The headline feature of Apple's 2019 iPhones is undoubtedly the new camera system, with the more affordable iPhone 11 boasting the same high-quality lenses as the ‌iPhone 11‌ Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max, with the exception of the third telephoto lens that's exclusive to the Pro models.

iphone 11 and 11 pro no background
The standard wide camera on the ‌iPhone 11‌ series offers the same 12 megapixels and f/1.8 aperture as on last year's iPhone XS devices, while the new 12 megapixel ultra-wide camera gets a f/2.4 lens. Apple has also widened the aperture of the telephoto lens on the Pro models to f/2.0 – an improvement over the f/2.4 lens found in the ‌iPhone‌ X and XS – which allows more light to hit the sensor and grab more detail.

Lens-Based Camera App Changes

Apple has also re-designed the camera system from the ground up to make the lenses work seamlessly in concert, and also radically improved the image processing technology. To accommodate these more advanced capabilities, Apple has given the stock Camera app a complete overhaul exclusively for its ‌iPhone 11‌ series devices.

how to switch iphone 11 lenses1 e1569253109900
For example, when you shoot with the standard wide lens as shown above, the camera app interface becomes semi-transparent to reveal the ultra-wide camera's larger field of view, giving you a preview of what shooting with it would look like.

This immersive preview isn't limited to the wide and ultra-wide either: When using the telephoto lens on Pro devices, the Camera app will use the standard wide lens to fill in the additional area of the screen, as shown in the screenshot below. There's even an optional new camera feature that recruits the additional lenses and allows you to fix photo composition in post without having to resort to cropping.

how to switch iphone 11 lenses2

Switching Between Ultra-Wide, Wide, and Telephoto

You can choose between the different lenses by tapping the numbered buttons at the bottom of the viewfinder: .5 is the new ultra-wide lens, 1x is the standard wide lens, and 2 is the telephoto lens (‌iPhone 11‌ Pro and Pro Max only).

camera
At first glance, it looks as if these lens modes are fixed options. Far from it: If you swipe up on one of the buttons you'll see a radial zoom wheel enabling you to find a transition from camera to camera through a series of fine gradations.

how to switch iphone 11 lenses seamlessly
Along the wheel you'll also see the 35mm equivalent focal length of each lens-sensor combination (the focal length you would need for a 35 mm film camera to obtain the same angle of view). The wheel disappears once you've chosen a custom focal length, and if you decide you want to return to the standard focal length, you can simply tap the center lens button.

Related Roundup: iPhone 11
Related Forum: iPhone

Top Rated Comments

WilliamG Avatar
22 months ago
In addition to swipe up on the numbers to bring up the wheel, you can just put your finger on the 0.5, 1x 2 area and swipe left and right to adjust zoom quickly.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
BWhaler Avatar
22 months ago
Looks like Apple did a great job here. Very impressive.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
adrianlondon Avatar
22 months ago

Unpopular opinion but I think digital zoom is one of the features that Apple should just do away with.
I remember thinking that years ago with a point & shoot camera I had at the time. And to this day I very rarely digitally zoom in using my phone camera. I crop after the shot is taken, which also allows me to change my mind later if I decide not to crop out as much.

However, for fully automatic cameras, digitally zooming in does have one advantage: the sensors (which calculate shutter/aperture, whether to use HDR or flash etc etc) are working solely on the portion of the image you're going to keep.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SirithX Avatar
22 months ago
Unpopular opinion but I think digital zoom is one of the features that Apple should just do away with. No point in using the digital zoom to crop the picture straight away and end up with something blurry, rather than simply taking a quality photo with the 1x or 2x telephoto lens and then using the iPhone's built in tools to crop it after the fact.

I think it would ultimately drive better iPhone photography in general as a result.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Beards Avatar
22 months ago

Unpopular opinion but I think digital zoom is one of the features that Apple should just do away with. No point in using the digital zoom to crop the picture straight away and end up with something blurry, rather than simply taking a quality photo with the 1x or 2x telephoto lens and then using the iPhone's built in tools to crop it after the fact.

