Not long ago, blurry photos from phone camera they were the best anyone could hope for. Today, everyone expects sharp shots that rival the quality of those taken by a dedicated digital camera.
You may be scratching your head at the blurry photos your phone is suddenly producing, or you just can’t get the viewfinder to focus well before snapping a picture of your cat doing something funny for social media. Try some of these troubleshooting tips to fix the problem.
1. Clean your camera lens
A dirty camera lens is the most obvious culprit behind blurry photos on a phone. Dirt smeared on the lens can not only cause blurring or distortion directly, but also interfere with your phone’s autofocus function.
Use a clean microfiber cloth for camera lenses or eyeglasses to clean your lenses. Do not spray any cleaning agent on the lens or cloth as your phone’s outer camera lens glass may have a coating that reacts poorly to certain chemicals.
If you have a waterproof phone, you may want to gently rinse the outer glass of the camera lens with a small amount of clean, fresh water to remove any mineral residue, such as small particles of sand. Although the outer glass of the modern camera lens is made of tough, hard materials like sapphire, hard minerals trapped between the cloth and the glass can still scratch it.
2. Use the correct mode
Your camera app likely has many different shooting modes. If you accidentally activated a special mode, such as Portrait or Macro Mode, it may be impossible to focus on the subject for a normal shot. Alternatively, you may need to activate one of these modes, such as macro mode, when your subject is too close to the camera to be in focus.
3.Remove the protective film or screen protector
Let’s start with something that might seem a bit silly, but if you see a slightly blurry image in your app’s viewer, you may have something on the screen distorting the image.
If you just took a new phone out of the box, make sure you haven’t left the protective film on the screen. Please read the quick start guide carefully as some phones (such as the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra) have a factory applied screen protector that should not be removed unless damaged.
Some screen protectors negatively affect the clarity of the screen, making everything look blurry. You can easily verify this by opening a non-camera app and inspecting screen elements such as text. If everything on the screen seems a little soft, consider removing the screen protector or replacing it with one that has a better clarity rating.
4. Clean your screen
Wipe the phone thoroughly with a clean microfiber cloth to remove a film of oil on the screen that makes the image blurry.
5. Check lens for condensation
If your phone has been exposed to water or high humidity, this can cause condensation between the lens and the outer glass of the camera. Although the chamber may be sealed against liquid ingress, it still needs to let air through to equalize the pressure inside the chamber assembly with the outside atmosphere. This is why liquid can condense on the inside of the glass if you use the phone in conditions closer to the Amazon rainforest than pleasant humidity.
If you see condensation inside the camera, all you can do is wait for it to evaporate. Keep the phone at room temperature and normal humidity to speed up this process. If the problem does not go away or continues to reappear, your phone may have suffered water damage and you will need to have it evaluated by a professional.
6. Take off the phone case
Most phone cases have wide cutouts for your phone’s cameras, but some models may have too much overlap, especially when using your phone’s wider-angle camera. For phones that use special sensors to measure distance for focus, the case may partially hide that sensor even if it doesn’t hide part of any lens.
While not likely, if you suspect your case is the problem, it’s a good idea to take it off quickly and take a few test photos to rule out the possibility.
7. Tap to focus
Sometimes your phone’s autofocus feature gets it wrong. In most cases, you can correct this by tapping on the subject you want to focus on in the camera app’s viewfinder.
In the iPhone camera app, you can tap anywhere on the frame to change the focus, but since Android phone camera apps are not standardized, the exact method of adjusting the focus may differ from phone brand to phone brand. other. If tap to focus doesn’t seem to work on your Android phone, see the camera app’s help file for instructions.
8. Switch to a different camera
Most modern smartphones are equipped with multiple independent cameras. If your image is blurry, try switching to a camera with a more suitable focal length. Even if you’re on the right camera for the shot you want to take, sometimes switching to a different camera and then switching back can reset any temporary glitches that are causing problems. The main camera is usually the one with the best clarity, thanks to its higher-megapixel image sensor.
If all your rear cameras are blurry or switching between them doesn’t fix the problem, you can also try switching to the selfie camera and then back to the rear cameras. We have seen some users report that this helped them.
9. Use manual mode
By default, your camera app is mostly automated. It tries to select the best focus and exposure settings for you, so you only have to worry about framing and timing your shot if you’re taking a photo of a subject that the autofocus function can’t handle properly.
Some Android phone camera apps come with a manual or “Pro” mode, which makes it more like operating a DSLR camera. For example, on a Samsung Galaxy phone, you can select Pro mode and manually set your camera settings using the on-screen focus wheel.
While it’s worth checking out our camera setup guidehere are some quick and dirty things you can do in manual mode to eliminate blurring and blurring:
- Use a fast shutter speed, which helps reduce motion blur.
- Adjust the ISO for low light scenes.
Many manual modes have a visual focus guide, where the parts of the image that are in focus will be highlighted in color so you know the right things are in focus.
10. Try a third-party camera app
Unfortunately for iPhone users, Apple’s default app doesn’t include a similar manual mode, and neither do some brands of Android phones. Your best option is to use a third-party camera app that unlocks manual control of your cameras.
On the iPhone, we suggest ProCameraalthough it is somewhat expensive at $15. Camera+ It is a good alternative at almost half the price. If you’re on Android, the best option in our opinion is Camera FV-5 for $4.99. Some Android phones don’t work well with this app, so try it within the refund window on Google Play or try the FV-5 light app first, but there are many android camera apps To choose from.
11. Force close the app or restart the phone
Smartphone camera apps aren’t as reliable as the firmware you’ll find on a dedicated camera. After all, there are so many processes running on a smartphone and software bugs are constantly being introduced or discovered. If your camera app just won’t focus on anything, it could be a temporary issue with the app.
The first thing you need to do is force close the app. On iOS, swipe up from the bottom of the screen to the middle, raising the app carousel. Swipe left or right until you see your camera app, then swipe up to close.
On Android, press the button Android system button on the far left (three vertical lines), and the app carousel. Swipe left or right to find the camera app, and swipe it up and off the screen to close it.
If closing and reopening the app doesn’t work, restart your phone completely and try again.
12. Check for camera app updates
If your camera focus issues are due to a bug, it’s worth checking to see if there’s an updated version of the app available for download. Camera app updates can occur as a stand-alone update or as part of a major operating system update.
This is especially likely if your camera works fine with a third-party app, but not with the standard app, as it suggests that there is nothing physically wrong with your camera.
13. Slam your phone into your palm
This last tip might seem a bit strange, but slapping the phone against the palm of your hand can fix some camera issues. This is because the camera assembly has tiny moving parts that can get stuck in a particular position, preventing the camera from changing focus.
With the camera turned on, gently but firmly tap the back of the phone against the palm of your hand. With any luck, this will reset the electromechanical components to their correct positions.
14. Submit your phone for evaluation
If you’ve tried everything on this list and still get nothing but blurry images, it may be time to take a professional look at your phone’s camera, as the module itself may need replacement.