15 apps for fixing blurry iPhone photos

15 apps for fixing blurry iPhone photos

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White coffee cup and smartphone blurred background. Stylish grey and white defocused photo. Morning coffee and social media concept. Cozy grey bed cloth, hot cacao and touchscreen phone. Black screen
In case of a blurry photo, use a good editing app to improve the sharpness.

Blurring a photo is an artful technique if used the right way; however, it’s also infuriating if you don’t get it on purpose. Now, you can’t just dispose of a good photo because it’s a little blurry, right? This is where the powerful apps for fixing blurry iPhone photos come in today. 

If you think an app can salvage that blur in your selfie or group photo, then choose from any of the ones we listed below. 

15 apps for fixing blurry iPhone photos

The market for mobile editing apps is indeed saturated. However, the apps on this list definitely stand out. 

1. ProCamera

This photo is shot on iPhone 11 and edited on ProCamera app.

Required iOS: 

iOS 12.2 or watchOS 4.3 and later

What’s up with it? 

The ProCamera app is one of those go-to apps for fixing blurry iPhone photos, but its other features are also impressive. 

It has DSLR-level features such as RAW and Depth editing, which is not easily available on most iPhone models. They also added new editing tools like color adjustments and cropping formats. 

For a simple task like fixing blurry iPhone photos, you can accomplish it on this $5.99 app in a breeze. And if you’re still wanting more than post-processing? It won’t disappoint with the Anti-Shake feature for clearer, non-hazy snapshots.

Install the ProCamera here.

2. Camera+ 2

https://www.instagram.com/p/B5df33DBv8S/

Required iOS: 

iOS 12.0 or later

What’s up with it? 

Camera+ 2 goes bold by saying that they’re the “the best and most powerful camera app available”; however, it’s hard to argue against that.

The features are so comprehensive that it’s almost like having a DSLR camera on an app. Like the ProCamera app, it has RAW and Depth editors. 

As for fixing blurry iPhone photos, you can use its Clarity Pro feature. It transforms any photo into a high-definition image, with bolder shadows, enhanced vibrancy, and clearer details. The Stabilizer mode will also help you capture clear, sharp pictures. 

More importantly, it supports HEIF files, which means you can get high-quality photos even in small sizes.

Get the Camera+ 2 app here.

3. LightX

The latest photo from LightX.

Required iOS: 

iOS 10.0 and watchOS 2.1 or later.

What’s up with it? 

Similar to the first two apps, LightX is also brimming with advanced features. 

The difference, however, is LightX is more focused on editing and image-altering, particularly on making the photo’s background transparent. The previous two are both high-power camera & editing apps. 

LightX has the complete editing tools on its arsenal, both essential and professional. You can adjust the curves, tones, and hues, but you can also make your hazy photo clearer as well. 

It also has a “selective editing tool”, where you can specifically enhance one area of an image without changing the rest. If a subject in your photo moved while you captured them, this could be useful in reducing the motion blur. 

You can get LightX here.

4. Photo Editor PRO

Photo Editor PRO on iPhone
Photo Editor PRO on iPhone

Required iOS: 

iOS 8.1 or later

What’s up with it?

The Photo Editor PRO is a no-fuss app for people who live fast lives and need a user-friendly app for fixing blurry iPhone photos. 

It’s not so complex and advanced like the others on this list, but it has all the important essentials. Photo Editor PRO will let you adjust any photo’s sharpness, lighting, orientation, and color. 

And when you have a breakout but still want a selfie so badly, you can also enhance your skin on this app. 

If you’re posting for a personal, everyday Instagram account, this is one reliable free app you should try. 

Download the Photo Editor PRO here.

5. Adobe Lightroom

The official Instagram account of Lightroom features this cute photo of two ponies.

Required iOS: 

iOS 12.3 or later

What’s up with it?

Does it even need an introduction? Lightroom is probably the most recommended app on this list. But to be fair, those recommendations are not baseless. 

Lightroom Mobile is Adobe’s gift to smartphone photographers.

With its powerful camera and editor, it’s definitely built for photography. On Lightroom mobile, fixing blurry iPhone photos is no hassle with the Sharpening slider, under the Detail tool. You can also enhance its Clarity and Contrast. 

Also, if you install Lightroom, it will bring a highly advanced camera, RAW editing, Batch editing, AI, and Creative Cloud Storage to your iPhone. 

Get Lightroom for iOS here.

6. Photoshop Express Photo Editor

This photo is edited using the Photoshop Express app.

