The way your iPhone and a large camera like a DSLR focus and manage depth of field is one of the most obvious distinctions between the two. A DSLR's depth of field is easily controlled by adjusting the aperture; for example, a big aperture like f/4 produces a field of focus that is relatively narrow, but a small aperture like f/20 produces a deep depth of field where the majority of the image is in focus.
The iPhone and other smartphones, however, typically don't offer that kind of adaptability. You have minimal control over your depth of field without an aperture dial. And because of the laws of physics, most of your images have a deep depth of field due to the small sensor.
However, you don't have to be content with it. Control the focus on your iPhone to get the photographs you're going for.
Have a iPhone 14 or 13 Pro?
Swipe to Cinematic mode after opening the Camera app. To change the depth of field, tap the Depth Control button and move the slider. On the iPhone 14 / 13 Pro and iPhone 14 / 13 Pro Max, tap the 1x button to enter Telephoto mode. Press the button once more to return to Wide
Name the focus.
Most iPhone users, with the exception of complete beginners, are aware that you can instruct the device where to focus by touching on the screen. Tap on something close to the camera if you want the foreground to be in sharp focus. You want the background to be sharp. Click on a background topic. This won't matter very much if the majority of the objects and people are close to you and you can rely on the phone's autofocus to take care of the task for you. However, you can definitely change what is in focus if you have something that is both very close and fairly distant.
Separate your exposure and concentration.
The issue with that typical technique is that the iPhone simultaneously sets exposure and focus. If the foreground subject is also dark, the picture can wind up being overexposed. Install a better camera app to fix the issue; two favorites are Camera+ ($2) and Top Camera ($3). With either of these apps, you may tap independently to alter the exposure and focus. The end result: You are no longer forced to accept images that are either underexposed or overexposed just because you choose where to put the focus.
You can later modify the areas of the image you want to concentrate with AfterFocus.
It's not necessary to download a new camera app to benefit from this sophisticated focusing technique: Similar to how holding the shutter release button halfway down locks focus on a conventional digital camera, you can lock the focus on an iPhone. When you see a yellow box flashing around your finger, tap and hold that location on the screen for a short period of time. The screen will display "AE/AF Lock" if you release your grip. The focus and exposure will hold steady while you recompose the shot up until you press the shutter release button.
Recreate the depth of field of a DSLR.
The depth of field that a camera produces increases with the size of the image sensor. That is why when it comes to taking pictures with romantically blurred backgrounds, smartphones and small digital cameras fall short of digital SLRs. Help is available, though. Utilize a $1 app like AfterFocus. Open an old image or take a new one, and then draw a line over the parts you want to be in sharp relief and out of focus. The background is then automatically blurred by the software, giving you a realistic photo with fake depth of field.
After the fact, you can adjust depth of field.
A camera known as Lytro is one of the wonders of contemporary engineering; it makes use of a complex network of sensors to simultaneously capture crisp focus throughout the whole picture.
After that, you can easily switch the focus point by clicking while using specific software. Want the foreground to be fuzzy and the background to be sharp? You can complete it with a single click and change your mind as frequently as you'd like. FocusTwist ($2) lets you replicate the effect on your iPhone. With this software, a scene is captured in a brief video and then shown as a still photograph. When you tap an area of the image, the scene adjusts to put that area in focus.