How Apple Ruined the Camera App in iOS 7

iOS 7 has been out for a couple of days so I’ve had a chance to really explore it from a photographer’s standpoint. Overall the new  iOS is a fantastic update that I absolutely love. Two days later it still cheers me up every time I pick up my iPhone. Needless to say, no software has done that to me before.


However, there are some small changes that have made the iPhone 4/4S with iOS 7 a significantly worse camera for those of us who take photography seriously. What are these changes that I’m talking about? Read this article to find out. 

The New Camera App

In this video I walk you through all the new features of the iPhone’s default Camera app, and you’ll find out why it’s now worse for composing photos with the iPhone 4 and 4S.

As explained in this video, the camera viewfinder is now partially obscured by camera controls, and it is no longer  accurate on iPhone 4/4S as the photos are in fact wider than what you see on the viewfinder of the iPhone. The iPhone takes photos at 4:3 aspect ratio, but the viewfinder on iPhone 4/4S is now at 3:2 aspect ratio.

Now, what does this mean to you?

While recreational camera users will hardly notice any difference, I quickly noticed that a few of my shots were poorly composed with the important subjects being placed too much towards the center vertically. When I started investigating the issue afterwards, I soon realized that the problem was in the faulty viewfinder.

iOS 7 Camera iPhone 5

This issue alone might be enough to make me permanently switch to a different camera app like Camera+ or ProCamera. Until I get my iPhone 5S, that is. As you can see in the screenshot above, none of this is a problem on the taller screen of iPhone 5/5S where the controls don’t obscure the screen and the viewfinder has the correct aspect ratio.

Another issue with the new camera is that it’s no longer possible to take photos by holding and releasing the shutter button. In the past, all versions of iOS had this feature which helped photographers reduce camera shake while at the same time making it easier to capture fast-changing action scenes.

This useful feature is now gone as it’s replaced by burst mode, which can also be useful in certain situations. Thankfully, not everything is bad in the iPhoneography universe. I also have to praise Apple for making photo capture a tiny bit faster and thus reducing shutter lag in iOS 7, a difference that is clearly felt on iPhone 4S.

The New Photos App

In this video I walk you through the new features of the Photos app in iOS 7.

While I couldn’t show this on the video, there is also an issue with aspect ratios in the new Photos app. It’s no longer possible to display an uncropped landscape photo in fullscreen mode. Instead iOS just shows the 4:3 photo into 3:2. In the past versions of iOS you could just zoom out to get the 4:3 version with letterboxes on the side, but that option is now gone.


The photo above – which is in fact a screenshot of the iOS 7 Photos app – shows a river scene I shot yesterday (it’s the same photo that I composed correctly for 3:2 but not 4:3 thanks to the new viewfinder). Notice that there’s hardly any sky in the scene. However, we get an entirely different picture simply by rotating the iPhone.


See the difference in the sky and in the foreground? It’s the exact same photo; I only rotated the phone. It used to be that you could just zoom out to get the full uncropped version of any image (which I used to do a lot), but this feature is also gone from iOS 7. Thus the only way to see a landscape photo accurately in iOS 7 is to display it in portrait.

Update: Rich pointed out in the comments that you can view the full 4:3 landscape photo in landscape orientation by first zooming in and then zooming out on the photo. It doesn’t make much sense, but at least it works. 

As an iPhone photographer, I obviously have a problem with this and I really hope Apple fixes this issue in a future update.  I haven’t had a chance to test the landscape cropping issue on iPhone 5/5S, but it’s clearly a problem on iPhone 4/4S.

  • Valerie

    I enjoyed the video and appreciate that you walked us through the new features. I haven’t tried it out yet but will now. Valerie

    • Thank you Valerie! Let me know if you have any questions.

  • Sorry to hear that the images are wonky on the 4 and 4s. I have a 5, my contract isn’t up until November of 2014 so I’m not doing any upgrading. So far I am finding the new iOS7 to be quite elegant. There is a quality to the whole look of the UI that feels 3 dimensional; not unlike the retinal display on my iPad 3. I definitely miss the ability to take my time with the shutter release….oh well. Overall, I am enjoying the upgrade.

    • Hi Mary,

      I agree that iOS 7 is incredibly elegant, and knowing what I know now I’d still upgrade. And in your case, you don’t have the viewfinder issues since you’re on iPhone 5. If you miss the hold-and-release shutter function, you can get it on dedicated camera apps such as Camera+.

  • Great article Emil, will definitely wait to upgrade my 4S phone. I nearly always use the native camera app, it is quick and easy, just swipe up from the lock screen and good to go. Now with all the clutter on the screen obscuring the view, not such a pleasant experience. I know I could always use another app, camera+ or VSCOcam but I just like the ease of use with the native one, and being one of the older generation…..I just hate change!

    • Hi Davinia,

      Easy access was the primary reason I liked the built-in Camera, but now I’ll have to switch to another camera app because of the viewfinder issues. With that said, there are a lot of other reasons to upgrade to iOS 7, and knowing what I know now I’d still upgrade.

  • Marissa

    I’m very disappointed in the changes made on my iPhone 4s camera. Not only is the viewfinder “off”, my photos just aren’t crisp and clear like they were before the iOS 7 update.
    Thanks for the article. Ever since I’ve updated, I’ve been saying my camera is ruined. No one else could understand what I was talking about. Glad to know it isn’t just me or my phone, and that the change is apparent to others.

    • Hi Marissa,

      I haven’t noticed that the photos are less clear, but maybe I haven’t paid enough attention. On the other hand, I’ve heard others say that the photos have more detail in the shadows in iOS 7, which of course is a good thing. It seems that Apple has somehow changed their image processing algorithms, either for the better or the worse.

