Five tips for sharper iPhone photos

Over the past few years shooting with the iPhone and ProCamera one of the most questions I get asked is: why are your pictures sharper than most?

There are a few things that you can do to improve the clarity and sharpness of your iPhone photos. Here are five tips that I use on a daily basis:

1. Get a good grip on your iPhone 

A firm grip is less likely you are to introduce camera shake when shooting. I’m currently using the latest Quad-Lock case which has a nice hard rubber surface (oh and the tripod mount comes in handy too).

2. Get your focus right

In ProCamera you can manually set your exposure point. This means you can make sure that your subject is in focus. Touching the screen with two fingers brings up the focus and exposure controls. Drag the blue square onto your subject to set focus.

In this example I’ve placed the focus square on the background, throwing the subject out of focus. In the second example I’ve placed the square on the subject’s eye bringing it into focus.

3. Use Anti-Shake in low-light

ProCamera’s Anti-Shake can be found in the Control Panel (see right). Upon selection it turns the button directly right of the main shutter into an anti-shake shutter. This means that you can choose if you want to take either a normal or anti-shake enabled shot.

With Anti-Shake activated, ProCamera waits until the phone is very still before it takes a photos. This helps limit camera shake when shooting in low-light.

In the Control Panel you can also toggle the secondary shutter between Anti-Shake and Self Timer.

Here are a few recent low-light photos taken with the Anti-Shake shutter function:

Opening night of FORMAT Festival

Sunrise in San Francisco

4. Use the ProCamera Lightbox to check sharpness

In the ProCamera Lightbox/Camera Roll single photo view , double clicking on the photo activates full resolution zoom – ProCamera is one of the few dedicated shooting apps that offers this feature. In the photo below you can see the difference between the standard and zoomed in view.

Standard view Full resolution zoom

5. Use a good sharpening app

ProCamera doesn’t yet have a sharpen tool so I bring my photos into a secondary app for basic sharpening and clarity.

My go to app is Snapseed because I can apply small amounts of sharpening while using the magnifying glass to check how the individual pixels are holding up. This is critical for making sure that you don’t over-sharpen the photograph, especially when printing.

Do you have any shooting or app tips on how to get sharper photos from your phone? Let me know in the comments below.

ProCamera 4.0.2 is available from the App Store for $3.99

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  • http://talshafik.com Tal Shafik

    Great tips. You have a small error in the second tip. The blue square controls focus, not exposure. Thanks for the post.