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Dive into the ever-expanding default Camera app on iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini, to get the most out of it.

The iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini both have dual cameras on the back. There is a 12MP wide angle lens as well as a separate 12MP ultra wide angle lens. With the iPhone 13, Apple continued to improve the camera with new features such as Photographic Styles and Cinematic Mode.

Volume buttons

If we start with the Camera app controls, sometimes it’s not practical to tap the screen. This can result in further blurring of your photos if you press down enough on the screen to move it and may require you to use two hands – one to hold the phone while the other presses the shutter down. screen.

Fortunately, you can also use the physical volume buttons as shutters.

Shoot with the volume buttons

By default, if you press the volume up or volume down buttons on your iPhone 13, it will take a photo. Just like pressing the onscreen button. If you hold down any of the buttons, it will start recording a video clip instead.

Users do, however, have an additional customization option here. By heading towards Settings > Camera you can turn on the toggle to use the volume up button to capture burst photos instead. With this option enabled, if you hold down the volume up button with the Camera app open, it will start capturing burst photos instead.

Control the zoom

Another trick is to control the range or zoom level of your photo. As mentioned, the iPhone 13 and iPhone 13 mini have dual cameras. In the Camera app, you can quickly switch between ultra-wide and wide-angle cameras by tapping the small circles just above the shutter.

Beyond that, you can choose anything between 0.5X and 1X zooms or up to 5X digital zoom. Frequently, we see users pinching and pulling on the screen to zoom, but it’s not very convenient.

Pinching the screen blurs your view, moves your phone, and is quite difficult in general, especially on the 5.4-inch iPhone 13 mini. Instead, try sliding on the zoom level buttons.

Zoom in on your photos

Mastering the zoom control dial

When you slide the .5X or 1X buttons, a zoom wheel will appear and allow you to set exactly how much zoom you want. It’s much easier to remove and if you use your thumb to press the shutter, your thumb is already perfectly located to adjust this dial. When you’re done, you can just pull the shutter and the wheel will disappear.

Keep in mind that these two phones don’t have a telephoto lens, so anything over 1X is digital zoom. Digital zoom simply increases the pixel size compared to using a telephoto lens. This results in a slightly lower quality, but also means that you can crop the photo after capturing it with the same change in quality.

Apple QuickTake

With QuickTake, you can switch from photo mode to video mode in an instant. Press the shutter button to capture a photo, if you are in “photo” mode. But if you press and hold it will start capturing video instead. Very similar to how we used the volume buttons.

When you hold down the button, the video will be recorded as long as you hold it down. If you want to lock it in video mode, slide the shutter button to the right. Then you can release the shutter button and the video will continue to record.

Alternatively, if you touch the shutter and immediately drag to the left while holding, you’ll start capturing burst photos instead. Hold the shutter button and the burst photos will continue to be captured. Release the trigger and it will stop.

Bonus checks

Besides the onscreen controls, other controls can be accessed by tapping the carrot icon in the top center. When you tap it, a new shelf of icons will appear right above the shutter button.

Additional camera controls

Additional camera controls

These icons include flash control (auto, off, on), night mode (only appears in darkness), Live Photo (on, off), photographic styles (choose from five styles), aspect ratio (4: 3, 1: 1, 16: 9), exposure compensation, timer and filters.

Photographic styling is a new feature in iPhone 13. These are more subtle versions of filters applied at the time of capture. You can choose between warm, cool, vibrant, and rich contrast. Each of these then has its own sliders that you can adjust.

With Photographic Style enabled, this subtle effect will be applied to all of your photos as you take them. This allows you to refine your personal look and automatically apply it to every photo you take.

Night mode on the iPhone 13 also activates automatically whenever the environment is appropriate. If there is a lot of lighting, night mode is not necessary, so the icon will disappear. Once you are in a low light environment, this icon will appear and activate automatically.

Night mode simulates an extended shutter. This means that you have to stay very still while capturing the photo, as any shaking can create a blurry photo. For this reason, the duration will depend on the amount of movement of the phone associated with the darkness of the photo.

if you’re shooting handheld at night, you’ll likely only see a three-second shutter. Handheld, you can manually set it up to ten seconds. If you mount your iPhone on a stand, you can increase this time up to 30 seconds.

Video recording on iPhone 13

On the iPhone 13, there are four video modes. There’s timelapse, slo-mo, Cinematic, and your basic video mode.

When shooting video, you can quickly switch between HD and 4K resolutions. For other resolution options, you can go to the Settings app where there are 720P options as well as various frame rate options.

Cinematic mode is another new feature of the iPhone 13. It mimics portrait mode but for video. When you capture the video in cinematic mode, the background of the video is blurry and you have a lot of control once the video is edited.

Editing a video in cinematic mode

Editing a video in cinematic mode

A cinematic video is designated by an indicator in the upper left corner of the thumbnail in the Photos app. Tap edit to view a multitude of commands.

Since cinematic mode blurs the background, it needs to have a primary purpose. While editing, you can activate focus editing by tapping the square icon with a circle inside. During video playback, the focused subject will be surrounded by a yellow frame.

You can change the focus while editing the video just by pressing another part of the frame. Kinematic mode will then follow this point. Several focus points are marked with a yellow circle below the timeline. This gives great control over what is in focus during your video and what is not.

While editing, you can also adjust the aperture. Tap the stylized f in the upper left corner to call up a cursor on the right edge. Increase the aperture value and the background will become sharper while decreasing the value will increase the background bokeh.


Third-party camera apps are still an option for iPhone users, but many still stick with Apple stock options. It is for this reason that it is so important for Apple to keep adding features to the default Camera app.

Whether you’re taking portrait photos, capturing live photos, or shooting a stylized cinematic video, the Camera app has you covered.