    • Terri

      Totally agree! It is the only disappointment with iOS 7 but it is a huge issue!! Even using Camera+ my photos are grainy.

    • Marissa, I know how you feel, my 4S has been ruined as well… I’m soooo disappointed about that! I used to love making photos with my iPhone, now they ruining this to make you buy a new one? Is that right?!?!:((

    • Sam

      Hey Marissa, I totally agree, all my photos are now out of focus and never were before, I can see a marked degrading in them when scanning through my library in iPhoto. Really disappointed. It seems like the speed in which the camera reacts to movement and speed of focus is just not the same as it was on the previous iOS.

    • Naomi

      I COMPLETELY agree and happy that I am not alone! I get so frustrated when I am trying to take pictures now post IOS 7 update with my 4s. The camera wont focus on my subject despite tapping and ends up focusing on some random spot past my subject or they are just a blurry mess. I am so disappointed!

    • Beth

      I am so glad to have found this page, and I so agree. I have been very frustrated by the IOS 7 camera on my iPhone 4 and was wishing I had never, ever upgraded. Thank you so much Emil for recommending Camera+, I will download it tomorrow and hope that the images aren’t too grainy as some commenters have mentioned.

    • Glad I could help Beth. Another great alternative is ProCamera, but I think Camera+ is cheaper at the moment.

    • Connor

      I feel the exact same way… The day that I got the upgrade I said, word for word, that my photos were no longer “crisp” and everyone else thought I was nuts. It’s refreshing to see that there are other people who understand good iphone photography enough to notice the same and be able to explain why.
      Thanks for the article/comment!

    • Lianne

      I have to thoroughly agree with you! My photos now look as though they are made up of less pixels. They’re poorer quality all round, and not so bright 🙁
      Mostly I use my phone more to take photos than anything else so the upgrade is unsatisfactory

  • Veronica Michelle

    Idk about anyone else, but when I have my HDR on and have taken pics, sometimes they won’t even go through and all I’ll see is a completely black photo. As far as the new filters go, I’ve actually been enjoying them a little and think it’s nice to be able to take pics and change them back to the original if you should choose. I’m sure there will be updates to correct issues going on in the future. Also, idk if it was because I used the HDR and then took it off, but I also had issues with my text messages (sending and receiving), only with other iPhone users. When I did a hard reset, the problem was then resolved.

    • Hi Veronica,

      I’ve seen the black-photo issue as well, and I’m sure they’ll fix such an obvious bug soon. Just to clarify, the photos are still there, you just can’t see them. Try rotating the phone or tapping the Edit button to see the black photos. That seemed to help me.

      I haven’t seen any issues with messages, but I know there’s a lot of small bugs that Apple will fix in the next few weeks with future updates.

  • Rich MacDonald

    I find these viewfinder issues a major disappointment. Being able to compose accurately is a necessity. Maybe they can add a gesture like for the video mode so you can see an accurate preview at the expense of letterboxing. Getting an iPhone 5* would fix this, but there should be an update from Apple to fix this broken essential feature.

    One workaround for the viewing landscape photos in 4:3 without switching to portrait:

    First pinch outward to zoom in and then pinch in and you can see the 4:3 view.

    Another annoyance is having the initial UI overlay obscure the top and bottom of the photo. Seems like testing on iPhone 4(S) didn’t get as much attention as needed.

    • Thanks Rich, I couldn’t figure out the zoom-in and then zoom-out thing on my own. Why couldn’t we just zoom out to begin with? That’s how it used to be, and that makes so much more sense to me.

      I agree about testing, it seems like they’ve focused a lot more on iPhone 5*.

  • Hey Emil – Nice walkthrough. I’m lucky that I’m due for a new phone so I’ve just ordered my 5s, but that cropping of the viewfinder would be really annoying!

    • Hi Geri,

      I’m feeling the same way. Can’t wait to get my iPhone 5S so that I don’t have to deal with the viewfinder issue. I’ll be using Camera+ until then.

      I’m looking forward to your comparison shots with iPhone 4S and 5S!

  • Elaine

    Hi Emil ~ thanks for the videos!
    I haven’t downloaded iOS 7 yet, but I probably will over the weekend. I need to make sure that I have my photos backed up.
    One question ~ do you know what happens to the albums I created? Will they become Collections?

    • Hi Elaine,

      Your albums will stay there in a separate albums tab. I didn’t cover this in the video since albums haven’t changed much in iOS 7.

  • That’s what I am concerning when making photos with my iPhone 4S. The position seems wrong, but I didn’t know that they changed to 3:2 ratio. Thanks for pointing it out.

    • Hi Hung,

      I couldn’t imagine they would do this, but I soon noticed that something was wrong with my photos, which got me curious about the aspect ratios. I hope Apple fixes this eventually, or we’ll be forced to only use 3rd party camera apps.

  • kathy

    im not exactly sure how i feel yet, still looing at different changes… change is good, but .. im not one for it:)!! we’l see how it goes, thanks for the explaination, it helped alot

    • Hi Kathy,

      I’m all for change and I love iOS 7, but there are some fundamentals – like an accurate viewfinder – that Apple just shouldn’t mess with.

  • Eric

    I enjoyed your review. I use my iPhone as my primary camera. So for a smartphone, the camera is the main sell point for me. Hence why I’ve stuck with the iPhone since the 3GS. I’m currently using the 4S, with plans to upgrade to the 5S. With the iOS 7 camera app, I think its more of an improvement above the previous version. I’ve always noticed that the final pic was always wider than what I saw. I would see the shot in viewfinder, but after pinching the final pic, the unseen parts cones into view. So it’s not just in iOS 7. I don’t have issues with the flash modes. HDR mode is much better with colour accuracy. Disn’t like the outcome of the previous version. So always kept it off. And used third party apps for those shots. Also love the fact that you can access all options without ever leaving the screen. Ie. panorama and hdr. The filterd are a great addition. However, iI’m not keen on the app overwriting original pic when you apply a filter to it. Wish it gave the option to save as different pic. I like to keep untouched originals. Overal, I’m happy with it. And I’m sure even more so with the 5S.

