Portrait mode

What is Portrait mode?

Portrait mode is an iPhone camera feature which helps you take better pictures by capturing a sharp subject with a blurred background, so full focus is on what you’re shooting. It was engineered to improve close-up photos of one person.

The iPhone camera app will let you know if you're too close, too far away or if the area is too dark. You can also use True Tone flash, set a timer and apply filters.

On iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone X and newer iPhones, you can use the Portrait Lighting feature to apply studio-quality effects to your Portrait images after you've taken them. You can also take a selfie in Portrait mode on iPhone X and newer models - just switch to the front camera and swipe to Portrait mode.

The following iPhone models have Portrait mode:

Portrait mode is featured on several Android devices as well, but it's given a different name. For example, newer Samsung devices such as the Galaxy S21 series and Galaxy S20 series call it Live Focus. Older Samsung smartphones have a feature called Selective Focus which achieves the same effect with slightly lower image quality.

The image below shows two almost-identical pictures - this how a photo focused on a person might look if it was taken without Portrait mode (on the left) and with Portrait mode (on the right). The image on the right has a slightly blurred background, which brings the image subject clearly to the foreground - focusing your attention on them.

Comparison of image with and without the use of Portrait mode

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