9 Reasons iPhone Photographers Will Love iOS 5

9 Reasons iPhone Photographers Will Love iOS 5

If like me you didn’t watch the 2011 Apple WWDC Keynote address, you might have missed some exciting iPhone photography news – here are the top 9 announcements that impact on iPhoneographers:

  1. Volume button shutter release
  2. Lock screen shortcut
  3. Optional gridlines
  4. Pinch to zoom
  5. Auto exposure / auto focus lock
  6. Image editing
  7. Photo management
  8. Photo syncing
  9. Twitter

As you can see there are a fair few improvements to the iPhoneography experience as reported on iPhoneFAQ.com, but the biggest announcement for iPhone photographers was the addition of the volume up shutter release feature.

The placement of the volume up button on the iPhone makes it a perfect shutter release button and should give increased stability when taking photos.

Using the volume up button on Apple iPhone headphones will release the shutter (as previously posted about by Glenn) which gives us even more stability, particularly when using a tripod. We tested this ourselves here at MacTrast – very, very cool.

Camera+ was previously removed from the app store for including just this kind of functionality in “volume snap” as a hidden feature, and at the time developers Tap Tap Tap requested that iPhoneographers submit a feature request to Apple – it’s nice to think our voice was heard.

So apart from Volume button shutter release, what else is new in iOS5 for photographers?

  • Lock screen shortcut – this is extremely useful, when the phone is locked simply double tap the home button and a camera icon appears which if you tap brings you straight to the camera app. If you have a passcode set on your phone this will still work, but no other access is granted, you can only take photos.
  • Optional gridlines to help you frame the perfect shot using the rule of thirds.
  • Pinch to zoom – although some may find this handy, I never use a digital zoom – it gives you no advantage as the end result is the same as cropping the photo later.
  • Auto exposure / auto focus lock – at the moment if you tap to set focus and exposure, your preference is reset when you move the camera around. With this new feature you can lock the focus & exposure by tapping and holding your finger on the screen.
  • Image editing will now come native to to the iPhone with features such as one tap enhance, red eye reduction, crop and rotate for making some crucial adjustments to your shots.
  • Photo management – finally you can maintain your photos directly on the iphone, rearrange the order of your photos and create & edit photo albums.
  • Photo syncing -you can enable Photo Stream to sync your photos across your devices using iCloud.
  • Twitter will be integrated throughout iOS, so you will be able to quickly take a photo and tweet it. Testing on a beta version of iOS5 showed the image was uploaded to Twitter’s own image hosting service so no third party image sharing service is needed.

For me, the volume shutter release and the lock screen button are huge. The focus/exposure lock is an excellent addition and the photo management will majorly reduce headaches. The others are all nice to haves, but overall these are major improvements to the iPhone as camera experience.

Which features are pressing your buttons, or what features do you think are still lacking? Would love to hear from you.


  1. I don’t even carry a camera any more… I realize that my DSLR shoots 10x better pics, but it’s just a PITA to keep with me.

    Friends of Mac

    1. Anonymous says:

      Great how unobtrusive the iPhone is as well in terms of getting certain shots… for street photography or social occasions you can get shots that a DSLR would ruin.

  2. Pol says:

    Not sure if non photo related features are expected here.
    One pure phone related feature I had years ago on a Palm:

    Switch off ringtone for callers who are NOT on your contact list.

    Or on a specially established group of blacklisted callers.

  3. Susanna Gross says:

    I just upgraded my iTouch to iOS5 and I discovered that all my photos were randomized.  They were formerly arranged by date.  I can’t find any configuration setting to correct this.  Any suggestions?

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