There are plenty of tips and tricks built into Apple’s iOS software – some of which are obvious, whilst others are a little more hidden.
We’ve got a separate feature on some of our favourites, as well as some breakout features on those that we think are just brilliant, but here we are focusing on the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro’s cameras.
One of the best things about the iPhone camera is that you can pretty much just point and shoot and you’ll get a decent shot most of the time. There is so much more beyond that though, especially with the Pro models and some of the extra features they offer, like Macro mode.
So if you’re looking for some tips to get the most out of your iPhone 13 Pro, or iPhone 13 Pro Max, here are our best. There are also some here from Nigerian-American designer Oghalé Alex, who shot his debut collection ISOKO on an iPhone 13 Pro Max.
General iPhone 13 Pro camera tips and tricks
These are some general camera tips and tricks for the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. Some might be obvious, but there are some you might not have realised about.
Use the Auto edit button
Once you’ve taken a photo, open it up in the Photos app and use the Auto edit magic wand to perfect it slightly. Tap on Edit in the top right corner and tap on the wand in the circle. Your iPhone will then make the adjustments it thinks will improve your image. This is one of Oghalé Alex’s tips.
Add your own adjustments
Don’t be afraid to make your own adjustments even after you’ve used the Auto magic wand tool. There are plenty of options, such as exposure, brilliance, highlights, shadows, contrast, brightness, among others, that you can fiddle with to create a different look.
Open your photo in the Photos app and tap Edit in the right corner. You can either then tap on the Auto magic wand tool and swipe right to left to adjust the various options, or you can just swipe right to left to adjust the options manually. Pick what you want to adjust and move the slider below it to make changes.
Consider your angle
Angles can make a big difference when taking photos. Not only can they help accentuate or hide various elements, but the angle can change the story too, especially when choosing between shooting up or shooting down.
One of Oghalé Alex’s tips is to use the Portrait Mode on the iPhone to create depth and get a more professional look.
Use a grid
Grids are excellent for helping you compose your shot. By default, the grid is off on the iPhone 13 Pro, but you can turn it on easily. Open up Settings on your phone and tap on Camera. You’ll see the option to toggle on the grid.
Preserve your settings
It’s possible to set your iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max up so that any camera settings you change will be retained the next time you open the camera app. That could be filters or aspect ratio, or it could be the Night Mode setting you choose.
Open Settings on your phone and scroll down to Camera. You’ll then need to tap on Preserve Settings, where you will then be able to choose to toggle on a variety of settings, from Macro Control and Night Mode to Camera Mode (which preserves the last mode) and Creative Controls (such as filters and aspect ratios).
How to shoot 4K video
The iPhone 13 Pro can shoot in Dolby Vision up to 4K at 60fps, though this isn’t on by default because it uses up a lot of storage. If you want to make sure you are always shooting in the highest quality video, open Settings on your phone and scroll down to Camera. You can then select Record Video from the list and choose 4K at 60fps. This section also allows you to turn on HDR.
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Portrait mode tips and tricks
Portrait mode is available on both the wide and telephoto lenses on the iPhone 13 Pro. You can also use night mode on portrait shots on the wide camera in low light conditions.
How to take a Portrait shot
There are six different Portrait mode styles on the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. Open up the camera app on your iPhone and tap on the Portrait option above the shutter button. You can then swipe between the different style options, with a live preview for each showing as you swipe.
When you’ve chosen your style and lined up your shot, tap on the shutter button.
How to switch between wide and telephoto Portrait shots
As we briefly mentioned, you can take Portrait shots using the wide angle lens or the telephoto lens on the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max. To switch between the two, open the camera app on your phone and tap on the Portrait option. You’ll see a 1x or 3x in the bottom left corner, tap on that when in Portrait mode to switch between the two lenses.
How to change the Portrait effect post shot
You might choose one of the six Portrait styles but then change your mind afterwards once you have the photo! Don’t worry, you can change the style post shot. Open the Photos app on your phone and tap on Edit in the top right corner.
You can then slide between the Portrait style options at the bottom of your screen to choose a different lighting option. Remember to tap Done in the bottom right corner to save.
How to adjust the depth on a Portrait shot
Just like changing the Portrait style post shot, you can also change the depth – background blur – of Portrait shot after you’ve taken it. Open the Photos app and choose the Portrait shot you want to change, then tap on Edit in the top right corner.
From here, you’ll want to tap on the aperture number (f number) in the top left corner. You can then use the slider at the bottom of the photo to change the depth and adjust the background blur. Remember to tap Done in the bottom right corner when you’re finished.
How to remove the Portrait effect
If you’ve taken a shot in Portrait mode but you have changed your mind and want to remove the effect entirely, this is possible. Open the Photos app and tap on the image you want to remove the Portrait effect from.
At the top of the screen above the photo, you’ll see Portrait highlighted in yellow. Tap on this and it will remove the Portrait effect. You can re-add it by tapping on Portrait again. Make sure you hit Done in the bottom right corner to save.