    • Hi Eric,

      The viewfinder issue has only appeared in iOS 7, before that it was always accurate. If you remember the old viewfinder, it didn’t take up the entire screen of the iPhone as there area around shutter was covered. Now the viewfinder takes up the entire screen, which is where the problem comes from.

  • Terry

    Thanks for the very helpful overview of iOS7!

  • Pingback: iPhone Photography Pro by Matt Kemp Review()

  • Rich MacDonald

    Any ideas on where to voice our concern so that Apple will respond to this issue?

    • Hi Rich,

      Honestly I don’t think they’ll change the viewfinder. Apple tends to be quite adamant about these things.

      We could of course try Apple Support forum, people from Apple do read it to see what issues people are experiencing.

  • Andrew

    iOS 7 made my 4s camera crappy. I often use my phone to take pictures at concerts and did so this past weekend. The pictures are by far the worst I’ve taken. I will be glad to show you pictures from a Muse show 2 weeks ago and then at music midtown this past weekend and you can see the difference in quality. The camera can no longer handle bright lights or imaging on led screens. I also to a picture of my tv screen at home and have the same issue. Has anyone else noticed a digression?

    • Kendach

      Having a same problem :/
      Yesterday I was trying to take a good shot of my friends after a theater play and EVERY photo ended up grainy and bad quality.

    • I did a lot of testing today with my iPhone 4S. In general I got the impression that low-light performance has actually improved, though I didn’t take that many low-light photos before.

      There is certainly more grain, and it looks like Apple has added the “pixel combination” trick from iPhone 5 where four pixels are combined into one to increase low-light sensitivity and shutter speed. The downside of this is more grain, which I could see in a photo of my computer screen in the dark.

    • Rae

      Hello and thanks for a helpful article. I’m VERY disappointed with my camera on my ipod5 touch after the update (I haven’t tried my iPhone 4 yet) as the photos are seriously grainy and do not auto focus like they used to. Before the update to ios7 my camera worked better than a point and shoot and now I’m reconsidering my choice to use it for travel. Will they change this do you think? I hope so because my photos now look awful and capturing special moments isn’t as special.

  • Grace

    I am having the same problem using my flash on the camera. Pictures taken in the dark are coming out milky and have orbs. I have a 4s and the camera was working fine until this update. Anyone hear anything about them fixing this bug?

    • I actually saw some improvements in flash photos, as long that the focus was set properly (which didn’t happen every time). Could it be that you’re dealing with photos that are out of focus?

  • Korede

    The same problem happens here with me and my friend phone am using iphone 4s and my friend is using iphone 4 we are having camera problem when we take the pics its not clear anymore Apple should please find something to do on this////

    • It appears that low-light autofocus has gotten worse iOS 7. Try setting the focus manually by tapping on the parts of the image that should be in focus. That helped me a lot.

  • Lexie

    My camera flash is random on iOS 7 even if turned ON sometimes it works amazingly, sometimes not only on the stock app, so I’ve gone to camera + until bug fix I’m on IPod 5, it’s kinda upsetting

    • Hi Lexie,

      I also noticed that occasionally the flash just doesn’t work at all. Yet another issue with iOS 7…

  • christina

    I have iPhone 5. Former android user (first iPhone) and couldn’t stand the camera delay on droid. I loved the camera ability on the iOS6. There was no delay when taking pictures. I PRAISED iPHONE for this reason. The built-in camera would take a picture with each finger press. After upgrading to iOS7, there is now a delay from the time you press the button to the time the picture is taken (both flash on and flash off). Have you experienced this camera delay on the your iPhone 5 with iOS7?

    • Hi Christina,

      Actually I haven’t experienced any delays in iOS 7. If anything, the photo capture has become slightly faster on my iPhone 4S.

      iOS 7 is still in its infancy and there are a lot of bugs throughout the software. Over time it should get more and more consistent as Apple fixes everything and refines the code.

  • Beowulf

    The biggest problem I have found is that since switching to IOS 7 shots taken outside are no longer sharp. I met a friend today I hadn’t seen in years. I took a couple of snaps of her and when I got home and checked them they were blurry. This never happened with IOS 6. Anyone else found what appears to be focus problems?

    • This sounds like a focusing bug, though I haven’t experienced it myself. Just to be sure, I recommend setting the focus manually whenever possible by tapping on the right part of the screen.

      I really hope Apple fixes this (and so many other) bugs soon.

    • Beowulf

      Thing is Emil why would it focus inside and not outside. Seems really weird to me. My phone has a case with a screen cover so if I’m taking a quick snapshot I usually don’t even look at the screen, I just press the side button. If I could revert back to IOS 6 today I would as I think they have screwed everything up.

    • Rae

      I hope they fix this ASAP! It’s horrible and SO disappointing. I bought my iPod 5 purely for the good camera!

    • Of course it wouldn’t focus on the outside, but you can manually select which parts inside the frame should be in focus. You can’t really take a properly composed photo without looking at the screen anyway.

  • meems

    i am VERY disappointed with IOS 7 upgrade’s effect on my camera. i use my iphone camera for my business (i run vintage fairs). a busy day yesterday, i was snapping away as usual for my social media, only to come home to find poorly aspected photos, blurs everywhere and frankly 70% unusable photos! gone is that spontaneity of photographing on the go to edit later. unhappy 🙁

    do you think i should “snap away” in Camera + ? will i find better composed originals? i really do not want to go back to hauling around a separate camera and setting up shots. my upgrade isn’t until god knows when, you know, with these two year contracts…

    • Camera+ will certainly help you with getting the composition right since their viewfinder is still accurate. If you also pay attention to the focus and set in manually every now and then, that should help with the blur problem.

