The iPhone is great at capturing still images and video without lots of moving objects. However, the iPhone's autofocus will attempt to correctly focus on moving subjects, and it will sometimes focus on the wrong object, causing the video to be out of focus. Sure, you can tap to refocus on the object you want, but once the object moves again, the video or photo will be out of focus again.
Let's take a look at how to use AE/AF Lock feature of the Camera app to lock the focus to a particular subject in your photos and videos, which will keep the exposure and focus correctly set during the entire capturing process.
Follow these steps to use the AE/AF lock in your video capture process:
- Open the Camera app on your iPhone
- Set the capture mode to Video
- Tap and hold on the screen where you want to set the focus and exposure (usually on the foreground subject)
- Hold the tap until AE/AF Lock appears on the screen (Figure A)
Locking the exposure and focus ensures that the camera will not try to autofocus on subjects.
Whenever you do this, the focus and exposure will be set to the values that you've specified until you stop the capture. While capturing, keep the same distance from the subject, plus the same lighting environment, and your subject will be perfectly clear the entire time that you're capturing the video.
This same process works across all modes on the iPhone 6: Panoramas, slow-mos, and even time lapse. This is especially great when capturing a long time lapse video or long exposure photo to ensure crispness in the end result.
When you wish to cancel out of AE/AF Lock mode, there are two ways you can cancel:
- Tap anywhere in the Camera app, as though you were focusing the camera to cancel
- Close the Camera app by pressing the home button, then reopen the Camera app
What other tips and tricks do you have for recording video on the iPhone? Let us know in the discussion thread below.
Cory Bohon is an indie developer, creating both iOS and OS X applications at Cocoa App (his own company), MartianCraft, and for various other clients. As a part of full disclosure, he does not write about any software that he has created or has helped to create through these outlets.
Cory Bohon is an indie developer specializing in iOS and OS X development. He runs a software company called Cocoa App and is also a developer at MartianCraft. He was introduced to technology at an early age and has been writing about his favorite technology part-time since 2007. He runs a development blog named ObjDev when he isn’t writing about consumer tech.