For the most part, smartphone camera software is pretty basic. It allows you to press a button and snap a photo, and you’re done. Some manufacturers provide its users with a greater degree of control over their camera settings, allowing them to choose exposure levels and even white balance. Well the good news is that if you’re planning on getting a new iPhone or upgrading to iOS 8, you might be pleased to learn that with iOS 8, Apple will be introducing manual camera controls to its camera software. This means that you won’t have to rely on third-party camera applications if you wanted to gain access to more features.
For the longest time, iOS had almost no camera controls at all. There would be a toggle for HDR, a toggle to switch to the front-facing camera, and a toggle to switch to video recording mode. The only other tool that was accessible would be the AE/AF lock. This meant that you had to hope that the exposure and focus would be correct, because there was no direct method of adjusting these things. Anyone that paid attention to the WWDC 2014 keynote would’ve heard maybe a few sentences about manual camera controls. Despite the short mention in the keynote, this is a massive departure from the previously all-auto experience. To be clear, iOS 8 will expose just about every manual camera control possible. This means that ISO, shutter speed, focus, white balance, and exposure bias can be manually set within a custom camera application. Outside of these manual controls, Apple has also added gray card functionality to bypass the auto white balance mechanism and both EV bracketing and shutter speed/ISO bracketing.