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Truth: What did the iPhone XS/XS Max do for the selfie?

via:威锋网     time:2018/10/11 15:01:57     readed:702

As Apple's latest flagship handset, the iPhone XS and the iPhone XS Max are naturally very powerful for taking pictures. The rear cameras use a double 12-megapixel lens. The size of the sensor increases from 1.2 to 1.4 microns. The larger light sensor means that the phone can get more light when taking pictures. This will be more helpful for imaging under dark light.

Compared to iPhone X and iPhone XS, the difference in photos taken in an environment with more complex lighting conditions is more obvious, and the self-timer of iPhone XS/XS Max (including photographing people's recent photos) has also changed compared with the previous generation iPhone. The face of the face is smoother and the skin is more white, as if it had a filter.

Users who have entered the new iPhone are shocked. Many people seem to be not paying for the iPhone XS/Max's "bringing beauty" feature. They are also angry and brush up the #BeautyGate tag on social networks. , denounced Apple for making fraud, deceiving consumers...

So what does the iPhone XS/XS Max actually do for our selfie?

Most of the scenes taken by mobile phones are exposed to indoor light or external light. Unless deliberately set, it is often difficult to obtain balanced exposure conditions in high-contrast scenes, either overexposed or underexposed or backlit.

HDR High Dynamic Range images are the solution to the problem by combining multiple exposures—including underexposed, overexposed, and properly exposed photos—to get a larger dynamic range in the photo, making the image The shadows and highlights are evenly divided.

Apple's HDR mode on iPhone XS, XS Max and the upcoming iPhone XR is called Smart HDR. By default, photos taken by the front and rear cameras are turned on. This mode allows the camera to capture as much detail as possible between the darkest and brightest tones in a shorter time. Photo effects taken in low light will be more noticeable.

(from appleinsider shooting Vadim Yuryev)

In our normal comparison of iPhone X and XS Max, you can see how dynamic the Smart HDR is on XS Max. The image of X shows that the subject's face and body are properly exposed, but the highlights in the background are too noticeable, causing the color to be lost.

On XS Max, all details and textures are visible and the colors can be reproduced accurately. Not only that, when checking shadows, the area looks brighter and the details are clearer and richer.

iPhone X (top) vs. XS Max (bottom) outdoor light panorama.

(from 9to5mac shooting Zac Hall)

At the iPhone XS conference, Apple used an example to explain how Smart HDR works. The A12 biochip first captures four frames as a buffer and then takes additional "interframes" at different exposures to show highlight detail. Then analyze all the frames and find out how to combine the best parts into one photo.

When the XS camera application is turned on, the A12 Bionic processor continuously acquires multi-frame buffers. It can take photos very quickly and over and save these buffered frames in system memory without actually saving them to the camera roll.

When you actually press the shutter button, it is equivalent to grab one of the frames from the buffer and then analyze and merge the best frames into a single photo. Not only that, but the A12 Bionic can also capture a variety of frames at different exposures, just like normal HDR.

With the help of A12, everything happens in an instant, and you can barely feel any waiting when taking pictures, faster than Auto HDR on iPhone X. Thanks to the new front and rear sensors, the new sensor increases reading speed so that these frames can be captured faster.

However, everything has two sides, and the new camera faces another limitation: shutter speed. The shutter speed is the time the camera shutter is open to allow light to enter the sensor. The faster the shutter speed, the shorter the time it takes for light to enter the sensor.

Because Smart HDR requires capturing photos at the fastest speed, the shutter speed needs to be faster, which results in less light entering the sensor, which can interfere with the brightness of the image. To compensate for this, the camera raises the ISO, which determines how sensitive the sensor is to light. As a result of adding ISO, it also adds noise.

Based on an in-depth analysis of the iPhone XS camera system, professional camera applications Halide developers have found that the new iPhone is indeed more inclined to use high-speed shutters and higher ISO ratings.

In this regard, Apple has added a stronger noise reduction processing function for the image. The noise reduction is mainly to improve the photo quality in low light conditions, but also leave a soft or smooth finish for the photo: X on the left side of the figure below. The right side is XS.

(from 9to5mac shooting Zac Hall)

So Apple did not use the "beauty filter", "beauty effect" is due to excessive radical noise reduction.

At the same time, iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max have used computational photography to merge exposures, turn on partial tone mapping (a technique that maps colors to achieve HDR effects) and restore highlights on regular photos, even though HDR is turned off.

(from dxomark)


Of course, combining multiple exposures and blended images is not unique to Apple. Google Pixel and Samsung Galaxy phones will also apply the same noise reduction process to produce a similar beauty mode effect.

Self-portrait contrast shot on XS (left) and X (right) in outdoor light. Even if Smart HDR is not enabled, XS photos look more balanced, with an even distribution between shadows and highlights. It is important to note that there is no loss of detail on the skin on XS photos.

At first glance it seems that the iPhone X photos are clearer, but if you look closely, this is not the case. The reason the photos look sharper is because the contrast is stronger and the contrast on the XS Max is not as strong.

(from appleinsider shooting Vadim Yuryev)

If we add some contrast to the XS photo, the “beauty” effect will also begin to disappear. So in fact, XS cameras have the potential to reduce system contrast, which is another reason why skin looks softer and smoother in a well-lit environment.

(from appleinsider shooting Vadim Yuryev)

Technically, image contrast can be adjusted through software updates. Based on the design of the new camera hardware, Apple may also slow down the shutter speed to improve the excessive noise reduction, but this will obviously affect the HDR correlation performance of XS and XS Max cameras.

Therefore, we suspect that XS and XS Max "self-contained beauty" can only be gradually adapted and used by users. But domestic fruit powders should be blamed for this or even a little pleasure?

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