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With the recent launch of the newer multi-camera models, one can hold their head high just by owning an iPhone. Nevertheless, an iPhone is not entirely invincible against pesky issues like the iPhone camera shaking.
In fact, in the past two years, several iPhone 6S Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, and iPhone 8 users have been complaining about their cameras shaking. The shaky movement, apparently, continues even though they are not holding their iPhones.
Consequently, Apple has taken action to solve this issue—one of them being the iSight camera replacement program for its users.
Do you have a shaking camera? Before you take your iPhone to the Apple center or sign up for the iSight program, why not try fixing it on your own?
In this article, we discussed the iPhone camera shaking problem, listed some tips that might help you solve it, and more.
About the iPhone camera shaking/blurry photo issue
When did the issue occur?
Around early 2015 and 2016, users were already complaining about the shaking problem in their cameras, which produced blurry photos all the time.
Although the problem can be attributed to a variety of reasons, the problem typically stemmed from a manufacturing defect. In fact, Apple found out about the camera problem themselves.
Apparently, the iPhone 6S Plus sold between September 2014 and January 2015 had manufacturing defects. As a result, to help users who have problems with their iPhone camera shaking, they launched the iSight Camera Replacement Program.
The iSight Camera Replacement Program
This initiative is launched by Apple to help its users who have affected rear cameras on their iPhones. If your iPhone camera’s serial number is eligible for replacement, then they will do it for free.
In this Apple Support page, you can type in your serial number and find out if your camera is eligible for a replacement.
However, the program is only available three years from the day you bought it. So, if you bought your iPhone 6S Plus way back in 2014, 2015 or 2016, then it might be too late for you to sign up.
Moreover, some users shared that an eligible serial number is not a guarantee that the Genius at the Apple center will replace your camera. Turns out they still assess the camera’s functionality for about an hour. After that, they decide if they should proceed to replace your camera.
Don’t want to go through that hassle? Don’t fret just yet. You can still try to fix its shaking problem on your own before you take it to the Apple center. Check out our tips below!
How to stop your iPhone camera from shaking
1. Clean your rear camera’s lens.
Let’s start with the simplest but not always effective fix. If your iPhone camera is uncontrollably shaking, then the lens might be dirty.
The thing is, if your lens has accumulated dust or debris, the camera’s auto-focus (AF) will tend to go crazy. So, try wiping off your lens with a gentle, microfiber cloth. If you’re looking for reliable scratch-resistant cloth, get the ProCase screen-cleaning pad cloth wipes. Being made of faux suede, these can easily absorb the dust and grime from your iPhone screens. Don’t use any liquid cleaning agent!
Now, after wiping the lens, observe if the shakiness disappears.
On the other hand, if your iPhone recently went under repair by a technician, they might have missed cleaning debris inside your camera. We know this is a hassle but try bringing it back to the technician.
If your iPhone camera is shaking and it’s still under its warranty, don’t hesitate to bring it to your nearby Apple center.
2. Restart or soft reset your phone.
We’ve written about it all the time, but simply restarting your device will fix your issue. Yes, it might be cliche already at this time, but restarting your iPhone often does wonders—from solving camera issues to making the device faster and thus more functional.
For iPhones with a physical Home button:
- Long-press your Home button and your power/sleep button.
- Wait for the Apple logo to appear. Let go of the buttons.
- Unlock your phone and launch the camera again.
- See if the shaking has disappeared.
For iPhones without a physical Home button or a broken power button:
- Open your iPhone’s Settings.
- Go to Accessibility.
- A prompt will appear, asking you to restart your device.
- Tap “Continue”.
- After that, your iPhone will restart on its own.
3. Perform some quick software fixes.
Besides restarting your iPhone, you can also do a hard reset, which we will explain later. But before you restore your iPhone/do a factory reset, try these solutions first. Wait and see if the camera’s trembling disappears:
Relaunch your camera app.
Closing your native camera app and then opening it again will “refresh” it.
