If you have an iPhone, chances are you know that it is likely a few steps above your basic point-and-shoot. Not only are they more convenient, but they’re often built with better cameras.

Take the iPhone 5, for example, which is home to an8MP iSight camera with improved HDR capabilities, reduced motion blur, top notch low-light photos, and attention to detail. Read more about that here.

If you want to get a little savvier with your iPhone camera, here are some tricks we’ve picked up along the way for the best possible photographs.

Hold It Steady

When you’re shooting with your phone, try to use two hands, and keep it as still as possible; if you need to prop your elbows on a table, it might give you a more solid base. If you can’t, hold your elbows and arms close to your body (as opposed to arm’s length), which will help give you a more secure ground.

Use the Grid

Using the grid makes it a lot easier to take photos, primarily because then you can use the rule of thirds–essentially lining up your subjects in the right way. To activate the grid, go to the Camera app, then tap Options in the middle of the top row. Slide Grid to On, then tap Done.

Press It Right

The camera doesn’t actually take the photo when you tap the shutter button. Instead, it takes it once you remove your finger. So be sure your camera is steady until you remove your finger, and then that will ensure that you don’t have a blurry shot.

Using the Flash

You don’t have to use the Flash all of the time, and in fact, this is one of the biggest issues with building the better photo. The flash is set by default to Auto, and in general, that will help you out, but taking a little more control is deliver the results that you want. Use the flash in daylight so there are no shadows around your subject, or when it is totally dark out. Do not use the flash at concerts and sporting events, when shooting through glass or in a mirror, or when objects are stagnant.

Focus It

You can indicate on the phone where to focus by tapping the screen. This also helps determine where the camera looks for exposure. For example, if you tap a dark section of the photo, the camera will increase the exposure in that area to reveal any hiding details in the darkness. If you tap a brighter area instead, it will lower the overall exposure in the image.

Try Something New

We’re totally digging the new panorama feature on the upgraded iOS. To activate it, users just tap to shoot and move the camera across the scene up to 240 degrees in total. The iPhone uses the gyroscope, an A6 chip, and the Camera app to work together to create one seamless shot. Pretty darn slick, if you ask me!

What are your favourite iPhone camera tips and features?