      The aspect ratio issue is certainly frustrating, but I haven’t experienced any more blurred photos myself.

  • Jenna

    I am having trouble with viewing my photo’s taken in HDR. As you suggested i tried turning my phone and hitting edit. Nothing. I’m really hoping to figure this out-my daughters 4th bday party photos are lost otherwise!

    • Hi Jenna,

      I’m sure your photos are still there. Have you tried copying them to a computer?

      Just so that you know, you shouldn’t use HDR for birthday shots. It’s primarily useful for landscape photography.

  • I have 4s and will upgrade in December, so I appreciated your review. My main dislike is in the way the photos install into Collections/Moments. My photos won’t transfer to my computer via photostream as they did in iOS6. I’ve been selecting photos, sharing, via iCloud, naming the file and then the photos appear on my computer. Not sure if that is the way it should be done. Any advise?

    • Hi Nancy,

      I’m not sure what the problem is in your case. Photo Stream still works the same way for me. Have you looked into Settings –> Photos & Camera?

  • Beowulf

    Emil what do you mean when you say, ‘Of course it wouldn’t focus on the outside.’ I don’t understand that. Are you saying yest it will focus perfectly if you take photos inside in low light but don’t expect it to focus outside in day light! It always did with IOS 6 so what have they done in IOS 7 to screw it up is what peoiple want to know? And the whole idea of taking a snapshot is that you don’t have to open up the case and compose the photo and touch the part of the screen you want to be in focus. If I was going to have to go to all that trouble just to take a snapshot I would be using my Nikon DSLR!

    • OK, I think I understood you wrong the first time. Anyway, the focus still works for me both indoors and outside. With that said, a shot that you don’t bother to compose will never look good.

  • Angie

    I am having a hard time with my 5s now with the update…any brightness causes a major glare on my screen. I can hardly take pictures outside now. ANyone else have this issue? Do I have something set wrong?

  • Cecil

    I do not have a flash option on my iPad 3; however, my iPhone 3 has the flash. Bad download or bug?

    • There is no flash in your iPhone, but you still see the option in the Camera app?

  • Cindy

    Thank you for your post and video Emil. Unfortunately I’m experiencing almost all the same issue as previously mentioned and I upgraded an i5 with iSO7. Bad resolution, sometimes no flash when it’s pushed on, sometime too much black in the photo, and sometimes even a yellow tinge to the photo – and yes, I’ve checked to be sure I didn’t have a filter on.
    The big Apple should use your blog as a trouble shooter forum for their techs. It’s a very cheap way to gain focus group feed back.

    • I doubt they would ever do that. They’re Apple, after all…

  • Ivy

    Hi, Everyone. I have an iPhone 5 and after upgrading to the iOS 7 the pictures have become grainy. And when I check the pictures in the camera roll the pictures doesn’t seem to fit in the entire screen. I was very very happy with the camera of iPhone 5 and now this! I hope they get this fixed right away. I just downloaded Camera Plus as you advised, Emil. It takes better pictures than the the wonky camera of my iPhone 5. What. A. Waste. 🙁

    • I haven’t noticed any quality difference between Camera+ and the built-in Camera app, but it’s really hard to compose anything in default Camera on iPhone 4S.

  • Elena

    Hi Emil and thank you for the review!

    I have another strange thing. I’m very fond of HDR feature and use it constantly, it makes photos better almost always. But now even if HDR is on, my phone sometimes ignores it and creates only one normal photo, which is quite disappointing especially when the moment is gone. Hope they will fix it. Unfortunately have not seen any app which has HDR feature. 🙁

    • Hi Elena,

      There are a lot of apps with HDR. ProHDR is a good one, though photo capturing takes a lot longer with it.

  • Hugh

    Hi Emil,

    I’ve noticed several other problems with Photos on my iPhone 4s with ios 7. When I browse through my photos by swiping, the newly displayed photo often “jumps” before stabilizing. This does not occur with every photo. When a portrait-oriented photo is being viewed full screen, (i.e. with iPhone held vertically), the next photo will “jump to the LEFT” just as it’s swiped into place. Likewise, when a landscape-oriented photo is being viewed full screen, (i.e. with iPhone held horizontally), the next photo will “jump UP” just as it’s swiped into place.

    I think this problem is related to the mismatched aspect ratios you have talked about. This only happens when the photo is in full screen orientation. If a landscape photo is viewed with a vertical iPhone (i.e. black bars top & bottom), or a portrait photo is viewed with a horizontal iPhone (i.e. black bars left & right), this jumping does not happen. The jumping seems like a last moment image edge position adjustment within the viewing frame caused by the way they show the slightly cropped photo. For example, as you said, the camera takes a portrait photo that is 3w x 4h aspect ratio, but then displays it on the 2 x 3 screen by enlarging the image and cropping off the sides. The jumping seems to be when the cropped image is being lined up on the screen.

    This jumping also happens, but less frequently during a slideshow. And another minor complaint I have is that the slideshow transition “DISSOLVE” is basically non-existent, i.e. the photos change instantly … no dissolving transition.

    I am surprised that other iPhone 4s owners have not experienced this “JUMPING” problem with ios 7. It is not a subtle problem … It is very noticeable. I hope it is not something weird just with my iPhone 4S which is only two months old. Have you or anyone else out there seen this problem?

    • Hi Hugh,

      Yes, I have the jumping issue exactly as you described. It’s a bit annoying, but it’s one of those things that Apple will likely fix in a future update.

