The iPhone 11 series models have advanced camera systems that include both a wide and an ultra-wide lens. In addition, the Pro models also have a telephoto lens. So you can zoom anywhere from 0.5x optical to 5x or 10x digital, depending on your camera. While you can squeeze the screen in and out to control the zoom, there is a way to get more detailed control over photos.
As long as you have an iPhone 11, 11 Pro or 11 Pro Max with iOS 13, you can use a quick gesture to access the detailed zoom buttons to better define your camera's focal length. While other iPhone models also work with the gesture, their controls look different depending on whether they have one or two lenses for the rear view camera system. However, regardless of your iPhone model, it only works in specific shooting modes.
In Photo mode in Camera, tap and hold the 0.5x or 1
You can zoom in with the tenths, that is, by 0.1 steps, making it easier to set your zoom compared to using your fingers to pinch in and out. This gesture does not work in Portrait, Pano, or Time-Lapse modes.
You can also access the zoom wheel when using the Video modes or Slo-Mo. Again, tap and hold one of the zoom buttons while recording video, then slide the wheel left and right to zoom in and out. Unlike photos, on the iPhone 11 you can only zoom in from 0.5x to 3x and up to 6x on the Pro models.
If you have another iPhone model, this trick will work too. However, the controls look different. For example, look at the image on the left below. That's an iPhone 8 Plus, which has has a wheel, but it doesn't show the focal length of the lenses and it uses dots instead of lines. It also applies to other Plus or Max models apart from the 11 series.
In the image on the right below, the iPhone SE (2nd generation), which has only one lens, doesn't even have a 1x button to tap – and hold. Instead, pinching to zoom is the only way to go, which brings up the slider to which you can then switch if you're tired of pinching. This slider applies to all other iPhones not mentioned before.
Don't miss: All New features for camera and Photos in iOS 13
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