Magnetic accessories may interfere with iPhone cameras

Internal magnets in some iPhone accessories create magnetic fields that may affect the rear-facing cameras on your iPhone. Learn how to avoid this interference. 

The cameras in your iPhone take great photos even in difficult conditions. If you accidentally move a camera when you take a picture, the resulting image can be blurry. To prevent this, some iPhone models have optical image stabilisation (OIS).1 OIS lets you take sharp photos even if you accidentally move the camera. Additionally, some iPhone models have closed-loop autofocus (AF).2 Closed-loop AF resists the effects of gravity and vibration to preserve sharp focus in stills, videos and panoramas.

With OIS, a gyroscope senses that the camera moved. To reduce image motion, and the resulting blur, the lens moves according to the angle of the gyroscope. With closed-loop AF, on-board accelerometers measure and compensate for gravity and vibration effects. Magnetic sensors determine the lens position so that the compensating motion can be set accurately.

A strong magnetic field can interfere with OIS and closed-loop AF

Lens-position sensors respond to magnetic fields. If you place a magnet near these sensors, the magnetic field will interfere with or temporarily disable the sensors. This can degrade the sensors' accuracy and limit the range of movement available to the lenses. The camera will continue to take photos with other means of stabilisation but without the benefit of OIS and closed-loop AF.

How to avoid magnetic interference

Third-party manufacturers make some accessories with strong magnets or magnetisable metal plates that are near the iPhone rear camera (or cameras). These magnets and plates can latch folio covers, join separable cases or attach to rigid mounts — for example, car mounts. Apple recommends that third-party manufacturers avoid using magnets and metal components in cases and other accessories. For best camera performance, avoid accessories that use magnets or magnetic metal.

If your camera still isn't working

If you removed your iPhone case and any other magnetic accessories and your iPhone camera still isn't working, find out what to do.

  1. OIS is available on iPhone SE (2nd generation), iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max, iPhone XR, iPhone X, iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, iPhone 7, iPhone 7 Plus, iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 6s Plus. Note that the Ultra Wide camera on iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro and iPhone 11 Pro Max doesn't have OIS, nor does the Telephoto camera on iPhone 7 Plus and iPhone 8 Plus.
  2. Closed-loop AF is available on iPhone SE (2nd generation), iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, iPhone 11 Pro Max, iPhone XS, iPhone XS Max and iPhone XR.

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