Digital zoom is never going to be great — you're essentially just cropping and enlarging pixels from the original photo. But, more often than not, we use digital zooms when composing iPhone images — especially if we're shooting a subject from far away.
Thanks to its multi-camera system, the iPhone 8 Plus and onward devices offer up to 2x optical and up-to-10x digital zoom when composing your images — and better still, that zoom is now a one-handed circular swipe. Here's how it works!
How to use photographic zoom on iPhone 8 Plus and later
Note: Portrait mode doesn't currently support zoom, since both lenses are already active and engaged.
- Open the Camera app and swipe to the Photo, Square, or Pano option.
- Tap on the 1x button and swipe to the left to increase zoom, swipe right to decrease. You can increase up to 10x in Photo or Square, and up to 2x in Pano.
To return to 1x, tap again on the zoom button.
Note: You can also quickly switch between 1x and 2x zoom with a single tap of the zoom button.
With the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models, there is a new Ultra Wide lens in the camera so you can even zoom out to .5x, in addition to the normal 1x Wide and 2x (Pro models only) Telephoto lenses. You can still tap and swipe on these magnification levels to fine-tune your zoom level with the zoom dial.
How to use zoom with video on iPhone 8 Plus and later
- Open the Camera app and swipe to the Video or Slo-Mo option.
- Tap on the 1x button and swipe to the left to increase zoom, swipe right to decrease. You can increase up to 3x in Video or Slo-Mo, or up to 2x in Time-Lapse.
- To return to 1x, tap again on the zoom button.
Let us know in the comments.
Updated September 2019: Updated for iOS 13 and iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro. Serenity Caldwell contributed to an earlier version of this guide.