  • Sebastian

    Hi !

    since installing iOS7 on my 1 month old iPhone5 the main camera and the flash won’t work, i get only a black screen and the app freezes. I tried resetting, rebooting and everything…nothing works, seems to be a major software bug. I wonder why Apple won’t fix this !

    • I think they will, so far they have only released critical security updates to iOS 7.

  • Beowulf

    That’s the problem Emil. It’s the same when a new version of Windows comes out. 9 times out of 10 it’s crap and it takes months of downloading updates and patches before it starts to do what it was supposed to do in the first place by which time you are wishing you had stuck to the previous version. Apple went down the same road because other makes were bringing out better phones and they wanted to try and grab back the top spot. I would say that what they have actually did with IOS 7 is convert people to anything other than apple. It’s a shame because I love the design of the 5 but this piece of crap software has just screwed it in my opinion. Maybe sometime they will learn that getting it right first time is possible if you take your time and properly beta test it.

    • They could have tested it a bit more, and obviously they were forced to release the new iOS as soon as they could. With that said – and despite all the issues mentioned here – I would still upgrade to iOS 7.0 today.

      Maybe I’m just an optimist or an irrational fanboy, I don’t know 🙂

  • Nicholas

    Hi Emil,
    perfect post. I noticed the viewfinder and the cropped photos problems right after updating my 4s to iOS7.
    Have you reported this to Apple? I mean, i`m afraid they do nothing about this.

  • Joseph84

    Hi guys,
    I experienced on my poor 4S all the issues you described in this thread since i upgraded to iOS7 : very overexposed images, grainy pictures, the “jumping” problem Hugh just pointed out, the zoom thing, ..everything !
    I liked so much my “old” 4S, good enough to capture decent photos without carrying with me my bulky Sony camera.

    Now everything is ruined and the pictures quality dropped significantly: bleached, foggy and washed out outdoor pictures (indoor pics are still ok). I’ve got plenty of examples to post ! As many as you want .
    Mind you, Apple has just published the new iOS 7.0.3 , I hope some of those problems will be solved.

  • Completely agree with you about the framing issues with the new iOS7 camera. Hate the fact that that the ‘viewfinder’ is obscured with transparent bands and icons. I also hate the way that the 4S now shows photos cropped – they even jump slightly offscreen as you scroll between them. iOS7 is very slick design but very poor functionality.

  • Alex

    I hafta say, im no rofessional photographer but since the recent birth of my son, I have been taking pics like ther is no tomorrow. 🙂

    I have however noticed that using IOS6, my pics were clear, when I shot during the same conditions such as lighting and time of day. Since upgrading to IOS7, my pics are all grainy! Cannot get them to be clear.

  • Sunshine75

    I wish I never updated my iPhone 4S to ios7. The camera is a total nightmare….I really hate it. I can’t believe apple would not think about how the new software will affect their old devices and I’m rather quite miffed about that. I hope they get some kinda update out to fix the horrible grainy camera now. Not happy at all 🙁

  • Ang

    I have an iPhone 4S. I have not had enough memory to update to iOS7, however, I have compared my iOS6 photos to friends iOS7 photos (side by side and uploaded to a computer) and the photos are terribly different. They are grainy, blurry, dark etc. We have tried several different photos, i.e. action, stills, light, dark etc. I have not updated and probably will not after seeing what the photos look like before and after iOS7. I hope they figure out why this is happening and fix it. I would like to update but not at the expense of losing phenomenal photos!

  • Martijn

    I agree. I haven two i4S phones. One personal upgraded to ios7, one work still on 6.
    Always take pics with my personal phone but since upgrading i haven’t made a decent picture since. Thought it was me!
    Today i found this website and i’m a little happy i’m not alone. So after reading I took the same picture with both phones. iOS 6 is really great. Sharp, good light, detail. But iOS 7 is crap! Dark grainy not sharp..
    I can upload both pics somewhere of anyone wants to see the difference.

    • Hey Martijn,

      Could you do that? It would be good to see how big the difference is since I never had any problems with this.

  • Niall Mullen

    In iOS 7.0.3 I have noticed a wierd bug in the camera app. Try this toggle on HDR in portrait then toggle other controls on top right you will see the text overlaps each other like badly coded HTML !!! (tested on 2013 iPod Touch) Not sure if this was present in iOS 7.0.0 as I upgraded late from iOS 6

    • I’ve seen the same bug on my iPhone 4S when I was still running iOS 7.0.

  • Mike

    A problem I experienced with the upgrade is that my photo app Album Pro no longer functions. I have lost nearly my entire collection. The new pics I’ve taken are dark and grainy. Very disappointed!

    • Hey Mike,

      I know it doesn’t rally help you know, but you should never trust all your photos to a third party app like this.

  • rcg

    I have found that IOS7 seems to have changed the shutter button sensitivity to worse – on both mu iPhone5 and my wife’s iPhone 4. When I take a picture of myself I typically hold the iPhone up with my right hand at full arms length and click the shutter button with my middle finger. It used to click very easily with a light tap. Now it seems you have to really push it which in turn causes you to move the camera angle sometimes. Using the new volume button feature doesn’t make it any easier as doing that with the right hand means your hand it in the way of the shutter.



    • Hi Ronna,

      Have you tried setting exposure manually when you see that the photo might end up too dark?

  • Sheila

    Can you tell me how to fix camera on iPhone4 since last update the view & picture is hazy but not when I turn the camera around to myself

  • TErry

    My iPhone 5s won’t stay in HDR mode. My previous iPhone 5 on iOS 6 would stay in HDR mode: I didn’t have to toggle it on each time I opened the camera. I do have HDR toggled on in settings.

    • Hi Terry,

      I’m sure Apple did that on purpose so that people don’t accidentally leave HDR on – especially those who don’t really know what it is. I think they made the right choice.

