With a new dual camera system, and a whole load of new bells and whistles, Apple says the camera in the new iPhone Xs is the best camera ever. And, honestly, it does sound pretty impressive.
The camera on the back of the Xs is a dual camera system, with two separate 12MP cameras. One is a wide camera, and the other is telephoto. There are also two cameras on the front of the phone too: a 7MP camera and an IR camera, allowing for depth to be created when you're taking selfies and using portrait mode.
There's a very powerful image signal processor that works along with the iPhone Xs's CPU. It can handle all the settings when using auto mode, such as exposure, white balance, focus, noise reduction, tone mapping and highlight details. It can also manually fuse images, to create panoramas or HDR. By itself, that's nothing new. But the power of the iPhone allows more operations than ever to be carried out at once, making photo processing quicker and more effective than ever. The phone is capable of 1 trillion operations at once when taking a photo, apparently.
The iPhone Xs has a brand new feature called 'smart HDR'. HDR photography is a process that merges multiple different exposures of the same image to create one final image with a deeper range of colours. Smart HDR allows this to happen instantaneously – holding the shutter button down will tell the phone to take multiple images at once, all at different exposures, and then will automatically process them into one for the perfect HDR image.
As expected, there's absolutely no shutter lag, so the moment you press the button on your phone, the image is captured.
What's perhaps most impressive, though, isn't so much a feature of the camera itself. Rather, it's a post-processing option that's available. Depth of field of an image can be changed after an image has been taken. If you choose a small aperture to create a 'bokeh' effect when you take the photo, a setting in the Photos app will technically allow you to undo that focal choice to bring the background back into focus. Mind. Blown. Presumably, whatever aperture you choose, the phone also takes another photo (or multiple) with a different focal length to allow you to access that in post-processing. However it does it, though, it's pretty cool.
Here are some example images that were shown during Apple's event, all taken with the iPhone Xs. Now I want one. Damn.