How to use the iPhone’s camera level to help straighten your shots


Use your iPhone camera’s level function to information horizon placement in your images and completely align overhead and top-down shots.

iPhone's Camera app showing the level slightly off
The horizon is nearly however not totally aligned on this shot | Image: Christian Zibreg/iDB

You’ve been in a position to take completely level top-down images on your iPhone and iPad since iOS 11, with a little bit of help from the hidden vertical level function.

With iOS 17, Apple gave the camera level its personal separate toggle whereas increasing its performance to help you are taking shots at a superbly straight angle.

Camera leveling is a really useful function; too dangerous it’s turned off by default. In this publish, we’ll present you ways to allow the camera level possibility and use it to information horizon placement and align overhead shots on your iPhone.

How to activate the camera level function on iPhone

Turning iOS 17’s new camera level setting permits each the new horizontal level and the current crosshair level, which seems when standing immediately over your topic.

The iPhone camera settings with the Level switch turned on
The level has its personal toggle in iOS 17 | Image: Christian Zibreg/iDB

Here are the steps to activate the camera level:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone or iPad.
  2. Find and hit the Camera possibility in the predominant checklist of choices.
  3. Turn on the Level possibility beneath the Composition heading.

This will activate horizontal traces in the Camera app that robotically present up when your iPhone detects you’re out of level. The camera level makes use of your iPhone’s built-in accelerometer and gyroscope sensors to decide its relative place in house.

How to use the iPhone’s camera level for horizon alignment

iPhone's Camera app with the level slightly off
The camera level may be very delicate | Image: Christian Zibreg/iDB

To align the iPhone’s camera with the horizon line, tilt your machine till the damaged traces in the viewfinder reconnect and switch right into a single straight yellow line.

Congratulations, the camera is now completely aligned with the horizon. Quick, hit that shutter button earlier than you’re out of level once more!

The camera level works on any iPhone camera in each portrait and panorama, however you gained’t see it at sharp angles because it’s restricted to low angles shut to horizontal.

The new horizontal level in iOS 17 is on the market throughout all taking pictures modes apart from panoramic images. The vertical level, nonetheless, is restricted to the Time-Lapse, Photo and Portrait modes. It’s unavailable throughout video recording.

How to use the iPhone’s camera level to take completely aligned overhead and top-down images

Examples of the iPhone camera level when shooting overhead and top-down scenes
Overhead and top-down ranges | Image: Christian Zibreg/iDB

Aside from the horizontal level, your iPhone additionally has a hidden vertical level. A pair of crosshairs present up in the viewfinder when taking pictures issues immediately above you, like the sky, or beneath you, reminiscent of your meals. The vertical level guides your alignment so you’ll be able to take balanced shots with no tripod arm or mount.

The shot is completely aligned when the two crosshairs overlap and switch yellow and your iPhone subtly vibrates. Hit the shutter button and admire your completely balanced {photograph}! Unfortunately, iOS 17 lacks separate switches to independently toggle the horizontal and vertical ranges on or off.

The Grid swap in iOS 17 and 16: What’s the distinction?

In iOS 16, flipping the Grid swap additionally permits the hidden crosshair level in the Camera app. In iOS 17, nonetheless, flipping this swap solely toggles the grid as a result of the camera leveling capabilities now have their very own devoted swap in Settings.

Camera level choices in iOS 16:

  • Settings > Camera > Grid toggles each grid traces and the vertical level that robotically seems when taking overhead and top-down shots.

Camera level choices in iOS 17:

  • Settings > Camera > Grid solely toggles grid traces in the Camera app.
  • Settings > Camera > Level toggles the previous vertical level (crosshairs) for overhead and top-down shots, plus the new horizontal camera level.

The camera level is an extremely helpful possibility. With little effort, you’ll be able to straighten up your horizontal taking pictures angle and align your photos completely.

Align these traces!

Closeup of the iPhone's camera level
The camera level makes use of the iPhone’s sensors | Image: Christian Zibreg/iDB

Whether you’re new to iPhone images or not, the grid can help you apply the Rule of Thirds, though some individuals use it to information the placement of the horizon of their images. You can flip the camera grid on or off inside the Composition part in Settings > Camera > Grid.

You may also use the grid to align the horizon, however the downside with that’s precision. Grid traces are simply that—traces. They don’t reply to motion like the level function, which takes benefit of the iPhone’s accelerometer and gyroscope sensors to detect the slightest modifications in the camera’s place throughout all three axes.

Unfortunately, Apple retains the level function turned off by default to keep away from overwhelming the Camera app’s interface, but it surely needs to be enabled out of the field in case you ask me. Doing so would guarantee everybody may simply alter their taking pictures angle and perspective with out essentially realizing this selection exists.



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