How to Use the Hidden Camera Level Tool in iOS 11

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Feb 16, 2018.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Apple's native Camera app in iOS 11 has plenty of tools for helping you get the right shot, but some are more hidden than others. The camera level is the perfect example of a really handy tool that many users don't even know exists, mainly because it's part of a feature that's turned off by default.

    If you tend to take pictures of things when standing directly over your subject, like a meal on a table or an ornament on the ground, then you'll want to use the camera level, as it helps you capture a balanced shot without having to use a tripod arm or mount. It's also useful for taking a shot of something directly above you, like an object on the ceiling or in the sky.

    Here's how to enable and use it on iOS 11.

    How to Enable the Camera Level on iPhone and iPad

    The camera level tool is part of the Grid overlay, which is useful in itself for applying the rule of thirds in your pictures for more balanced compositions. First then, you need to turn on Grid mode.

    1. Open the Settings app on your iOS device.
      Scroll down the list and tap Camera.
      Toggle on the switch next to Grid.

    How to Use the Camera Level on iPhone and iPad

    1. Open the Camera app on your iOS device.
      Set the capture mode to Photo, Portrait, Square, or Time Lapse, using the sliding menu above the shutter button.
      Point the camera straight down above your subject (or straight up if the subject/scene you want to capture is above you).
      Line up the floating crosshair with the fixed crosshair in the center of the screen by adjusting the angle of your phone's camera. The crosshairs will both glow yellow when in perfect alignment.
      Tap the shutter button to capture the shot.
    The aligned crosshairs turn yellow (right), indicating the lens is parallel with the ground.

    The level tool also comes in handy when scanning documents on a desk with your phone's camera, but iOS now offers a dedicated scanning feature in the Notes app, so you'll probably want to use that instead.

    Article Link: How to Use the Hidden Camera Level Tool in iOS 11
  2. mtneer macrumors 68020


    Sep 15, 2012
  3. jayducharme macrumors 68040


    Jun 22, 2006
    The thick of it
    Never knew about that. I can see where that might be handy, but I wish those crosshairs were visible all the time in Grid mode, instead of just when the camera is horizontal. Maybe Apple assumes the grid itself will help you align when the camera is vertical.
  4. TheKrs1 macrumors 6502

    Apr 11, 2010
    Me either - iPhone 7+
  5. OneBagTravel macrumors 6502


    Oct 18, 2013
  6. Someirishguy macrumors member


    Mar 27, 2016
    It’s only when you’re pointing the camera straight down
  7. Porco macrumors 68030


    Mar 28, 2005
  8. vista.john macrumors regular

    Oct 24, 2008
  9. CrystalQuest76 macrumors 6502a

    Dec 14, 2015
    West Cost A Lot
    Thanks for pointing that out. I was thinking the feature was being blocked by a bug on my phone.
  10. cuwickliffe macrumors member


    May 8, 2014
    It's not really evident unless you're directly over an object. The phone has to be +/- 1-degree level to even see the crosshairs. Works on iPhone 6s Plus.

  11. ArtOfWarfare macrumors G3


    Nov 26, 2007
    Hm. I've always had the grid turned on (rule of thirds), since it was first available I don't remember how many years ago... I feel like it was available on my 3GS under iPhone OS 3.

    Anyways, first time I've ever noticed that when you tilt beyond a certain point, those crosshairs show up.
  12. timborama macrumors 6502

    Oct 12, 2011
    More importantly, how do I turn off the crosshairs and leave the grid on?!? Or right, you CAN’T! Thanks Apple. :mad:
  13. iVoid macrumors 65816

    Jan 9, 2007
    Well, that's..... useful for taking downward pictures... Would have loved the level to be available in regular shots so I can level the camera to keep the horizon level in my landscape shots.
  14. CPx macrumors 6502

    Sep 6, 2013
  15. Babygotfont macrumors member


    May 16, 2016
    Mo emogee’s please
  16. BasicGreatGuy Contributor


    Sep 21, 2012
    In the middle of several books.
    Thanks for the post. I never knew about this feature.
  17. UberTiger macrumors newbie

    May 9, 2009
    This really highlights how poorly designed some of the Apple apps are that you have to leave the app and dig into a submenu of the completely seperate settings app to toggle features like this.

    It’s mad that you also have to go to this page to change the camera recording quality.
  18. samh004 macrumors 68020


    Mar 1, 2004
    I like that all settings are found in one area, saving the app from clutter.

    As for this ‘feature’ – I assumed everyone knew. Been using it for a while. Useful when ‘scanning’ documents.
  19. BornAgainApple, Feb 16, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2018

    BornAgainApple macrumors 6502a


    Jun 9, 2009
    Not with my iPhone 7 either

    Edit: I posted before reading others’ comments, it does work, but it doesn’t make much sense if it will only work facing down. How often do people actually take photos in that manner?
  20. PimpDaddy macrumors 6502


    May 9, 2007
    Are the crosshairs a big problem for you? If yes, why? I’m just curious.
  21. MacSince1985 macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2009
    Like most iOS app settings, it's in the wrong location. You should be able to change app settings within the app instead of having to exit the app, open the Settings app, scroll down to find that app, change the setting, close the Settings app and re-open the app you were using in the first place.
  22. davbman macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2008
    True would be nice to see something as well when vertical. However, when you go to your Photos the you took. Tap edit on a picture. Then tap Crop option at bottom. By default you will see it adjust and angle your photo to be level. You can just tap done if you want right then and the pic is saved with proper alignment.

    I know, more steps to do so, but if you really want a level pic, you can do that.
  23. jayducharme macrumors 68040


    Jun 22, 2006
    The thick of it
    Didn't know that, either. Thanks!
  24. Phonephreak Suspended


    Aug 24, 2017
    Here and there

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