Do iPhone cameras lose quality over time?

Do iPhone cameras lose quality over time?

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Shooting night Moscow city by smartphone in hand - iPhone cameras' quality
Is there something wrong with your iPhone camera?

It happens all the time—you want a good selfie with your date on this nice restaurant… and yet your old iPhone doesn’t seem to cooperate anymore. You wonder what happened. Were you too careless? Did water get inside? Or worse, do iPhone cameras’ quality inevitably degrade as time goes by? 

In this article, you’ll find out if iPhone cameras lose their quality or not. 

Do iPhone cameras inevitably get worse over time? 

Time will not affect iPhone cameras’ quality. iPhone cameras do not lose their ability to take quality pictures just because they have aged. However, there might be several factors that can damage the camera, the sensor, or the glass protector which, in turn, affects the camera’s quality. The results will be a slow-performing camera app and/or blurry or poor-quality photos. 

What really happened?

Your iPhone had its good times. But now you notice that simple wiping of the rear camera won’t help you capture good pictures anymore. However, don’t lose hope yet. Below, you might find out the real reason why it’s not as good as before alongside with some ways on how you might fix the problem. 

Why do iPhone cameras’ quality deteriorate? 

Rose Gold iPhone 6 - iPhone cameras' quality
You might have habits that are damaging your iPhone camera.

1. It might have been dropped it too many times.

Dropping your iPhone many times affects its camera. If you have slippery hands and your iPhone falls frequently, its components will loosen or collide and can even damage the other parts besides the camera. 

2. You accidentally took it for a swim.

Hey, you may love the beach—but your iPhone’s camera doesn’t. So, be wary of bringing your iPhone to bathrooms or seashores. Once it gets wet, it will be hard to avoid some dry-out residue from remaining. This puts your iPhone battery most especially your camera’s lens at risk of corroding. If you really like taking beach photos, make sure to protect your iPhone! Get a robust waterproof case.

3. A cheap charger harmed it.

Yes, even your camera can become a victim of cheapo chargers. It’s not uncommon for poor-quality batteries and chargers to harm iPhones. They might have made your iPhone’s circuits work too much, damaging them in the process. So, be careful when buying new chargers or batteries. Be sure to get a high-quality iPhone charger or an iPhone battery with a kit, in case you want to replace the battery on your own.

4. Sneaky apps are the culprit.

Browsing a smartphone in the city - iPhone cameras' quality
That sneaky, sneaky app might be affecting your camera’s performance.

Your phone’s applications are like a team. One toxic person can hinder everyone’s performance. In your case, you might have downloaded faulty apps that affected your camera’s performance. You should address this quickly because your personal data might be at risk as well. 

5. You haven’t tinkered around the settings.

Sometimes, your iPhone isn’t really damaged—you just didn’t take the time to manage the settings. Maybe, you’re just dissatisfied with its regular settings. Moreover, you might need to switch on the High Dynamic Range (HDR) or Smart HDR option. Doing this will help you take clearer, more detailed photos!

Related: Can you use both iPhone cameras at the same time?

6. Your storage is filled to the brim.

We’re not just talking about your gallery but also your phone’s overall storage. Maybe your phone is swamped with apps you don’t really use. Or, maybe your “Keep Normal Photo”  on your HDR settings, which saves two photos instead of one, is switched on. Find ways to keep your storage lighter, so your camera’s performance might improve. Try getting an external hard drive so you can free more space in your storage.

Related: Do HDR photos use more memory?

7. The updates are to blame.

Apple rolls out updates that include new camera features to improve your camera’s quality. Your camera’s quality is not really damaged—it just lacks features that allow you to perform some neat camera tricks! On the other hand, an update might also cause a camera to perform slowly. If this applies to you, you can just restore your iOS to an older version by clicking Restore and then Restore and Update

