models in the iPhone 13 series.

Slo-mo & Time-lapse

As the name suggests, Slo-Mo modes allow users to shoot slow-motion videos where the in-frame action appears to be happening at a slower speed. For example, users can shoot videos in up to 240 frames per second with the Slo-Mo mode. On the other hand, the Time-Lapse mode clicks images at selected time intervals, making the video’s motion appear faster than usual.

While it is a fact that other manufacturers like Samsung and Xiaomi put in more modes in their flagships, the iPhone’s camera app provides more consistent results. Whether users want to click pictures for social media platforms or shoot high-resolution videos, the modes described above cover all scenarios. In addition, features like Photographic Styles and Cinematic Mode on the latest models add fun to the iPhone camera experience.