iPhone 4s Takes Pictures Upside Down

I’ve been very annoyed that sometimes I receive photos in my email from iPhone 4s users that are upside down.  Even more annoying I noticed many of the photos I sent out were upside down as well.  What causes this is taking a photo with the volume buttons on the top.  Now that iOS 5 allows you to snap photos with the volume up button holding the camera in this orientation is very natural.  It turns out there is an very good explanation and many people argue it is Apple’s fault while others argue it is the photo viewing applications fault.

Until the iPhone 4s Apple automatically rotated the photo after it was taken.  However to speed up the photo capture Apple now just marks the photo is upside down in the photos EXIF data.  This allows for quicker capturing of photos but requires any photo viewing app (iphoto, windows, web browsers, etc) to read the EXIF of the file and display it properly.

Until applications catch up and fix the viewing software I’m going to return back to taking photos with the on-screen button and making sure the volume buttons are on the bottom.  I do think Apple should provide a setting that allows the user to choose to rotate the photo when it’s captured, even if it does slow down the photo taking process.  At least we should have the option.

FYI, most all high end cameras do not rotate the photo and instead mark the EXIF when a photo is taken upside.

Here’s an Apple Support thread with more info if you’re interested.