Required iOS: 

iOS 11.2 or later

What’s up with it?

Photoshop Express is another great weapon by Adobe for fixing blurry iPhone photos. And we wrote it next to Lightroom on purpose, so we can differentiate them better.

Let’s get this straight: Lightroom is a no-hassle but still powerful photo editor. Everything is pretty much automatic there, which is awesome if you want a fast and uncomplicated workflow. Meanwhile, Photoshop Express is an app that demands more work. The editing is more manual, but still intuitive nonetheless. 

On Photoshop Express, you can use the Sharpen slider to make your blurry photo crisper. Besides that, you can remove its noise, improve its clarity, and apply filters to it. You can also create collages with your photos here.

Try the Photoshop Express here now.

7. Lensa

Lensa app on iPhone
The AI-powered Lensa app on iPhone.

Required iOS: 

iOS 12.1 or later

What’s up with it?

Moved while capturing a quick selfie? You should try Lensa. This AI-powered app is specifically designed for enhancing selfies. That means the camera will automate the retouching of your selfie.

You can sharpen your photo or throw in a bokeh effect in Lensa. It also has a magic correction for your complexion, teeth whitening, contrast sliders for your eyes and eyebrows, and even a Petzval lens effect. 

Its developers, Prisma Labs, are the same people behind the award-winning app on iOS and Android, Prisma. 

You can install Lensa here.

RELATED: 12 best selfie lights for iPhone: 2019 review

8. Focos

This is a gorgeous close-up shot post-processed using the Focos app.

Required iOS: 

iOS 11.0 or later

What’s up with it?

Are you interested in capturing depth? You can dive right in with this wonderful app called Focos. 

Focos primarily offers tools for capturing the depth of field in a photo. That means you can easily create the bokeh effect with this app. However, you can also sharpen your subject by selectively blurring its background. 

If your iPhone has Portrait Mode, Focos will be a good backup camera in case your native iOS camera captures an awry looking portrait. You know, iPhone does that sometimes, so it would be nice to install this app.

You can grab Focos here.

RELATED: Complete guide to capturing depth in iPhone photography

9. Faded – Photo Editor

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Family time

A post shared by Ryan Rainer (@ryanrainer) on

This photo surfaced when we searched the #MadeWithFaded hashtag on Instagram.

Required iOS:

iOS 10.0 or later

What’s up with it?

Faded has been recognized by Apple, Shutterstock, The Guardian, and even Starbucks as a premier editing tool. 

Besides sharpening a blurry photo, you can also apply filters, adjust the exposure manually, and put overlays and cool effects like light leaks and vibrant gradients. You can also change the ISO and capture with a compositional grid. 

If you don’t like clutter on your editing tool, then Faded is for you. It has a minimalist black and white editing interface. 

You can start your 3-day trial with Faded here.

10. Afterlight

This lady makes her way downtown.

Required iOS: 

iOS 11.0 or later

What’s up with it?

Afterlight is the second Editor’s Choice on this list, along with Lensa. 

This app is particularly lauded for being simple but powerful. It has the basics such as sharpness, saturation, contrast, and exposure. However, it has delicious extras, as well.

It has heaps of filters (over 130 styles), light leak effects made with a 35mm film, dusting, frames, and even fonts. You can also improve your photo with more than 20 professional manual tools. 

Want to try out Afterlight? Install it here.

11. Snapseed

Iphone screen. On the screen of the iPhone is open a Snapseed of photos. - fixing blurry iPhone photos
Snapseed is one of the most popular editing apps today. It’s developed by Google.

Required iOS: 

iOS 10.0 or later 

What’s up with it?

Now, this list wouldn’t be complete with Snapseed. It’s up there with Lightroom and VSCO for being famous editing apps. 

Apparently, people love its friendliness, its intuitiveness. It has a minimalist interface and the tools are neatly stacked. For instance, under the Details tool, you can reduce the blurriness of your photo by swiping the Sharpening tool. 

However, its strength lies in the variety and quantity of its features. The coolest things about Snapseed is that its range of filters and that it supports RAW files. It also offers a selective filter brush, HDR, retro effects, and many more.

Snap your photos with Snapseed here.

12. Fotor

This photo is featured on the official Instagram account of Fotor.

Required iOS: 

iOS 8.0 or later

What’s up with it?

Does quantity really equate quality? Well, for Fotor, it definitely might. 

More than 350 million users have edited their pictures on Fotor. And if you look at its intuitive editing interface but powerful editing tools, you might not doubt why. 