- Force stop the camera and open it again.
- Set it on a table and point it at a subject.
- See if the shakiness persists.
Reset all your settings.
This won’t delete your files or apps; however, your phone’s system settings will revert to default.
- Open your Settings.
- Go to General.
- Tap Reset > Reset all settings.
4. Do a hard reset a.k.a. restore your iPhone to its factory settings.
In one of our articles, we listed down some steps you should do before doing a factory reset. Restoring your iPhone back to its factory settings will literally “erase” your iPhone. That means all your data or current settings will be deleted.
Therefore, take a look at those steps before you do a hard reset because the latter will literally delete your iPhone.
Additionally, remember that it’s necessary to create a backup of your settings and/or files and then upload them to iCloud occasionally. This way, when you need to do a hard reset, you won’t have any trouble reverting to your old settings.
How to restore your iPhone to factory settings
Did the quick solutions above fail to get rid of the shakiness? If you’re done backing up your data, here’s how to start anew with your iPhone.
- Open your Settings.
- Go to General.
- Tap Reset > Erase all content and settings.
- Enter your passcode if your iPhone requires it.
- Tap “Erase iPhone”.
- Enter your Apple ID password.
- Your iPhone will now start the hard reset.
5. Replace your phone case.
If you own any iPhone model released after the iPhone 6s Plus, then your camera has an optical image stabilization (OIS) feature.
This feature uses a small gyroscope inside your iPhone to compensate for your hand’s movements. The gyroscope has magnetic sensors that detect the position of the lens.
So, just think of picture-taking as a dance contest and the OIS as a good dance partner. It helps the camera move along with your hand, so you can take flawless, clear photos that aren’t blurry.
Now, if you just bought an iPhone case with metal accents or an iPhone case with a magnet, that might be the reason your camera is acting up.
Since there are magnets inside your iPhone, using a case with magnets or metals might create a magnetic field. This might be causing your rear camera to malfunction.
Therefore, try removing your case. After that, restart your iPhone and then see if the shakiness has disappeared or at least improved.
6. Try adding a magnet to your phone case.
We previously mentioned that a magnet might interfere with your gyroscope. But if you are using a gel case for your iPhone, gluing a magnet to it might help remove the shakiness.
Some users have shown that adding a magnet to their case works. After attaching a small magnet just a little under the rear camera, the trembling instantly disappeared.
However, it might not work for everyone. But if you’re out of options, it’s worth a try to see how a magnet might stop the trembling.
7. Replace your iPhone camera
Magnet didn’t work? You might be better off replacing your camera. You can definitely do this, especially if you have knowledge about basic troubleshooting. However, we’re warning you—this might be an expensive venture.
If you have the budget and if you’re confident about your troubleshooting skills, you need an iPhone repair toolkit and follow DIY rear camera replacement steps.
Here’s what you will need to do the DIY replacement:
- One (1) suction cup
- Clean, dry table
- One (1) spudger
- A set of 4 mm screwdriver bits
- One (1) Pentalobe screwdriver for the iPhone
- One (1) standard Phillips screwdriver for laptops
- Removal/opening kit such as the iOpener by iFixit
- Rear camera for your iPhone
- Rear Camera Connector Bracket
- Rear Camera Lock Bracket
- Rear Camera Foam Pads
- Display Assembly Adhesive
How to replace the iSight rear camera
Before everything else, make sure your iPhone has a 25% or lower battery power level for safety purposes. Any number higher than that might cause the battery to combust, in case you accidentally puncture it.
Watch this video as a guide on replacing your iPhone camera.
8. Contact Apple support.
If you are not risking to replace your camera on your own, you can get in touch with Apple Support. In the US, you can call their number, 1-800-275-2273. However, before you call them, make sure to ready your iPhone’s serial number. Here’s how to contact Apple Support for your problem.
1. Find out your serial number.
On your iPhone
- Go to Settings.
- Tap General > About.
- Scroll down until you find the serial number, which is written under your iPhone’s model number.
