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iPhone 11 Cameras – using ultra wide, wide, and telephoto

iPhone 11 Pro has three distinct cameras on its rear, which is a lot to get your head around. Previous models have had two, but if you’ve upgraded from a single-lens model you might be a little out of your depth with all this choice. Even if you’ve come from an iPhone 8 Plus or similar with two cameras, you might be wondering what the deal with the new ultra wide is.

Luckily, we’ve got your back – and it’s worth noting there are a couple of different ways you can handle zooming when it comes to snapping a picture.

At the bottom of the viewfinder in the Camera app, you’ll notice three little circles – or two, if you have the regular iPhone 11. These represent the cameras on the back of the device and can be tapped to instantly switch to that lens and zoom level.

Let’s take a look at the difference between each camera, using a series of photos commissioned by Apple to illustrate the differences in scale.

0.5x represents the ultra wide camera, which is great for fitting four times more in the frame without having to move backward – equally useful whether you’re capturing an epic landscape or a cramped interior.

1x is the standard wide camera, and is used by default in the app.

2x is the telephoto camera, capable of capturing zoomed-in shots without any loss of quality. This camera is only present on the Pro version of the iPhone 11.

As ever, you can pinch the display or swipe across the bottom of the frame for precise control over the zoom level. The app intelligently uses multiple cameras to scale to some of the “in-between” zoom levels like 0.7x or 1.4x. 

But remember that once you get past 2x you’re into the realm of “digital zoom” which will result in some loss of quality.

Related reading: using Night Mode for incredible low-light photography on iPhone 11