Camera (iOS3.0)

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The core Camera iPhone app takes reasonably decent photo shots in daylight. Photo images look crisp, clear and rich in colour.

In dark or low-light environment, photo quality tends to get a little grainier compared to a standard mobile phone camera due to the lack of flash.

In situations such as this, the camera shutter remains open for a slightly longer duration in order to allow more light in. It is imperative then that the device is held as firm as possible, as even a slight wobble would render a blurry image.

With the iPhone 3GS, video capabilities had been added, which was previously not available on the iPhone 3G and models before it. The camera’s resolution has also been bumped up to 3.2 megapixels from the 2.0 in previous models.


Let’s look at the features of the Camera App. Upon activation, the Camera App immediately takes advantage of the large 3.5″ display and uses almost the entire screen for its viewfinder. A narrow band at the bottom of the screen shows a number of options.

On the right is a soft button slide switch that changes the mode of the camera, allowing users to switch between taking photo shots and videos. To change to video camera mode, simply slide the switch to the right to the video camera icon.

On the left is a square button that displays a thumbnail of the last image taken. Tapping on this will bring that image to full-screen view and to the Camera Roll where all your images and videos are stored.

In the centre is the shutter button, which allows the camera to take a snapshot or to begin a video recording, depending on the mode you have chosen.


The iPhone 3GS now comes with Auto Focus. Upon camera startup, you will notice a light blue box appearing momentarily at the centre of the viewfinder, which disappears after a second or two, indicating that the image has been focused correctly by the lens and it is alright to take the shot. The light blue box also samples the image within it for auto white balance and brightness correction.

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With the iPhone 3GS, Tap-To-Focus have been added to make for a more versatile camera. Tap-To-Focus allows the photographer to specify the prominent area of the viewfinder image, an area that likely deserves attention which may not necessarily be at the centre of the image. If an important subject appears off-centre in your viewfinder, simply tap on it and a small light blue box will appear, with your subject encapsulated within it. Like the Auto Focus described before, the camera samples this subject and adjusts the white balance and brightness for the overall image.

Tap-To-Focus also gives users the flexibility of specifying the brightness of the image to be taken. If you’re taking a photograph of an object which may appear almost invisible in a dim room with a window which allows some light through, tapping on a dark corner of the room or the object itself will adjust the brightness to a level such that your object may now be visible. This is one way to adjust the brightness of your photography shots on the go.

Video capabilities on the iPhone series began with the 3GS. This feature was not available on the standard Camera App of previous iPhones.

Launch the Camera App, which starts up immediately in the photograph mode by default. Slide the soft button mode switch located on the lower right corner of the screen to the video camera icon, to switch the camera to video mode. The camera icon on the shutter button changes to a red dot, indicating that the camera is now in video mode. This mode change takes about a second to complete.

To begin a video recording, tap this shutter button located at the bottom centre of the screen, located adjacent to the mode slide switch.



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