  • Terry

    Thanks Emil. I was worried that I might have an issue, but if that’s apples intention, all well and good. I do miss a lot of HDR shots now, so it’ll take some getting used to. I generally prefer the HDR version.

  • It was a great article. Thanks. I agree with most parts specially the part about photos app. Its really a nightmare to me since the update to ios 7
    I always use my iphone and ipad to show my works to clients and friends and since the update i have to rescale every other picture one by one to get the proper ratio. I cannot understand Why would somebody want a photo to just fill the screen and lose the original composition???!!!!

    • Hi Amin,

      I understand your frustrations, I was equally annoyed when I upgraded. Luckily it’s all good on iPhone 5S, but Apple shouldn’t neglect their previous customers.

  • Amin

    Thanks for reply Mark
    I didnt know that its all good on 5s?!
    You sure about it?! Cause i use an iphone 5 and ipad 4th generation and both have the same issue

    • Just tap on the screen once and you’ll be good on iPhone 5/5S.

  • Jenny

    I am older woman.. So I am taking it slow, learning about how the upgrade works. As it was quite scary this change for me. I really enjoyed and learnt a lot on the first video… Thank you. I have played it several times with my iPhone in my hand making sure I got the gift of it. iPhone 4 I have but I don’t have the panorama. Did that come in the upgrade for 4.
    Tomorrow I will check out your 2nd video. Much appreciated this help.

    • Hi Jenny,

      I would recommend that you do not upgrade on iPhone 4. The phone will get much slower as it’s really not fast enough to run iOS 7. Everyone I know with iPhone 4 has regretted the upgrade.

      You won’t get panorama if you upgrade.

  • This is my 3rd replacement of the iPhone 5, trying to get a functioning camera. The flash does not work. The resolution on the camera is nothing short of deplorable. I have been taking all my pictures with iPhones since the I think the I phone came out, and have had them published and frankly now I don’t know what to do other than shop for a “real camera,” for my work now that the iPhone essentially has a poor quality almost non-functioning camera.
    Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Susan Fox
    My iPhone 4 pic of a rose was published in the ARS calendar. I can’t get a good pic now if my life depended on it.

  • There are few + and – in iOS 7. But overall it is good for user satisfaction.

  • oliyide femi

    My problem know with this ios7 is the my camera is not more working after I updraded my iphone4 to iOS 7.0.4 my back camera is working but if I switch over to front camera it will just hang and the both camera will stop working until I switch off the phone for hours till d back camera start working back. Pls I need a help to this problem in a result of solution to solve d problem on my iphone4 pls.

    • You should contact Apple directly with this issue, I don’t know what the problem is.

  • Mark

    Right on Sunshine. Not only does my phone run slower, the blinding white presentation of the screen is crap, the calendar is crap and the camera is crap. I can’t seem to find out how to attach a photo onto an email I can copy and paste one into the email, but no longer attach it. Doesn’t really matter however as the pictures are dark and grainy. A total CRAPPLE mess. This is the last overpriced Apple product I’m going to buy.

  • Laney

    Ios7 makes pics Have a pink color when flash is used. Wish I never upgraded.

  • andyd

    I am sitting here as close as I have ever been to being reduced to tears by technology 🙁
    My 4s on OSX5 started to play up having 3G of space being taken up by “others” and it was increasing daily. SO I had to update AND I had to update iTunes. iTunes is shocking i won’t event start on that but no cover flow, no iTunes dj, icons too big, no idea how to navigate. ohh its just awful. Then the iPhone. The pics that i carry around in my camera roll are now all cropped. Should i allow for this so i can show grandparents? Come on apple this is just shocking. Steve jobs must be turning in his grave. I want it all to stop 🙁

    • Sorry to say this, but you just have to get used to technology changing even if the changes make you feel uncomfortable at first. The easiest way for a tech company to go down is to stop innovating and changing things, even if it means that less users would get upset. The new iTunes are amazing, and iOS 7 is great besides the issues I discussed in this post.

  • Sumit

    Nothing in iOS 7 cheers me up. It is is still years away from androids and galaxies.

    Focussing on camera, things which could have been there are below:
    # Self timer, smile shutter, gesture recognition (see CamMe)
    # Exposure, focus, white balance control / lock
    # Macro mode.
    # Time Lapse, slow shutter, wide angle
    # Realtime exposure / white balance histogram
    # Anti-shake, image stabilisation and blur reduction
    # Scene selection – manual and automatic
    # Advanced filters, layouts, noise reduction
    # Geo-tagging

    All of these features are available in commercial apps.

  • monsterindian

    I guess you also have issue with your caps lock, you should get that fixed too :P. JK

    • Monica

      Lol 😉

  • Akiv Sagar

    i recently update my iphone 4 in ios 7 …but i cannot find pano and filter effect in camera app….why????plz help me…. 🙁

    • They’re not available on iPhone 4, you need 4S or later.

  • Annoyed

    I just finally updated on my 4…. I have the same impression as you did: I love most of the update but absolutely hate the new camera app. The worst part for me by far is the controls obscuring the viewing screen. Why would apple think that was a positive thing??

    And why does the apparent focal length change between square and regular shots? Have you noticed that? Hold your camera steady and switch between square and regular and look at the way things change in the viewfinder. It’s not just the aspect ratio crop…. It’s different perspective, distortion, etc, as though you were changing lenses….

    • I haven’t noticed the distortion you’re talking about, but I don’t really shoot in square, I prefer to create squares in cropping.

  • Lynda Carol Webster

    I hate ios7 is there any way I can go back to ios6,had no trouble with camera before

  • simone

    what about the picture when its dark and you need the flash? on my iphone 5 i can’t if i take a dark picture with a flash then you can’t see anything beacause it is om HDR and apparently i can’t have a flash on and turn off the HDR. Ergo I can’t take pics in the dark!

