Blurry Images on an iPhone

By Alan Bradford

Smartphones are handy and high-quality substitutes for traditional digital cameras. In addition to the crystal-clear Retina display available in the iPhone, each new generation of the phone takes higher-quality photos. If photos you take with your iPhone or photos you sync to view on your iPhone are blurry, you can take steps to regain the clarity.

Hold Still

When taking photos with your iPhone's camera, don't move. One of the most common culprits in the creation of blurry images is movement. The iPhone is small, light and convenient for capturing photos on the fly. As a result, people hold the camera casually, sometimes on the move and with one hand. People tap the screen to take the picture, causing an extra shake just as the shutter opens and closes. Try holding the phone steadily with both hands and tap the screen lightly.

Let in Some Light

Cameras deliver blurry or grainy images when not enough light enters the lens. If you're shooting indoors, turn on as many lights as possible and use the flash. If you can, open the windows and let in some sunlight. Better yet, take the photo outside in the daytime. Because there are fewer camera controls on the iPhone than on a traditional camera, you must take extra care with lighting to produce clear photos.

Clean Glass

Two pieces of glass are involved in taking photos with your iPhone. One lets in light and the other displays it. The iSight camera lens sits mostly flush on the back of your iPhone. If you're in the habit of setting your phone on a rough surface, especially with no cover to protect it, your lens might be scratched or become dirty. A scratched lens captures blurry photos, but it can be replaced. The glass over the display can become greasy or scratched. Clean the display and lens with a dry microfiber cloth or replace the glass, if necessary.

Bump Resolution

The native resolution on the Retina display is 1136 by 640 pixels. This is high resolution, especially for such a small display. If photos that you sync to your phone appear blurry, they might be low-resolution images. Sync a higher-resolution version of the photo to your iPhone and check for an improvement.

Use the Right Camera

The iSight camera on the back of the iPhone 5 is an 8-megapixel camera. The camera on the front of the iPhone is the 1.2-megapixel FaceTime camera that is designed for video calling. If you take photos with the low-resolution FaceTime camera, expect to see lower-quality images.