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Grainy photos are a bummer—unless that’s the look you were going for. The good news is you can easily fix grainy photos on your iPhone… even without using Photoshop!
In this post, we listed several tips on how to fix grainy photos on your iPhone.
How to fix grainy photos on iPhone
There are other ways to fix grainy photos besides editing. Try some of these tips, first.
1. Step up your indoor lighting game.
Changing your location can turn your photo from a zero to a hundred. But what if you’re stuck indoors—in an apartment with no yard? You can avoid grainy photos with a few lighting tricks. Besides turning on all your house’s lights, you can do these things to fix grainy photos:
- Position yourself or the subject where the natural light from your window falls.
- If you can still notice a bit of graininess on the viewfinder, turn on your artificial lights. Just make sure your face doesn’t have harsh shadows if you’re taking a selfie.
- Move your furniture far from the frame to minimize the shadows and let more light fall on your subject.
- Do leave stuff in the frame that will help accentuate your subject’s background. It shouldn’t be too eye-catching though to avoid overwhelming your main subject though. For example, you can drape an earth-toned blanket over a chair or hang it on the wall.
- You’re also allowed to play with shadows if it adds drama or depth to your photo. Just make sure your subject is still getting enough exposure.
2. Increase your exposure.
One of the causes of grainy photos is unmanaged settings. So, check if your exposure is at a lower level. Maybe you forgot to switch it back to the normal level. To improve your camera’s exposure, tap on the viewfinder and then long-press until you see a plus and minus button. Scroll up to increase the exposure.
Why is your photo grainy or noisy in dark areas, exactly? Another reason why your photos are grainy is the camera compensating for the lack of light.
In the absence of adequate lighting, your camera will compensate by raising the ISO automatically. Its amplifying circuit will boost the sensor signal so that the camera will have something to use. However, as an effect, the output will have more noise or graininess.
So, the simple solution to this is to supply more light, so your camera’s amplifying circuit won’t do that unnecessary “amplification.” This is the best you could do, besides installing a camera app with advanced features, since your iPhone’s aperture is fixed. That means you can’t control the ISO.
3. Use a tripod or a gimbal.
This is a quick solution to fix grainy photos, but it can involve spending some money:
Buy a tripod or a gimbal to avoid an unwanted shaking motion in your pics. But which of the two is right for you?
Get a gimbal if you’re taking videos at home as well. It can help you get that steady motion and give variety to your camerawork. Some gimbals come with cameras as well, so you can set up a multi-camera shoot using a gimbal and your iPhone.
Meanwhile, if you’re only taking photos of stationary objects, we suggest you invest in a sturdy tripod. Many tripods these days already come with a good iPhone clip. So, you don’t have to worry about buying an extra accessory besides the tripod itself.
If you seriously want to fix grainy photos, and if you have the money, you can give in and invest in a gimbal or tripod. Some gimbals can cost you up to $300, while a tripod will have you paying for a cheaper average price of $75 to $150.
4. Don’t rely on autofocus.
Your iPhone may have the best intentions in switching on autofocus without your permission, but it’s still a machine. So, lead the way by tapping the area where you want the camera to focus. This will fix grainy photos because it will help you get more clarity and depth.
Here’s how to use your iPhone’s built-in focus to fix grainy photos:
- Make sure your subject is within the frame of your viewfinder, so your iPhone camera can easily find it and focus on it.
- Tap on the subject in your viewfinder. A yellow box will instantly appear around your subject. That means the camera’s sharp focus is on it.
- To lock the focus on the subject, long-press the screen until a yellow box with the words “AE-AF LOCK” appears at the top of your camera’s viewfinder. This will retain the camera’s sharp focus on that area, even if you’re done taking a picture.
- If you find yourself liking macro or close-up photos, you can spend on an app that will give you more control with your iPhone camera’s focus. As we’ve mentioned, you can use a camera app’s advanced features to tweak your iPhone camera’s ISO.
5. Get your camera sensor checked.
We just recently discussed five quick fixes of a blurry iPhone camera. A few of those solutions include soft- and hard resetting your iPhone. Those two can solve a camera’s bugs, including a grainy output. Those can even fix a proximity sensor, which can be found beside your front-facing camera.
However, in some cases, the rear camera sensor might be busted. We’re not saying that this is always the problem, but iPhone cameras with manufacturing defects have happened before. Some iPhone 6S devices have been recalled, and users got their replacements.
So, if none of the quick fixes worked for your camera’s grainy output, it might be time to call Apple Support. Call an Apple-certified service center nearby. Now, just so you know, some centers might not be able to cater to a problem like yours. So, we’re just giving you a heads up. Don’t give up so quickly if you can’t solve that issue on your own.
6. Clean your camera’s lens cover.
A dirty lens might also be the culprit behind that grainy photo. So, how do you clean your iPhone camera lens? If you’re seeing grime on the lens cover, you can simply clean it using a microfiber cloth. Even moisture from blowing to a lens cover will already help you clean it.
However, when you see specks of dust inside, you might need tools to open your iPhone and clean it.
If you don’t want to risk it, you can always let a technician at an Apple-certified service center to clean it. Meanwhile, if you’re confident enough to follow tutorials and DIY it, you can open your iPhone and use compressed air to blow off the dust on the lens. You will also need to buy a kit to pry open the iPhone and safely put the parts back together.
Here’s a good tutorial on cleaning an iPhone camera lens.
Before you launch Lightroom or Adobe Photoshop Express, try fixing your camera with our six tips above. Let us know which of those helped get rid of your camera’s noise, alright? Good luck!
Why are my pictures grainy even at low ISO?
Most probably your subject is underexposed. There’s not enough light for your sensors. So, to fix grainy photos, tap and then long-press on your camera’s viewfinder until the control buttons for the exposure appear. Try capturing a picture again if the graininess improves.
How to fix grainy photos without Photoshop?
As we said, you can start by improving the exposure of your camera. Don’t just amplify the ISO. If you need an offline editing app, you can try using zShot. It’s a five-in-one editing app, so you can edit photos and videos without an internet connection.
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