  • Lynda Carol Webster

    yea well all that’s very interesting how do I get my mobile back the way it was,im very annoyed.Can I get ios6 back and get rid of this I like it the way it was apple has stuffed things up I love my little camera and I want it the original way it was when I first got it do you get that APPLE

  • sweetlife4me

    i’m also have two iphones one with Ios 6 and one with IOS 7 and I see the same things. Pictures used to come out great… but with the IOS 7 on my iphone 4s they are terrible.. in every light situation. Also, when using the camera my phone is constantly blacking out.

    • 4s

      I’m with you kids. I kept thinking it was something I was doing. I had also used the Tap Tap app to take photos previously. I’ve bounced back and forth between the default camera and the app, indoors, outdoors, sunny, hazy, close up, across the Great Plains, makes zero difference. I don’t care if the designers of OS 7 need to make their mortgage payments. I’m out.

  • Roberta Thronson

    A little late to join the discussion but I am glad I stumbled onto it. I am so frustarted with the camera app on iphone 4s and ipad 4th gen that I am heavily researching SLR cameras. I need a camera that will capture high school sporting events (mainly swimming and football). I must have zoom, fast shutter and auto iso that doesn’t over-compenstae. These cameras are expensive so I’m thinking an app and lens may be the way to go until iphone 6 is available. I am consumer-not pro and know just enough to be dangerous. I would rather not carry another device if I don’t have to. All advice is welcome.

    • Honestly, for sports I’d get a DSLR. It’s pretty much the only thing that the iPhone can’t do well.

    • Roberta Thronson

      Thank you

  • itssmeee

    mine just kind of inverts my whole phone’s color, is there a way to take iOS 7 off of my iphone???? It wont let me take any photos and then when I do, it just completely messes up the entire screen, any way someone knows how to fix it??

  • Kelly

    all of sudden my iphone 4s any picture I take outside I cannot forward via email or text and I can only see it, in the camera roll. When I try to open the picture full screen it is blank. Anyone have any ideas to fix it?

  • TL

    Hating it compared to my 4S camera!! Can no longer get action shots of my kids, pics are blurry, & as you pointed out, the composition stinks. Definitely NOT the “only camera you’ll ever need!” anymore! So upset that I updated now. 🙁

    • Getting a dedicated camera app like Camera+ would solve all of that.

  • Ebhan King

    You need to double tap on the screen before you take the picture to focus in on a certain point. Simply double tap, let’s say, your friends face, and it’ll be crystal clear.

    • Tapping once will also do the trick 🙂

    • Tapping doesn’t help. I used to be able to take photos that were sharp, stayed in focus after I tapped on it, and were well composed. All that has gone now that I updated my iPhone 4S to iOS7.
      I had started using my phone camera instead of my real camera because it took lousy photos. Now they are both bad and I might as well not use the phone camera. It doesn’t take good photos anywhere, no matter the weather or the light.
      Apple really dropped the ball on this one.

    • That’s just not the case, I’ve been in touch with hundreds of iPhoneographers since the update and I can confirm that this imagined quality loss in iOS 7 simply doesn’t exist.

    • Rocklee

      Emil you couldn’t be more wrong on that. I have the same issue: my iPhone 4S camera take awful washed out and blurry photos especially in good weather conditions since I updated.

    • Zed

      The camera, clicking or no clicking, has taken the pure simplicity out of capturing shots I really needed.
      The grainy nature of the pics was a disgusting surprise

  • Monica

    At this point I would be almost ok with grainy pictures. Before the update I took pics everywhere and they were always fantastic!! After the dumb update – I’m lucky if it will even take a shot. 99.4% of the time – I take a picture and it either goes totally black on me and closes any camera apps that I was using, or it will tease me and make me think it for once took
    picture and then when I go to view – it shows my shots as being an all white frame. Beyond frustrating.
    I have a nice dslr camera, but I don’t carry it with me everywhere. I need to get this remedied ASAP. I loved my iPhone 4S before the update – now it just annoys me.

    • Have you updated to the latest version of iOS? It might be a good idea to take your iPhone to the Apple Store and show them what’s wrong.

    • Monica

      The iOS 7.0.6? No – not yet, when I read the details of that update I was hoping to see something about fixing issues; however, it seems that update is just for security issues.
      You are right though – I need to take a trip to the apple store and see what they say.
      I appreciate your response!!!

    • Monica

      I will say though that I have other camera apps – one is camera+, and after the update to iOS 7, they all don’t work anymore. 🙁

    • Again, check if all the other apps are updated to their latest version. I had a few annoyances with iOS 7 on my iPhone 4S but everything was still functional.

    • FedUp

      I am furious at everything about ios 7.0.6 on my ipad. I thought I was missing something all those months I didn’t have enough storage to do it. Finally did to video district chorus concert. Videos awful. Can’t zoom after video. Wallpaper move and scale doesn’t work. Calendar is so minimalist I can’t figure out where I am in the year, so resort go my phone. It’s slower. Screen freezes. Also haven’t taken a good pic since update. This summer in Europe, I took stunning video out of fast moving vehicle. The clarity and vibrancy of colors is stunning. A relative had an ipad for several months her daughter gave her. Every time I tried to help her with it I thought if was some knock off ipad. I couldn’t do anything on it.

