Has this happened to you? You turn on your iPhone’s camera to take a picture, but you see something strange: your phone seems to switch between camera lenses on its own, making it impossible for you to take a picture. After all, how can you properly frame a frame when the lens is constantly changing?
One of the reasons this happens is due to your lighting conditions. If you try to use the zoom lens in low light, your iPhone will instead switch to the main (also known as wide-angle) camera and increase the digital zoom. If you switch between lighting conditions, you can see this in action. This is a weird feature of iOS, but it doesn’t explain why the camera lens shifts when you use the wide-angle camera. No zoom lens. Some iPhones don’t even have a zoom lens, only wide and ultra-wide.
Macro mode automatically switches your iPhone’s cameras.
The problem is related to the iPhone macro mode, which is included in the iPhone 13 Pro, 13 Pro Max, 14 Pro, and 14 Pro Max. It’s well-intentioned: This Apple-designed feature automatically switches to the ultra-wide-angle camera when it detects you’re moving the camera closer to a subject. It then intelligently takes a picture with additional details that looks as if from a wide-angle lens. So you don’t really get that iconic “ultra-wide” look.
This can be a great way to take close-up shots of subjects, but it’s confusing when you move between subjects and see your camera switch without notice.
How to disable macro mode on your iPhone
If you think you want to use this feature for close-ups but only want to turn it off once, you can tap the Macro icon (yellow flower) that appears in the corner of the viewfinder. When you do this, your iPhone will switch back to the main camera and the macro icon will turn gray. However, the next time you use the camera and it detects a close-up, macro mode will turn back on.
If you want to make sure macro mode stays off but keeps the icon in the corner if you ever want to turn it back on go to Settings > Camera > Save settings, then tap the Macro switch. However, if you want to permanently disable macro mode, you can go to Settings > Camerathen scroll down and turn off “Macro Mode”.
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