- Write it down or take a screenshot.
On your iTunes account
- Plug your iPhone into your Mac or PC.
- Launch your iTunes app on your computer.
- iTunes will now detect your connected iPhone.
- On the upper left part, click on the iPhone-shaped icon.
- On the left sidebar, under “Settings”, click on Summary.
- iTunes will show important information about your iPhone. Under your phone number, you will see your serial number.
2. Check this page and request support online.
Apple will let you choose from their array of devices. Click on the photo of the iPhone.
3. Click “Repairs and Physical Damage”.
After clicking the photo of the iPhones, the page will load the range of issues they can fix. Click on the “Repairs and Physical Damage” icon.
4. Select “Camera is not working as expected”.
Apple will then let you choose between face-to-face troubleshooting or a chat session first. Besides that, you can also communicate with Apple’s support team via email or phone.
If you select the “Bring in for repair”, you will be required to sign with your Apple ID and password. After that, the page will load a search box that lets you search for Apple-approved service centers nearby.
On the other hand, if you select “Chat”, Apple will now require you to type in your serial number. After that, you will be asked to wait for 2 minutes or less before you can start the chat session.
9. Bring your iPhone to an authorized technician.
Feeling impatient already? You can skip requesting support from Apple and proceed to look for an authorized service provider.
These technicians are certified by Apple to perform any type of troubleshooting on Apple devices. They also use authentic Apple components and equipment in fixing devices.
To find an Apple-approved technician, follow these steps.
- Log in here with your Apple ID and password.
- On the search box, type in your location.
- The Apple page will load a map along with the addresses of nearby Apple-approved centers or technicians.
- On the left sidebar, you can click on any of the center/store’s address.
- After that, the map will show if the store has any available appointments for a consultation.
- If there are no reservations available, try contacting the store through their website, phone number, or social media page. You can also check the site again tomorrow.
Other related questions
How to avoid taking blurry pictures on iPhone?
To prevent capturing blurry photos, don’t rely on your iPhone camera’s autofocus. If your important subject in the photo is blurry, that means it’s not working well.
Therefore, before you tap that shutter button, you have to tap on the important subject on your viewfinder. This will shift the focus on the subject and not on the secondary subject or the unimportant background/foreground.
Why does my iPhone camera shake when I zoom in?
It shakes when you zoom in because of your hand/s—unless your iPhone is mounted on a tripod. If you need to minimize the trembling, then you can buy a gorillapod like the Akron iPhone tripod mount. It has flexible 11-inch legs that can wrap anywhere you want for a steady, clear photo.
You can also get iPhone video stabilizers like the DJI Osmo Mobile and the Zhiyun Smooth 4. DJI is a foldable stabilizer with brushless motors for that smooth camera movement. Zhiyun Smooth 4 is a gimbal that has hotkeys, which will reduce your need for touching the screen to change the camera controls. Most of these support iPhone 7 and later models and even GoPros.
How do you take flawless pictures with an iPhone?
Taking nearly perfect photos requires great talent. However, sometimes you just need to learn a few tricks about your iPhone.
Seasoned iPhone photographers recommend exploring other apps besides your camera. Some apps such as Lightroom and SnapSeed provide a wider range of phonetography features, giving you the option to experiment with your shots.
Besides that, on your native camera app, you can also turn on the HDR feature to take sharper, more pronounced photos. If you want to get rid of the motion blur, you can do two things:
- ask your subject to stand still while you take their photo
- or expose the highlights in your photos, so the shutter of your camera lens will stay open longer. This way, the subjects won’t have that motion blur effect.
Wrapping it up
It can be disappointing to encounter the shaking problem, especially when you bought your iPhone for its camera’s quality.
Now, before you spend cash for a newer model such as the iPhone X, try our tips above first. Maybe you can even fix it by just doing a hard reset!
Do you know any other ways to fix the shaking problem on the iPhone camera? Let us know in the comments below!
Photo Video Lounge is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc.