Quick TiP: How to “zoom out” in iOS 5/iPhone 4S video camera

Over the past few weeks there have been a few people complaining that when they switch from still to video camera mode in iOS 5 the images is zoomed in too far. This article shows a really quick fix for that “problem”. The image below shows how an image looks in still camera mode:

With most cameras, what you’ll find when you switch from still to video, the image is a little larger/zoomed in. However, with iOS 5, it seemed a little extreme. That’s for one reason: aspect ratio. Because movies nowadays are filmed in 16:9 widescreen format, and photographs are completely different, the movie appears bigger to fill the screen. In default mode in video you’ll notice (image below) there is no “letterbox” effect, and the image fills the screen, but it doesn’t show you the entire scene. (For the sake of convenience, we’ll call this “fill-screen” mode.)

Compare the two screen shots, and you’ll see the image is missing a lot from either side. You can no longer see the right edge of the computer screen, or the curtains. This, as I mentioned, is because the image has been formatted to fill the screen. To “fix” it, simply double tap on the screen, et voila:

Due to aspect ratio differences between still and video camera shooting, you’ll notice that in both widescreen, and fill-screen mode, there is some shaving-off at the top and bottom of the image. Videos are narrower than photographs.

I hope this helps those of you wondering what was going on. It’s not even really a fix, it’s just knowing you can have the video fill the screen or be in widescreen format. Are you having trouble getting to grips with anything else in iOS 5, or on your iPhone 4S? If you are, let me know in the comments below or hit me up on Twitter.

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  • Anonymous


  • Setwavenj

    Huge issue with emailing/posting photographs and videos. Ive read up some, and it seems an orientation flag is embedded in the meta data of a picture…Heres the scenario. I take a picture using the new volume up button as the shutter release on the top right in landscape mode…email the picture to someones gmail…they get the email, the preview thumb attachment looks fine…but when you open that image or download it on windows PC, it appears upside down….Same issue with a normal portrait pic…when emailed, the final result is a 90 degree left rotated image instead of being viewed by the recipient normally. This is a huge annoyance. It seems some software recognizes this orientation flag, and some dont. The only program that I noticed so far that works for me is Picasa…but it would be great if default programs worked….and if picasa works (google), why would gmail not?

    Any information related to this? I dont think its an issue for all around apple users…but for us corporate PCers and social media uploaders, its super annoying.

    Thanks for any feedback.

    • Rick

      Just take photos with volume buttom face down.

  • Why is there no zoom feature on the video camera though? Seems really strange.

  • Anonymous


  • Aaron Atencio

    Thank you for this post! I spoke with AppleCare for about 20 minutes and they didn’t know what I was talking about. I thought my iPhone4s had a bug or something. 

  • Mariana

    Even After double tap the image is still smaller than the camera, right?



    I think maybe this issue’s for iPhone 4S and previous models. As we can see, this is a 4:3 screen (or 3:4 on portrait), and to we ain’t see the videos recorded on unexact screen res, they uses this, but there’s the ‘zoom in’ problem.

    This issue might not be seen on iPhone 5 and above.