    • FedUp

      FedUp…cont. after updating mine to 7, I see the problem. I even told her, something’s wrong with your ipad. Pics we took were never good like mine. We would take pics in same situation with our respective iPads, hers 7, mine 6. Every time, mine were superior, ios 6 was also more user friendly. I own a MacBook Pro, having joined the pack if Mac stuff!! Now, I see it’s a hype and is not delivering the goods like most NEW things. My Samsung Galaxy 4 is better than my ipad. I will not buy Apple again. So disappointed. What would they make it ugly and cheap looking? The update looks like a bad knock off of the real thing. I like clarity, not getting less for your money. I didn’t know before to research before

    • FedUp

      FedUp..cont. the update. Is Apple’s update to cause issues to make people go buy the newest ipad? I have read some of Apple’s excuses, explanations for the bugs. You know what? You don’t pay the money Apple products cost to have to “try this” “try that”! After you pay a lot of money for what should be a superior product, it’s absurd that people would put up with the product anymore. Apple is failing. It’s glory days are over. So disappointed go have my prized ipad ruined.

    • Just get an Android 🙂

  • Joseph84

    Guys finally iOS 7.1 is out. Any improvement ?
    I’m waiting for a sunny day to test my (poor) iPhone 4S camera.

  • Charles Coachman

    I have an Iphone 5 and just switched to the latest version of IOS 7 and now I can’t upload pictures to my computer. My computer comes up with a message that says there are no pictures on my camera. What can I do to resolve this?

    • Can you still see them on the iPhone? Then you should be fine, there has to be a way. You could always set up Photo Stream or use Photo Transfer App.

  • •^G!|!+¥777^•

    My iPhone4 camera is broken w/ iOS7. #Apple #AppleHelp #iOS7 #iOS7Problems

  • Mishelle

    Hi, i have an iphone 5c ios7 and my camara used to have the viewfinder full screen. I left my friend use my phone and now is not full screen and I don’t know how to change it back. I would be truly greatfull if you helped me by telling me how I can change it back to full screen.

    • Try swiping left and right with your finger near the shutter area. That way you can go through different camera modes.

  • Kinematic Labs

    Hey Emil check out @breezecamera – it uses artificial intelligence to make photo editing easier/faster/better! Can I send you a free download?!

  • Rock Lee

    This is how pictures turn out with ios7 on my iPhone 4S. Great, isn’t it..
    And just before you ask me, I wasn’t taking pics in front of the sun.

  • .


  • Guest


    • Bring it to Apple and show them the problem, I don’t think this has anything to do with software.

  • Beauty

    Why doesnt iPhone 4 have a HDR in the camera no more.

  • Vipul Kalra

    how to get the old camera app{ios 6} back on ios 7.1

  • Bia

    IOS7 have zoomed out all of my photos any advice??

  • fred

    I totally agree about the blur effect with the Iphone 5S. I’m not really sure if it is due to the last IO7 but the result is here.
    All my pictures are horrible, especially faces. Of course it is nice to have a blur effect on faces to remove small problems. But now, all the screen is howfull.
    I’ve check twice about the resolution 3264×2448 !!! But for sure, the result is still blurry and approximately comparable with a olg 640 x 400 camera !

    You want an exemple ??

    It’s so horrible that it becomes difficult to recongnize a dog at 10 meter !

    I’m pretty sure iphone 5s is able to do better pictures

    As a lot of people, I replaced my standard EOS camera to my iPhone… but now, all my pictures are good to send to the trash.

  • BajJ Mcqueef

    My camera keeps rotating my face example my right eye would be my left eye in the photo it makes my face look disproportionate

  • Lisa Bradley

    I just recently switched from the 4G to the 5S and every picture in every type of light source outside is HORRIBLE. I took it to the Apple Store and 3 different Reps said they tested it and could not find anything wrong with the camera and because I have had it more then 30 days, (i have owned it for 45 days), they will not refund my money or give me another phone. My pictures include the amusement park, front yard in broad daylight, concerts in both dusk and dark and they all suck. And when I watch the 5S advertisement which states that the 5S takes amazing pictures in any light and it supposedly uses both a white and amber flash to capture the best lighting, it makes me even more angry. And they sold us a $90 Life Proof phone case that they now say should not be used because it blocks the view of the camera. Yet, they are still marketing and selling them to people as a 5S case. And because I don’t have the original box, they won’t refund the case either. The pictures are no different whether I have the case on or not.

    I was wandering what you ever did with your I phone because I am at my wits ends with mine.

  • Gilead Deschain

    Hi people! The problem with the camera app on ios 7 for iphone 4s is a built in function when you take photos inside is that it compromises for darker interior settings automaticly. Take a photo inhouse with 4s on ios 7 and one with 4s on ios 6 you will notice that the picture is brigther but more grainy with ios 7. This is not the case outside with ios 7, outside the picture is ok.
    With ios native camera app, ALWAYS use the camera flash inside since this removes the autobrigthner function.
    Buy the Kitcamera app on app market for just around 5 dollars. This is the only camera app i could get to work good inside the house. It doesnt autobrigthen the picture like the new ios 7 camera app does.
    Good luck people!

  • Gilead Deschain

    Hi people! The problem with the camera app on ios 7 for iphone 4s is a built in function when you take photos inside is that it compromises for darker interior settings automaticly. Take a photo inhouse with 4s on ios 7 and one with 4s on ios 6 you will notice that the picture is brigther but more grainy with ios 7. This is not the case outside with ios 7, outside the picture is ok.
    With ios native camera app, ALWAYS use the camera flash inside since this removes the autobrigthner function.
    Buy the Kitcamera app on app market for just around 5 dollars. This is the only camera app i could get to work good inside the house. It doesnt autobrigthen the picture like the new ios 7 camera app does.
    Good luck people!

  • David G

    Does anyone know if iOS 8 has solved the viewfinder problems associated with iOS 7 on an iPhone 4S ?

  • Kaltstrom

    Best camera for ios is no competition.

  • yadhu

    When I shot at night most of my pics are blurry