What you can do to improve your iPhone camera

Girl taking picture with her iPhone in a forest - iPhone cameras' quality
Enhancing your iPhone camera’s performance isn’t that complicated!
  1. Wipe your camera’s glass cover and check if the photos are now clearer. Sometimes, it’s just a simple case of dirt and smudge. On the other hand, you can also invest in a better one. Try checking out this iPhone glass cover made of hydrophobic and oleophobic coating.
  2. Try exiting the Camera and closing other apps. Your iPhone is probably getting overwhelmed from relentless multitasking.
  3. Your camera might be underperforming because of a software glitch. A simple reboot often solves this.
  4. Do a big reset. You might have clicked on a setting accidentally which has affected your camera’s performance. Resetting your iPhone will revert its settings to default. 
  5. As mentioned, your full storage might be the one to blame. So, manage your storage. Delete the apps you don’t typically use. 
  6. Don’t switch on the flash or avoid too much lighting. Overexposure will ruin a good picture. 
  7. Use filters on your phones or tinker around the brightness settings. Either will instantly improve your camera’s quality. 

How to take care of your iPhone camera

1. Get rid of the dust!

  • Dirt or dust on your camera lens might be causing blurry photos or images with weird spots. If there are stains that are set in the glass cover, then use a microfiber cloth to wipe them. 
  • Do NOT use just any random liquid cleaner. This might seep in and then damage your lens or your screen. Stick to dry wiping!
  • Now, if you’re not confident with disassembling your phone, ask an Apple service technician. They’re best trained on how to take an iPhone apart. Typically, they will use a compressed air blower to eliminate the dust on your rear or front camera.

2. Eliminate the condensation. 

  • Observe if there are any water droplets on your camera’s glass cover or on your camera app. 
  • If you find some, there might be a condensation of moisture on your camera lens. This is dangerous because it will damage your iPhone’s components. 
  • In the meantime, before you take it to a technician, immerse your phone in a container filled with uncooked rice grains or silica gel for 24 hours. This will reduce the moisture. 
  • Don’t use heating devices such as a hairdryer because the excessive heat will damage the logic board. 

3. Clean your phone regularly and take the extra steps. 

  • Be consistent in keeping your phone clean, as this will also keep dust off the area that surrounds your camera. 
  • Avoid putting your phone on dusty or moist surfaces such as kitchen and bathroom countertops or wooden cabinets. Buy a stander or an anti-slip case. You can also stick grip tapes to your iPhone. This will help your iPhone from being too slippery, so you won’t drop it easily.
  • Make it a habit to clean your phone. Invest in several lint-free cloths and turn your iPhone off first before wiping.
  • Avoid harsh liquid cleaning agents such as window cleaners, dishwashing liquid, or abrasives.

Improve your camera by updating to iOS 13

black iPhone with white iOS 13 logo on the laptop
These new features may or may not blow your mind. 

If you’re still on the fence about the new iOS, you might want to check out these updates for the Camera app and see if you’ll change your mind. 

  • Your phone will change your gaze in FaceTime calls. Sounds like a bit from Black Mirror right? With this update, your phone’s AI will change your gaze from looking at the screen to look at the camera. 
  • More intense lighting for portrait mode. Now you won’t worry about those pesky dark shadows that take away the focus on your smile.
  • High Key Mono. A gorgeous black and white filter for those moments where you want a romantic B&W 1950 portrait. 
  • Refined photo and video editing. More controls and filters for adjusting your photos and videos. You can also crop your videos!
  • Pinch controls and fa new tab in the gallery. Now you can zoom in and zoom out as much as you want. The new tab is also for organizing your favorite photos according to the dates. You can even make a timeline of your best moments this year. 

Those are some pretty cool updates, right? If you’re ready to switch, then here are the phones that can run iOS 13: 

  • iPhone XS    
  • iPhone XS Max  
  • iPhone XR   
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 6S
  • iPhone 6S Plus
  • iPhone SE
  • iPhone 7
  • iPhone 7 Plus
  • iPhone 8
  • iPhone 8 Plus
  • iPhone X
  • iPhone XR
  • iPhone XS
  • iPhone XS Max
  • iPhone 11
  • iPhone 11 Pro
  • iPhone 11 Pro Max

Wrapping it up

Even though iPhone cameras are known for being high-quality, you still need to invest your time and effort in taking care of it. You also need to be creative—after all, masterpieces aren’t solely determined by the tools but by the hands that yield those tools!

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