Think you need pro gear for great iPhone photos? That’s fake news.

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iPhone rig
You don't necessarily need expensive gear to make a great iPhone video.
Photo: Marques Brownlee/YouTube

You can make great photos and videos with just an iPhone. There is nothing fake about that statement. Thousands of great iPhone photos appear on our camera rolls and Instagram feeds every day to prove it.

Nevertheless, a recent YouTube video suggested Apple uses more than just iPhones to create its “Shot on iPhone” commercials. The video quickly went viral. Headlines it generated sowed seeds of doubt about the authenticity of Apple’s claims.

So, are we really getting the great camera Apple says it puts in its iPhones?

Forget taking photos — the iPhone’s flash is way more useful than that

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iPhone plus camera
Flashlight, heart-rate-monitor, mosquito killer… The iPhone's LED lamp is a real multitool.
Photo: Apple

The iPhone’s Quad-LED True Tone flash is pretty good as camera flashes go, but you should never use it to take actual photos, unless you want shiny-faced, red-eyed people in your portraits. Instead, you should put it to work in more useful applications. And no, we don’t just mean using it as a flashlight next time you take a trip into the basement.

Use the iPhone’s camera as a tricked-out magnifying glass

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iPhone magnifier app
The iPhone's built-in Magnifier makes short work of unreadable text, and tiny objects.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

There’s a little-known but awesome trick you can do with the iPhone’s camera: triple-click the Home button to turn it into a magnifying glass. This is great if you don’t see so well, either because you’re farsighted or because you’re just getting old and doddery.

Today we’ll see how to switch on this awesome feature so it’s ready to deploy, and also take a look at some of the extras Apple built in to make the Magnifier tool even more powerful.

Sony’s new sensor could bring super slo-mo video to iPhone

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The iPhone 7 Plus will completely change your photos.
The iPhone 7 Plus will completely change your photos.
Photo: Apple

Future iPhones may be set to get a huge video upgrade, thanks to a new smartphone camera sensor created by Apple’s longtime supplier.

Sony has reportedly developed a new image sensor that is capable of shooting video at 960fps. That’s 720 frames more than the iPhone’s current slo-mo feature.

Moment’s new iPhone case will supercharge your photography

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Moment
The Moment battery case and wide lens for the iPhone 7.
Photo: Moment/YouTube

The iPhone camera is good right out of the pocket. Mobile lens company Moment Inc. launched three years ago believing it could make it even better.

It’s lens attachments have become favorites for many serious iPhone photographers trying to expand the range of the device’s fixed lens. Now, Moment is mounting an ambitious Kickstarter campaign with three new products to bolster the performance of iPhone cameras, from 6 through the 7 Plus.

Why you shouldn’t place all your trust in iPhone camera tests

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Two cameras that excited the world about photography, the iPhone and the Kodak Brownie.
Two cameras that excited the world about photography, the iPhone and the Kodak Brownie.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

Miroslav Tichy roamed the streets of his Czech Republic town with a camera made of plywood, a cardboard tube and a plexiglass lens he polished with toothpaste and cigarette ashes. His crude, distorted photographs now hang in museums around the world.

So don’t worry if the camera on that iPhone 7 you just purchased doesn’t score high in some laboratory test that pits its image quality against other cameras.

Your next iPhone may be able to read sign language

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The cameras on the iPhone 6s has a 12-megapixel sensor and 4K video.
Finally, a chance to use 'jazz hands' to unlock our iPhones.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

Future iPhone software and cameras could support sign language recognition, alongside a range of other in-air interface gestures, according to a patent application published today.

Titled “Three-Dimensional Hand Tracking Using Depth Sequences,” Apple’s patent application describes how devices would be able to locate and follow the location of hands through three-dimensional space in video streams, similar to the face-tracking technology Apple already employs for its Photo Booth app.

Curved photo sensor could lead to tiny Apple Watch camera

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iphone6pluscameralens
Apple is constantly pushing the boundaries with its cameras.
Photo: iFixit

Apple has invented a camera lens that would yield higher-resolution images and would be even tinier than the cameras used in today’s super-slim iPhones.

How tiny would it be? Imagine a total axial length of just 2 mm or even less, making this potentially perfect for the long-awaited FaceTime camera of the next-gen Apple Watch 2.