I think it would ultimately drive better iPhone photography in general as a result.
Sorry but I would have to disagree. Although I never shoot using digital zoom, I do though use it to reference something (as in just creep in closer to ensure what I will be shooting doesn’t contain anything I don’t want).
There’s also the use as binoculars. Sometimes it comes in handy when you want to check on something in the distance.
Score: 1 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

General Music and AirPod 3 Feature

Rumor: Apple to Announce Third-Generation AirPods and HiFi Apple Music Tier on May 18

Thursday May 13, 2021 10:32 pm PDT by
A new rumor suggests that Apple will announce the third-generation AirPods and the recently rumored HiFi, or high-fidelity Apple Music tier, on Tuesday, May 18, via a press release on its website. The new rumor comes from Apple YouTuber Luke Miani who shared the alleged exclusive news with the AppleTrack website. According to the YouTuber, Apple plans to release the next-generation AirPods...
2021 mbp hdmi slot 3d

2021 MacBook Pro Leaks Confirm Returning MagSafe and Ports

Friday May 14, 2021 3:06 am PDT by
Apple's upcoming MacBook Pro models are expected to feature a number of major changes such as larger display options and powerful new Apple silicon chips. Among the more surprising updates to this year's MacBook Pro models is the return of three ports that have been missing from the machines for over five years. Expected to come in 14- and 16-inch sizes, the 2021 MacBook Pro models are...
apple park drone june 2018 2

Apple Fires Newly Hired Ex-Facebook Product Manager Following Revelations of Past Misogynistic Comments

Thursday May 13, 2021 12:10 am PDT by
Apple has fired Antonio García Martínez, an ex-Facebook product manager and author of the controversial book "Chaos Monkeys," following public and internal calls for removal and investigation due to past misogynistic statements, The Verge reports. Apple hired Martínez earlier this week to join its ads team, however, comments that Martínez made in the past sparked condemnation from users...
magic mouse space gray discontinued

Apple Discontinuing Space Gray Mac Accessories Now That iMac Pro is Dead

Friday May 14, 2021 11:52 am PDT by
Following the discontinuation of the iMac Pro, Apple also appears to be discontinuing Space Gray "Magic" accessories that it sold separately alongside the iMac Pro. The iMac Pro was the only Space Gray Mac, and Apple designed special matching accessories for it. The Space Gray Magic Mouse 2, Magic Keyboard, and Magic Trackpad all now say "While supplies last" in small wording at the bottom...
tile amazon sidewalk integration

Apple Says Tile Trackers Sold Poorly in Apple Stores

Friday May 14, 2021 4:53 am PDT by
Earlier last month, Spotify, Tile, and Match (owner of Tinder), testified at an app store antitrust hearing spearheaded by the U.S. Senate. During the hearing, Spotify called Apple's App Store "an abusive power grab," while Tile said Apple uses its platform to "unfairly limit competition for its products." Now, in response to their testimonies, Apple's vice president and chief compliance...
google photos

PSA: Google Photos Unlimited Storage Ends Next Month, Here's How to Export Your Pictures to iCloud

Thursday May 13, 2021 5:26 am PDT by
For as long as it's existed, Google Photos has offered free unlimited storage for uploading images at a reduced yet good enough quality for most users. From June 1, 2021, however, all photos and videos uploaded to Google accounts will count against users' cloud storage. If you've been relying on Google to back up your media library, it may be time to move that content elsewhere. This article...
fortnite apple logo 2

Judge in Epic vs. Apple Case Floats Potential Compromise

Wednesday May 12, 2021 3:54 pm PDT by
In the ongoing legal battle between Apple and Epic Games, the two companies are this week calling up their expert witnesses to argue their points before Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers, who will make a decision in the case after a three week trial. Expert testimony is not as exciting as some of the leaked App Store documents that were highlighted last week, especially as much of what's being...
syng cell alpha

Longtime Apple Designer Christopher Stringer's Latest Project Is a High-Fidelity Speaker With AirPlay 2

Friday May 14, 2021 7:30 am PDT by
Christopher Stringer, a key member of Jony Ive's design team who spent 21 years at Apple before departing in 2017, is resurfacing today with his new venture Syng, which seeks to make an impact in the high-end audio market. Stringer, who contributed to many of the most iconic product designs in Apple's history, announced his plans roughly a year ago, and Syng is today introducing its flagship ...
Twitter Feature

Twitter's 'Blue' Subscription Service May Cost $2.99, Will Offer Undo Tweet Option

Saturday May 15, 2021 11:08 am PDT by
Twitter has been working on some kind of subscription service since last summer, and Jane Manchun Wong, who often digs into new features coming in apps, has shared details on just what Twitter is exploring. Twitter's subscription service could be called Twitter Blue, and at the current time, it's priced at $2.99 per month. There will be a "Collections" section that allows users to save and...
imac m1 blue isolated 16x9 500k

M1 iMac is Up to 56% Faster Than Prior-Generation High-End 21.5-Inch iMac

Wednesday May 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Apple's M1 iMacs are set to start delivering to customers next week, and ahead of the official launch day, benchmarks for the machines have been showing up on Geekbench, likely from reviewers who are testing them. It will come as no surprise that M1 iMac benchmarks are right on par with benchmarks for the M1 MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, and Mac mini, coming in with an average single-core score...