A drop of water adds macro depth to your iPhone's camera

A drop of water adds macro depth to your iPhone's camera
The iPhone 4S has an amazing camera. You probably know this already - that should have been one of the reasons for you upgrading or buying the handset in the first place, but when it comes to macro photographs it could use a little boost to become even better. Alex Wild of the Scientific American proposes the simplest solution to excellent macro shots on the iPhone - put a droplet of water or similar liquid on the camera and shoot the picture through it.

The trick is of course to keep the droplet in the right place, so you’d need to carefully turn the handset around. Of course, this will work with other handsets, but with one important consideration. The iPhone’s camera is surrounded by glass so the water can’t get in the phone, but on other handset there’s the possibility of leaking water inside your device which could fatally damage it. So, use it with caution.

Overall, the pictures look stunning. “Dreamy, blurred at the periphery, and just a little bit…wet,” that’s the effect you get in Wild's words. Here’s two more tips for making the best out of your experiments:

  • Larger, rounder droplets lead to higher magnification, and as the droplet evaporates and shrinks magnification decreases.
  • The liquid lens is jiggly and sensitive to vibrations. The phone should be placed on a stable platform for maximum clarity.

Let us know whether you’ve tried this and how it worked for you - do you have any images to show off? Let us know in the comments below.

Related phones

iPhone 4s
  • Display 3.5 inches
    960 x 640 pixels
  • Camera 8 MP (Single camera)
    0.3 MP VGA front
  • Hardware Apple A5, 0.5GB RAM
  • Storage 64GB,
  • OS iOS 9.x



24. whatevs

Posts: 18; Member since: Oct 17, 2011

Every time there is an article about an apple device on this website, tons of jealous d-bags post hate towards the device. Apple is ahead, by far, of all the competition. Nokia, Android, windows - whatever - all of these companies wish when it comes to mobile devices. iPhone by far smashes all other phones out there. Go ahead and come out with all the quad core madness. It doesn't matter, they will still glitch, lag, hesitate, hiccup and be unoptimized. You don't have to use the iphone, but don't be jealous because your POS doesn't perform to spec! Ha! Get off the apple articles! Go post on your laggy devices!! Haha!

25. frydaexiii

Posts: 1476; Member since: Dec 01, 2011

"iPhone by far smashes all other phones out there", Made out of glass? I don't think the other phones need to bother, the stupid owner will probably drop it and smash it to bits easily.

19. Dark4o90

Posts: 205; Member since: Feb 20, 2011

if that is the result (the flower) it's crap

16. 1701nino unregistered

iphone 4S has the best camera,period.

18. Obviously

Posts: 29; Member since: Feb 29, 2012

The fact that you enjoy all those pictures you're taking of yourself is not because the camera is good, in fact it is the diminished quality of the shots that's making your ugly mug a bit blurred and therefore more appealing :)

14. alpinejason

Posts: 262; Member since: Sep 06, 2011

lol lol

12. Obviously

Posts: 29; Member since: Feb 29, 2012

This just in... Cup your hands around the microphone on your phone for ultimate sound quality!!

13. alpinejason

Posts: 262; Member since: Sep 06, 2011

lol lol

10. jd829

Posts: 155; Member since: Feb 24, 2010

Must be a slow news day

8. jmoita2

Posts: 930; Member since: Dec 23, 2011

They should just change it from Phonearena.com to iPhonearena.com... This site is beginning to be as impartial as Fox news.

7. good2great

Posts: 1042; Member since: Feb 22, 2012

i'm glad they are trying to even out the field on this site... it needs more apple users... its very unbalanced in the comment sections of each article


Posts: 187; Member since: Feb 10, 2012

phone arena giving apple much of an exposure compared to other manufacturers. every detail of it, phonearena never misses the chance of making an article about it! hmm.. do i hear someone saying unfair? yep thats what i feel also hahaha!

5. flopjoke

Posts: 42; Member since: Jan 05, 2012

LOL why does it sound like Phone Arena is desperately trying to be on Apple's side all the time? It's just a phone and doesn't have an "amazing" camera. My four year old Nokia N82 performs way better. There's no point in adding water on any lens in any camera in the world. That just ruins the device, period. You paid hundreds of dollars for it and you want to put water on it? OH WAIT! I got it! Adding water "blurs" most of the image.. which means it hides the noise which all iPhone pics have! Ahh.. yes, very useful. Except more crap on flickr from now on.

4. babyk

Posts: 379; Member since: Nov 03, 2011

And of course the HTC Amaze camera in my opinion takes better photos than both iphone 4 and 4S

3. -box-

Posts: 3991; Member since: Jan 04, 2012

"Amazing" camera? Sure it's good, but hardly amazing. It's no Nokia 808 PureView, which can be considered "amazing". That being said, neat idea and execution using fluid dynamics to get a different image

15. -RVM-

Posts: 331; Member since: Oct 19, 2011

Well, iPhone 4S camera is amazing, especially for its small size. Nokia 808's camera however, is from other world :)

26. deago78

Posts: 172; Member since: Oct 08, 2009

PureView doesn't fall into the same category as any other phone camera. It should be compared to professional cameras. For a phone the 8MP camera on the iPhone 4S is a very clean and color temp accurate camera.

2. andro.

Posts: 1999; Member since: Sep 16, 2011

OMG! Carnage! Thousands of iphones are going to get water damaged by ifans pouring water on their iphones now. Looks like apple will be drumming up Alot more replacement iphone sales

1. dejahu

Posts: 35; Member since: Feb 01, 2012

Good to know Macgyver is still getting work these years.

* Some comments have been hidden, because they don't meet the discussions rules.

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