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iPhone: The Missing Manual by David Pogue

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The Camera

The iPhone's camera is the little hole on the back, in the upper-left corner, and the best term for it may be "no frills." There's no flash, no zoom, no image adjustments of any kind. In short, it's just like the camera on most cameraphones.

There's no way to frame up a self-portrait. (And no, the chrome Apple logo on the back is not a self-portrait mirror. Unless all you care about is how your nostril looks.)

All the same, the camera is capable of surprisingly clear, sharp, vivid photos (1600 × 1200 pixels)—as long as your subject is sitting still and well lit. Action shots come out blurry, and dim-light shots come out rather grainy.

All right—now that you know what you're in for, here's how it works.

On the Home screen, tap Camera. During the two seconds that it takes the Camera program to warm up, you see a very cool shutter iris-opening effect.

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Now frame up the shot, using the iPhone screen as your viewfinder. (At 3.5 inches, it's most likely the largest digital-camera viewfinder you've ever used.) You can turn it 90 degrees for a wider shot, if you like.

When the composition looks good, tap the button. You hear the snap! sound of a picture successfully taken.

You get to admire your work for only about half a second—and then the photo slurps itself into the icon at the lower-left ...

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