Fotor can allow you to create collages, add filters and frames, adjust your photo’s highlights, shadows, or sharpness, and many more. 

Also, if you’re planning to take a portrait but don’t have a budget for a photography studio, you can rely on its one-touch enhancements.

Fotor is a reliable and ideal starting tool for amateur smartphone photographers.

Capture your first photo with Fotor by installing it here. 

13. Photo Editor by Axiem Systems 

 Photo Editor by Axiem Systems - fixing blurry iPhone photos
Photo Editor by Axiem Systems on iPhone

Required iOS: 

iOS 9.3 or later

What’s up with it?

At a glance, Photo Editor by Axiem Systems is not trying to impress anyone. Well, maybe it really isn’t, but for its users, it’s a prolific, trustworthy tool. 

It has numerous features that let you sharpen or blur photos, add effects, stickers, remove blemishes, and many more. It also has an HD camera. 

Their latest updates brought improvements to the camera, new filters, more dynamic filters, and a new subscription service. 

You can try their Pro version for free for 7 days here

14. PixelPoint

PixelPoint app - fixing blurry iPhone photos
The PixelPoint app on iPhone

Required iOS: 

iOS 10.3 or later

What’s up with it?

PixelPoint isn’t trying to show off, but a million people all over the world still thinks it’s impressive and reliable. 

It has the basic and professional editing tools you’d find in other apps, but it’s filters are uniquely stylish. It even has an Oil Painting, Cartoon, and Sketch photo effects. 

If you post a lot on Instagram, then you could definitely use the flattering filters of PixelPoint. 

Begin creating iconic photos with PixelPoint here

15. VSCO

This vibrant shot is edited using the VSCO app.

Required iOS: 

iOS 12.0 or later

What’s up with it?

Last but definitely not least, we have here VSCO. Popular among young people, VSCO has come far from being a simple, minimalist editing tool. Today, it’s now a dynamic photo-editing and -sharing platform. 

VSCO’s edge is its few but gorgeous filters, which can dramatically improve any boring photo. It even has filters and effects from famous cameras like Kodak, Fuji, and Agfa. Its Hue, Saturation, and Luminance (HSL) tool attracts amateurs and professional shutterbugs as well. 

You can, of course, still do the basics in VSCO. You can increase your blurry photo’s sharpness, along with its contrast and exposure on the app. 

Start editing and flaunting your works on VSCO here.

More tips on capturing sharp iPhone photos

Besides using apps to edit your blurry photos, you can invest in several things to take crisper, sharper photos. Follow our tips below. 

1. Wipe your camera lens. 

dirty iPhone 11 Pro camera lenses. - fixing blurry iPhone photos
Maybe your iPhone camera lenses are just dirty? Give them a good ol’ wipe!

Super close up shot of the Apple 2019 flagship iPhone 11 Pro Max camera with lots of dust around the camera lens

The hazy appearance on your photo might be caused by an unclean lens cover. Make sure to wipe it every now and then—not just before taking a photo. 

Now, make sure to use a gentle cloth to wipe it, to avoid scratching the glass.  

2. Use other ways to capture your photo. 

If you think using your camera’s shutter is too difficult, you can try these other ways to release the shutter button. 

  1. Use your earpod’s Volume up or Volume down button. 
  2. Set a self-timer.
  3. Invest in a remote shutter button. 

3. Invest in a handheld gimbal. 

a person holding an iPhone on a gimbal, recording a video of sliced potatoes. - fixing blurry iPhone photos
A trusty gimbal is essential for content creators.

Regardless if your iPhone has an Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), your photos will still likely become blurry if you don’t have a steady hand. 

If you want sharp photos or videos all the time, then you might want to invest in a handheld gimbal. This is the most foolproof way to get sharp and clear photos.

Some handheld gimbals even have control panels that help you adjust the ISO, shutter speed, and white balance. Especially if you’re an outdoorsy iPhone photographer, a good handheld gimbal will be a worthy investment. 

4. Practice shooting with steady hands.

A girl taking a photo of a cup of coffee beside her laptop. - fixing blurry iPhone photos
Use your hands a.k.a. your body’s gimbal.

It’s not always the reason, but maybe you’re shooting like an amateur, hence the blurry/shaky photos. Don’t worry, though—there are techniques in holding an iPhone. 

  • Hold your iPhone with both hands. This way, not only can you keep the camera steady but you can also keep your fingers closer to the shutter button.
  • Keep your elbows close to your body. 
  • If you have anything hard or solid nearby, lean on it for extra support. 

