If you have any of the newer iPhones, you’ve probably noticed that when you take a photo with the camera, black bars always appear on either side of the image. The aspect ratio of the iPhone screen is different from the aspect ratio of the photo, so the image does not fill the entire screen.
For someone like me, this is just an annoyance. Yes, there are advantages to how Apple does this, which I’ll discuss below, but it still disappoints me that I can’t enjoy full-screen capture on my iPhone.
Fortunately, there are several ways to take and view photos you have already taken in widescreen format on iPhone. In this post, I’ll show you how to edit photos to be widescreen, and how to take pictures in widescreen, although the latter option has some caveats.
Before we dive into the details, let’s try to understand why black bars appear on both sides of the photo in iPhone photos, as shown below:
The iPhone takes photos with a 4: 3 aspect ratio. Why? Well, obviously this is the preferred ratio in photography because it captures more pixels in an image and is the preferred format for printing, etc. If they were using a 16: 9 ratio for photographs, then you would not be able to capture as many. in every frame.
Have you ever noticed that when you switch from photo to video on iPhone, the camera zooms in? This is because HD video is shot in a 16: 9 aspect ratio and therefore fills the entire screen. The downside is that the image needs to be cropped and the field of view is much smaller.
In my opinion, Apple should have added the ability to take photos with a 16: 9 aspect ratio and simply warn users that the resolution will be lower than the maximum possible for an image with a 4: 3 aspect ratio. In my tests, a photo with a maximum resolution in 4: format: 3 from my iPhone 6S Plus was 4032 x 3024.
On iOS, there are two ways to get your photos in 16: 9 widescreen format: either by editing the photo or by taking a photo while shooting a video. If you edit a 4: 3 photo and convert it to 16: 9, the resulting resolution is 4032 x 2268. If you take a 16: 9 photo while filming, the resolution will end up being 3840 x 2160.
So what does this mean? Basically, if you like widescreen, just keep taking photos in the standard 4: 3 ratio and just edit them to 16: 9 later as I did above. You will have to crop the image a little (in height), but you will get the highest resolution photo.
Widescreen photos on iPhone
Okay, now that you understand how photos are captured and displayed on a phone, let’s talk about two ways to get widescreen photos. The first method is the easiest, but for this you need to shoot a video.
Open the Camera app and switch to video. When you start shooting video, you will see a white circle at the bottom of the screen. This allows you to take pictures while recording video.
There are several reasons why this is not the best way to get widescreen photography. First, you need to shoot a video to take a widescreen shot. Obviously, you can just delete the video later, but who wants to keep shooting the video every time they want to take a photo?
Secondly, as I mentioned earlier, the resolution of a photo taken in camera mode is lower than if you were simply editing a standard 4: 3 photo. So let’s talk about how to edit a photo. Open the Photos app and tap on the photo you want to edit.
In the upper right corner, click on the “Edit” link.
Now click on the first icon at the top, which is for rotating and cropping the image.
A few more icons will appear along with a wheel that you can use to rotate the image. In our case, we need to click on the aspect ratio button at the bottom, next to the Cancel button.
You will now have a popup with several different aspect ratios to choose from. Scroll down the page to find the 16: 9 aspect ratio and click on it.
Finally, you need to crop the image by moving it with your finger. The part inside the box will become your new widescreen photo.
Click Done and your photo will now be in widescreen format! That’s all. Unfortunately, this cannot be done with a package, set, or photos in one go. You have to manually edit every photo you want in widescreen format.
If that sounds too painful, you can download an app from the App Store called Camera +. You can change the shooting mode to 16: 9, and the images will be automatically saved in regular film.
Just click on the little plus sign next to the big white circle button and then select the widescreen icon from the menu that appears. To save images to your Camera Roll, click on the little hamburger icon (three lines), then click Autosave and select Camera Roll.
This is probably the easiest way to ensure that all of your photos are taken in widescreen format, without having to manually do anything else. The image resolution was also 4032×2268, so this is also the highest possible resolution in this format. There are many other great things you can do with this app, so it’s worth it if you enjoy widescreen images all the time.
I hope these tips will help you understand and enjoy the photos you take on your iPhone. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to comment. Enjoy!