How to Improve Your iPhone or iPad Camera

How to improve camera on iPad

The iPad's camera gets better with each new model, but it still isn't a fully-featured camera capable of taking every shot. And while the device's huge screen can make it easier to snap a fantastic photo, the camera still lags behind the one found in the iPhone. So how do you take advantage of your mobile device without sacrificing quality? You can improve your camera and the photos you take with these suggestions. 

Improve Your Photos Through Settings

The Camera app has some settings you can adjust to help you take better pictures. The easiest way is to turn on HDR photos. This tells the iPhone or iPad to snap multiple photos and merge them to create a high dynamic range (HDR) photograph. Here's how to do it.

These instructions apply to devices running iOS 11 or later.

  1. Open the Camera app.

    Camera app on iPad
  2. Tap HDR on the right side of the display.

    Improve iPad camera
  3. When HDR is on, "HDR" will appear in a box at the top of the screen.

    Improve iPad camera
  4. HDR automatically runs whenever you take a photo; you can use your camera as usual.

If you don't see the HDR option on your iPhone, go to Settings > Camera and turn "Auto HDR" off.

The Camera app also has some built-in filters that can bring out the best in your image. After snapping a photo, a small thumbnail of your most recent picture appears to the right or just below the large circular snap button, depending on if you are using your iPad in landscape or portrait mode. Tap this thumbnail to view your photo full-screen, and then tap the Edit button in the top-right corner.

Improve iPad camera
  • The Magic Wand button is the fastest way to edit your photo because it's automatic. It analyzes a photo and adjusts lighting and color contrast.
  • Tap the square with arrows around it to crop your photo. This editing tool will also let you rotate the image.
  • To apply filters to your photo, tap the Filters option. Filters change the brightness, saturation, and color contrast, which can have a dramatic effect on your photo. You can even add third-party filters through the App Store.
  • The dial button gives you manual control over lighting and color.

When you're finished making your changes, tap the Done button in the upper-right corner to save them.

How Live Photos Can Improve Your Photography

Live Photos are small video clips your phone captures when you take a photograph on a newer iPhone or iPad. Along with creating moving pictures, you can choose a "main" photograph from the video. Doing this can fix a bad facial expression, a blink of the eyes, or a just-missed shot.

Here's how to choose a new image from a Live Photo:

The Live Photos function is available on iPhones 6S and later and 9.7-inch iPad Pros and later, running iOS 9 or newer.

  1. Take a Live Photo or select one from your Camera Roll and tap Edit in the upper-right corner of the screen.

  2. When editing a Live Photo, the bottom of the screen shows you every frame the camera captured. Tap individual slides to preview them.

    Improve iPad camera
  3. Tap the Make Key Photo button to choose a frame.

    Improve iPad camera
  4. Tap Done to finalize your choice.

Buy a Third-Party Lens

An external lens can do even more than adjusting the camera settings. It can grant increased magnification and specialty shots such as wide-angle. A third-party lens can also help boost an older device's functionality by improving the camera without the extra cost of a brand new smartphone or tablet.

A good source for camera peripherals for iPad and iPhone is iographer. This company makes lenses that work with a specially designed case that supports different, interchangeable lenses to get the perfect shot.

You can use the same lenses for both iPad and iPhone as long as both devices have an iographer case.

If you are only looking to upgrade your iPhone's camera, Ollocip is the way to go. They have fantastic lenses that clip on to your iPhone and give you access to a variety of different shots you might not otherwise get.