Everything you need to know about your iPhone camera’s aperture

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Here I could have blurred the netting by using a wider aperture.
Here I could have blurred the netting by using a wider aperture.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

A few days ago, we learned about the iPhone’s shutter, the part of the camera that “opens and closes” to let light onto the sensor. Today, we’re taking an in-depth look at the aperture, aka hole. The aperture is an opening in the lens that can be made bigger or smaller. Like shutter speed, its primary purpose is to control how much light reacts with camera the sensor (or film).

Also like shutter speed, aperture has some extra effects on how the image looks. Specifically, it can control how much of the image, front to back, looks sharp.

Everything you need to know about your iPhone camera’s shutter speed

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iPhone shutter speed
Camera blur can be your friend.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Your iPhone camera is pretty good at taking photos automatically. You just point it, shoot, and the camera works out all the tricky stuff. But what is actually going on in there? How does it take the light that you see and render it as an image on the screen?

In this short series, we’ll look at the physical parts of a camera — the aperture, the shutter, the magnification of the lens, and so on — and see how they affect the final image. Today’s topic: shutter speed.

How to scan QR codes from the lock screen in iOS 12

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Knock yourself out scan qr codes
Knock yourself out.
Photo: Thomas Leuthard/Flickr CC

Ever since iOS 11, your iPhone and iPad have been able to detect a QR code in the camera frame, and pop up a banner at the top of the screen to open the link embedded within it. This is a great way to quickly extract the URL from a billboard, or from a particular nerdy lost-cat poster stapled to a utility pole.

Now, iOS 12 brings a dedicated QR-scanning shortcut you can invoke right from your iPhone’s lock screen. Let’s see how to scan QR codes in iOS 12.

iOS 12 photo imports are way, way better

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Somehow this happened…
Somehow this happened…
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

In iOS 11 and earlier, importing photos from a camera to your iPad photo library has always been a bit clunky. You plug the SD card in using the Lightning SD card reader, or the hook the camera up to the USB adapter, and then the Photos import takes over your entire screen.

Also, all the images that you import got dumped right into the main photo library, leaving you to manually select them later if you want to add them to albums. In iOS 12, though, this has all been improved. Let’s take a look:

Everything you need to know about iOS 11

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iPhone 7 iOS 11
The new Control Center is just one of many great new iOS 11 features.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Over the past two months, Cult of Mac scoured the iOS 11 betas to collect tips and tricks for Apple’s latest mobile operating system. We’ve covered everything, from the iPad’s amazing new Dock and Drag-and-Drop to the iPhone’s new lifesaving Do Not Disturb While Driving.

We’ve created this iOS 11 guide, which we will update going forward, so you can easily find links to our best iOS 11 tips and how-tos. Read on for more on the radically improved Notes app, iOS 11’s powerful new camera features and more.

Halide makes manual photography easier than auto

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halide for iPhone
Halide is packed with neat features that are intuitive to use.
Photo: Halide/Cult of Mac

Halide is yet another iPhone camera-replacement app, only this is one you’re going to want to use. Why? because it not only adds extra control to the stock camera app, it is also easier to use than Apple’s built-in app. In addition to being one-handed simple, Halide adds power features like manual focus and RAW capture. It’s quite a feat.

How to use Instagram Face Filters, and post them to your public feed

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instagram-face-filters
The new Instagram Face Filters are pretty rad. Here's how to use them.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Instagram just added Face Filters, letting you add things like spectacles, bunny ears, and princess’ tiaras to your video selfies. Right now, you can only share these clips to your Instagram Stories, or send them directly to other users. But there’s a workaround that lets you post them like regular Instagram videos, putting them in your feed for all your followers to “enjoy.” Let’s find out how.

How to shoot iPhone video like a pro

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iPhone video tips
Learn all you need to know to get the most out of your iPhone's camera.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

While iPhones have pretty much replaced standalone video cameras, they don’t offer the same level of polish that a dedicated video camera or DSLR produces. It’s true that “the best camera is the camera you have with you,” but you can almost always spot a video shot on a phone.

The quality gap isn’t purely due to the lenses and tech within our phones, though. Bad habits make plenty of iPhone videos look lackluster. To show just how good an iPhone video can be, I put all my filmmaking knowledge to use for the montage below.

Instead of using my $3,000 video camera, I picked up my iPhone. With a minimum of accessories, I managed to produce what I think is a pretty cinematic video. You can see the results below — and then I’ll give you some useful tips and tricks for shooting iPhone videos like a pro.