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Macro photography tips and tricks
The iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max have Macro mode that allows you to capture the smallest of details using the ultra wide angle lens. It works in standard photo mode, as well as video, including slo-mo and time lapse.
It’s a great mode for capturing detail, like a dog’s fur, or in the material of something as Oghalé Alex did for his ISOKO collection, for example.
How to turn on Macro control
Macro Control is off by default on the iPhone 13 Pro – with the lenses just switching automatically – but if you want to see the camera control for automatically switching to the ultra wide lens to capture macro photos and videos, you can turn it on in settings.
Open Settings on your iPhone and scroll down to tap on Camera. You then need to toggle on Macro Control. When you then follow the steps below to shoot in Macro mode, you’ll see the symbol appear in the bottom left corner.
How to shoot in Macro on the iPhone 13 Pro
If you want to get a close up shot, whether it’s a flower, a pet or another object, you’ll need to get as close to your subject as you can – a minimum of 20mm is required to enable the macro mode.
Once you have your subject, place the primary focus as close to the centre of your frame as you can and tap to select a specific focus point. You can choose between x.5 and x1.
Apple iPhone 13 Pro Photographic Styles tips and tricks
Photographic Styles are similar to a filter, but rather than applying the effect to the entire image, they keep skies and skin tones natural. There are several options, and you’ll probably find that one is your particular favourite, as can be the way with filters.
How to shoot with a Photographic Style on iPhone 13 Pro
There are five preset Photographic Styles that you can choose from and you can choose to shoot in the style you like and then set your phone to always shoot in that mode.
To shoot in a Photographic Style, open the camera app and make sure you are on the Photo mode. You’ll then need to swipe up from the bottom of the viewfinder to pull up more options.
The Photographic Styles option is the icon with the three squares inside. Tap on this and you will be able to swipe through the five style options: Standard, Rich Contrast, Vibrant Warm, Warm, Cool.
How to adjust a Photographic Style
The preset Photographic Styles can all be adjusted so you can find the perfect balance of tone and warmth for your preferences.
Open the camera app on your phone and swipe up from the bottom of the viewfinder. You’ll then need to tap on the icon with the three squares and select the Photographic Style you want to shoot in. You’ll see Tone and Warmth sliders appear below the viewfinder when you have selected a Photographic Style.
You can adjust both in real time and if you go too far and want to return to the original preset, you can tap the back button on the right of the Warmth and Tone sliders to return.
How to set your iPhone 13 Pro to always shoot in a particular Photographic Style
It’s possible to set your phone up to shoot in a particular Photographic Style all the time so whenever you open the camera app up and select the Photo mode, it will automatically shoot in the Photographic Style you select, for example. We personally love Rich Contrast, though Oghalé Alex likes Warm so it’s all about personal preference.
Open the Settings app on your iPhone and scroll down to Camera. You’ll see Photographic Styles as an option and when you tap on it, you can choose which style you want to shoot in by default.
Cinematic mode tips and tricks
You can read more about Cinematic mode in our separate feature, but in a nutshell it allows you to change the focus of your subject when videoing. It records in 1080p at 30fps, as well as Dolby Vision HDR and the beauty of Cinematic mode is that you can change the focus during filming or after the fact.
How to use Cinematic mode on the iPhone 13 Pro
To shoot in Cinematic mode, open the Camera on your iPhone 13 model and choose the Cinematic option at the bottom of the viewfinder above the shutter button.
If you then swipe up on the viewfinder (when holding your phone vertically) or swiping right to left (when horizontal), you’ll then be able to adjust the depth by tapping on the ‘f’ and the exposure by tapping on the circle with the + and -.
You can then tap on the record button to start recording when you are happy with your selections. Tap a subject in the viewfinder to change focus as you record. Double tap to set automatic focus tracking on a subject. You can also touch and hold on the screen to lock the focus at a specific distance from the camera.
How to edit the depth of a Cinematic video
Like with photos, you can change the depth – or background blur – or a Cinematic video after you have shot it. Open the Photos app and tap on the video you want to edit.
Select Edit in the top right corner and then tap on the ‘f’ at the top of the screen. Drag the slider to adjust the depth, but keep in mind that it will apply to the entire video. You’ll also need to remember to tap done when you’re finished.
How to edit focus points of a Cinematic video
If you didn’t quite get the right people or subjects in focus when shooting your video in Cinematic mode, you can edit this afterwards to change the focus. You’ll need to open the Photos app on your phone and tap on the video you want to edit and tap on Edit in the top right corner.
In the video timeline below the viewfinder, Yellow dots indicate moments in the video where the focus point changes from one subject to another. You can drag the timeline to go through your video and yellow boxes will appear around the subjects in focus, while white boxes appear around subjects that are recognised but not in focus.
If you tap on a white square, the focus will change to that subject. Double tap and automatic focus tracking will switch to that subject. Touch and hold on the screen to lock the focus at a specific distance from the camera.
You can tap the focus button (yellow square with a circle in the middle at the top of the display) to switch between the Camera app’s automatic focus tracking and your manually selected focus points. Remember to tap Done when you’re finished.