5. Learn how to use your iPhone camera’s focus. 

A person taking a photo of the road. - fixing blurry iPhone photos
Your iPhone camera sometimes needs help from you when focusing on a subject.

One of the culprits of blurry photos is missed focus. Having trouble with your camera focusing on your subject? It’s time that you study the way your iPhone camera focuses. 

When your iPhone camera focuses on the background instead of the subject, it can get an awkward and incoherent blurry appearance. To prevent this from happening, you have to tinker with the AE/AF lock on your iPhone’s camera. 

The AE/AF lock means “Auto Exposure” and “Auto-Focus” lock. It is the feature that helps you secure the focus on a certain area and its exposure. 

If you don’t use the AE/AF lock, your camera will just go ahead and choose on which area to focus. 

How to lock the AE/AF on your iPhone camera

If you’re taking a photo of a person, this is how you can set the right focus with your iPhone camera.

  1. Position the subject at the right distance from your camera.
  2. Instead of tapping quickly on the subject on the camera’s viewfinder, long-press on it. 
  3. Wait until you see the yellow “AE/AF Lock” and box on the viewfinder before you release your finger. That means your camera’s focus is locked on your subject. 
  4. If the exposure is a little off, swipe up to increase it for the best result.
  5. Don’t move closer or farther from your subject. If you really need to, tap once on the viewfinder to reset the AE/AF lock. 
  6. Satisfied with your subject’s focus and appearance? Tap the shutter button. 

6. For close-up photos, use a macro lens. 

If you are frequently taking extremely close-up photos, you will be better off investing in a macro lens for iPhones. 

Macro lenses will help your iPhone camera properly focus on tiny objects shot a very close distance. Compared to regular lenses, macro lenses have a higher focus distance. 

As a result, your photo will have a more accurate and balanced depth of field. Your subject will never be blurred again. 

You can buy different kinds of macro lenses for iPhones on the web, so it’s best to get to know them first. 

1. 4x macro lenses

A macro shot of bright, shiny green grass enlightened by the warm afternoon sun. - fixing blurry iPhone photos
You can capture a dreamy photo like this using a 4x macro lens.

This is the easiest and probably the cheapest type of mobile lens you can buy. You can even purchase it in the form of a band, which you can tie around your iPhone. The 4x macro lens will give you a flawless depth of field, which is useful if your iPhone doesn’t have two cameras.

2. 7x macro lenses 

Macro shot of an antique and weathered vintage key in his keyhole - fixing blurry iPhone photos
Expose the beauty of minute things using a 7x macro lens.

This will give you a better focus of intricate details, compared to regular lenses. However, it can still expose a bit of the subject’s background. So, if you’re taking a picture of an inanimate object with text or tiny patterns on it in a beautiful garden, you can rely on this lens.

2. 14x macro lenses

Beautiful nature scene dragonfly. Showing of eyes and wings detail. Dragonfly in the nature habitat using as a background or wallpaper. - fixing blurry iPhone photos
You can zoom in and capture the magnificence of insects using a 14x macro lens.

The 14x macro lenses will give you an even better and more powerful focus at tinier objects or living things. For instance, if you’re taking a picture of a dragonfly, the 14x macro lenses will focus on it effortlessly. The 14x macro lenses will even focus on your clothing’s threads. 

3. 21x macro lenses

Macro photo of rare, unusual snowflake with twelve arms, complex structure and elegant shape. - fixing blurry iPhone photos
Every snowflake is unique. Capture one using a 21x macro lens!

The 21x macro lens offers the highest level of magnification. Together with your iPhone camera, investing in a 21x macro lens will allow you to zoom in up to 100x. It will help you capture objects almost invisible to the naked eye such as snowflake patterns. 

7. Invest in a good tripod. 

Finally, if you’re serious about iPhone photography, you should never pass up the opportunity to get a good tripod. 

Besides making the camera steady, a good tripod will give you more independence. You will take better selfies anywhere since you can use the self-timer. 

As for when buying tripods, make sure to choose a sturdy one with a firm grip. You can find tripod brands that are known for being sturdy but will not drill a hole in your wallet.

In a nutshell…

These iOS apps may be of good help in editing your photos, but it’s more important that you invest in improving your skills. After all, you can’t forever rely on a band-aid solution. 

That’s why besides installing those apps we listed, you should also follow our tips above. 

Which of those apps do you find the most helpful? Do you know more tips on capturing sharp photos? Share your answers in the comments!

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