My iPhone 13 Pro camera keeps switching back to 4:3

I think this just started happening recently. According to online Apple docs the standard default should be 16:9 But I’ve noticed that even if I set it for 16:9 it ends up reverting to 4:3. One way of duplicating this is to go into Photos and look around, then go back to Camera and sure enough, it’s switched back to 4:3.

Anybody know what’s going on and how to make the 16:9 ratio stick?

Apple support suggested “resetting all settings” but if possible I’d rather avoid doing that because it involved re-adding Apple Pay cards, etc.



Try power off and restarting? These apps (and iOS) are so complex. And buggy.
Restart might clear some bad state.

Try under Settings, Camera, Creative Controls to “preserve the last used…aspect ratio”


Where do Apple docs say the default is 16:9?

I know that my iPhone 13 Pro defaults to 4:3. If I set it for 16:9, then it takes a 4:3 image and crops it to 16:9.

In other words, you are not losing anything by taking at 4:3. Just the opposite.


That didn’t help.

That did work. Apparently you have to not close the camera app when you do this.



I could have sworn I read it at an Apple site the other day, but now I can’t find it. Why do you say you don’t lose anything? It seems the image in the viewfinder is shorter than when it’s 16:9. Just my impression?


I see what you mean. With 4:3 you actually get more content. I must have been hit on the head with something. I now think it must have been 4:3 after all because 16:9 was looking funny on my dog walk this afternoon.

So… what’s the purpose of 16:9 then?

By the way, on a sunny day, even though I can see my Series 2 Apple Watch display just fine, I can barely see my iPhone 13 Pro display outside when taking pictures. I guess there’s nothing that can be done about that.

Anyway, thanks all.

I guess if you shoot video at 16:9, it’ll play better, without trimming or whatever, on a TV or 16:9 monitor.

I still think of 3:2 as the default for photos, because of decades of shooting film.

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In case you like the way a photo is framed better with that crop. But you can always do it after by editing the photo. 4:3 is the full photo, all the other aspect ratios are crops of it.

I often use the square (1:1) aspect ratio because I’m sending a quick photo of an object to someone and it looks better cropped like that. Much easier to choose it in the camera, snap, send instead of taking the photo, then editing it, then sending it.

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I truly did not realize that. After reading this, I opened Camera, saw that 4:3 was selected, then changed it to 16:9. The image zoomed in a bit to change the ratio, which is consistent with what you are saying.

But I also notice there is a lot of image outside of the crop showing on the “viewfinder”. Now I’m wondering if Camera captures that entire image, and always shows the version with the defined crop as a “photo”?

I can’t say for certain that is how the iPhone works but that is how regular cameras work. The entire sensor is used to capture the image but the in-camera processing produces a JPEG with the selected aspect ratio. In many cameras, if you select JPEG+RAW the JPEG will have the selected aspect ratio and the RAW will have the aspect ratio of the sensor – usually 4:3 or 3:2.

On the iPhone I don’t think it’s doing what @david_blanchard is talking about. I’m pretty sure that it is using the wide angle lens to show parts of the scene outside the frame. This can be useful in composing a shot or when you’re waiting for a moving object to move into the frame. Or, according to Apple, to show you what you could capture by changing to the wide angle lens:

On iPhone 11 models, iPhone 12 models, iPhone 13 models, and iPhone 14 models, the camera preview displays content outside the frame to show you what can be captured by using another lens in the camera system with a wider field of view. To turn off this display, go to Settings > Camera, then turn off View Outside the Frame.

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