The iPhone camera gets more and more features from an SLR camera. With special camera apps you can, for example, set the shutter speed and ISO for motion blur and long exposures. But how can you change the aperture on your iPhone?
What is aperture?
The aperture is the opening in a lens that determines the amount of light that falls on the sensor. The size of the aperture is expressed with an f-number or f-stop. You can enlarge and reduce the aperture of an SLR camera to change the depth of field of a photo. A small aperture has a high f-number and vice versa. The larger the aperture (small f-number), the smaller the depth of field.
Change the aperture on your iPhone
You cannot change the aperture on your iPhone. The effect of a larger or smaller aperture on the depth of field can be simulated with software. Apple calls this feature Depth Control. On the iPhone XS, iPhone XR, iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro you can change the depth of field during and after shooting. For older devices you can get comparable results with the Focos app.
Demo during the September Event 2018
Set the depth of field in the iPhone camera app
Change the depth of field during shooting
In the iPhone camera app you can change the depth of field and view the result while shooting. Open the iPhone camera app in Portrait mode and tap the f setting at the top left of the screen. Swipe your finger on the slider to change the depth of field.
Change the depth of field of a photo
You can adjust the depth of field of photos taken in Portrait mode in the Photos app. Proceed as follows.
- Take the photo in Portrait mode.
- Open the photo in the Photos app.
- Tap edit at the top right of the screen.
- Tap the f setting at the top left of the screen for the Depth Control.
- Swipe your finger on the slider to the right for a small f-number and a small depth of field. The background becomes more blurred.
- Swipe your finger on the slider to the left for a large f-number and a large depth of field.
Change the aperture on iPhone with the camera app Focos
For older iPhone models and photos that were not made with Portrait mode, you can download the Focos app. With this app you can change the depth of field with the function aperture and even adjust the focus point. Proceed as follows.
- Start the app and open a photo. The depth of field is calculated and applied automatically.
- You can use the slider to increase or decrease the aperture to adjust the depth of field.
- Tap another object in the photo to move the focus point.
You need the paid Focos Pro version to save photos in full resolution and for extra functions.
Conclusion change iPhone aperture
The photographic possibilities of the iPhone camera are becoming more powerful and the differences with an SLR camera are getting smaller. Adjusting the aperture during shooting was only possible with a “real” camera. You cannot change the aperture on your iPhone. The effect of a larger or smaller aperture on the depth of field can be simulated on the iPhone with software.
Focos App Store