Use Your Apple Watch Digital Crown to Zoom Photos

digital crown to zoom

When you’re taking pictures using your Apple Watch to control your iPhone camera, you sometimes want to adjust the zoom settings. Fortunately, you don’t need to tap the zoom controls on your iPhone. You can just use the Digital Crown to zoom your iPhone camera. This is pretty easy to do, but I’ll explain it anyways.

digital crown to zoom
Not only can you use your Apple Watch to release the shutter of your iPhone camera, but to zoom, as well

The Digital Crown to Zoom In on Your Subject

The reason for this is pretty simple. When you want to use Apple Watch as a remote shutter for your iPhone’s camera, you probably don’t want to have to walk over to the iOS device to zoom in or out. Apple thought of this, and built in a way to use the Watch’s Digital Crown to zoom in and out. That way, all you have to do is rotate the Digital Crown clockwise to zoom in on your subject. Should you decide you want a wider angle shot, just rotate the Digital Crown counter-clockwise and your iPhone camera will zoom back out.

This is great for adjusting selfies, group shots, or any other reason you might have for using your Apple Watch as a remote shutter for your iPhone camera. Not only can you trigger the shutter, but you can adjust the zoom level, too.

Digital Crown Zoom Utilizes Your iPhone Camera’s Full Potential

Lest you fear that zooming in on something using the Digital Crown instead of tapping and/or moving the zoom slider on your iPhone 7 Plus or iPhone 8 Plus might cost you image quality, let me alleviate those concerns. I tested using the Digital Crown to zoom, as well as the on-screen controls of my iPhone 7 Plus. In both cases, zooming with the 2X telephoto lens and beyond used a 6.6mm focal length.

From information yielded by 9to5Mac’s early examination of images captured with the telephoto lens on the iPhone 7 Plus and the collective experience of TMO iPhotographers, we know that the main camera uses a 3.99mm focal length. The telephoto lens, on the other hand, has a 6.6mm focal length. Hence, I can deduce that zooming from my Apple Watch to factors of 2X or higher will make use of the telephoto lens, not the wide-angle main component.

If you want to really put your wearable device to good use as an iPhotographer, check out our own Andrew Orr’s top five Apple Watch photography apps.

One thought on “Use Your Apple Watch Digital Crown to Zoom Photos

  • Many thanks for this Jeff.

    I did not know about this, and now love this feature.

    Since I got my Series 3 AW (cellular enabled), I’ve been amazed at all the things I can do with it, and that it seems to proactively suggest. I continue to discover new capabilities, which I’m sure are shared on all watchOS 4 – enabled devices.

    The killer app on AW Series 3, for me at least, remains a talking Siri. Second, a better mic when I take calls. People can actually hear me and I them.

    Feel free to continue sharing more AW tips.

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