iPhone Xs: How does the variable bokeh effect compare to a real lens?
One of the key new features of Apple's latest iPhones is the ability to adjust the 'bokeh effect' on portrait images, after they've been taken. But, as well as letting you adjust the intensity of the effect, the function has been enhanced to more accurately represent the bokeh characteristics of a real lens, rather than just trying to blur the background.
Every time you shoot an image using the 52mm-equivalent F2.4 portrait camera on the iPhone Xs you have the choice of editing the bokeh effect. This brings up a scale marked in F-numbers. This may sound like Apple just borrowing an interface from the real-world (a process called skeuomorphism), but it goes beyond this: the company says it's modeled the bokeh characteristics to mimic the behavior of a Zeiss lens.
We thought we'd put this to the test: how convincingly does the iPhone Xs resemble a real-world lens? Is the F-number scale anything more than a pastiche? To find out, we shot the Xs alongside the Nikkor 58mm F1.4, mounted on a full frame camera.
iPhone Xs vs Nikon 58mm at F1.4
|iPhone Xs image processed as 'F1.4'||Nikkor 58mm at F1.4|
Scaling the Nikon image down to the same width, you can see the bokeh is around the right size:
Then, when you look at the bokeh off-center, you'll see it develops an elongated 'cat-eye' effect.
iPhone Xs vs Nikon 58mm at F8
|iPhone Xs image processed as 'F8'||Nikkor 58mm at F8|
Just as with the real lens, the cat-eye effect diminishes as you 'stop down.' And Apple has given its bokeh a smooth, fairly gaussian look, rather than the slightly bright-edged bokeh that Nikon has produced, being constrained by the limitations of things such as glass and physics.
Unlike the 'real' camera, the iPhone's sharpness doesn't always drop-off smoothly: for instance it's blurred both shoulders and the subject's scarf, despite the nearer being in a similar plane to the face.
However, while this doesn't always looks natural, the phone is intentionally ensuring that the subject's face remains entirely in focus, which is usually a good thing. And, unlike the $1600 Nikkor lens, it doesn't become a little soft and dreamy when set to 'F1.4.'
Equally, because the iPhone isn't actually changing its aperture, you don't find yourself with less light if you want more depth of field (the iPhone portrait camera's actual depth of field is F15 equivalent, so there's plenty that's in focus in the underlying 'native' image), so you don't have to worry so much about camera shake or subject movement.
The end result isn't going to convince anyone if they look too closely (the processing has cut-off some of the fine hairs, for instance), but for social media use, it's hard to deny that the effect is impressive. And we have to assume this technology will only get smarter and more powerful in future generations.
|Antares cloud complex in Scorpius by jeffbottman|
from Best Photo of the Week...
|26415640516_0644cfa2fc_o by Frederic Kelder|
|last flight by drnikon850|
from Specialized and Specialty Aircraft
|Straumur-Aurora by arnie1|
from Tripod needed
Lenny Kravitz and Leica team up to produce perhaps the most eye-catching M camera ever, in the snakeskin Drifter kit. Limited to just 125 units, you'll need to move fast to get one.
Researchers with the Samsung AI Center in Moscow and the Skolkovo Institute of Science and Technology have created a system that transforms still images into talking portraits with as little as a single image.
K&R Photographics, a camera store in Crescent Springs, Kentucky, was robbed by armed men, who not only took thousands of dollars worth of camera equipment, but also injured the 70-year-old co-owner of the store.
Canon's RF lenses can now have their Control Rings de-clicked to make for silent changes when shooting video.
The new Fujifilm GFX 100 boasts some impressive specifications, including 100MP, in-body stabilization and 4K video. But what's it like to shoot with? Senior Editor Barnaby Britton found out on a recent trip to Florence, Italy.
Apple has updated its MacBook Pro with 8-core processors for the first time ever, as well as an improved keyboard that should resolve the issues of past butterfly keyboards.
Back in early March, we had the opportunity to visit Fujifilm's factory in Sendai, Japan, where assembly line staff were manually assembling the earliest pre-production samples of the GFX 100.
Chris and Jordan are at Fujifilm's GFX 100 launch event in Japan (well, in a nearby hotel room) and have some initial thoughts about using this 100MP medium format powerhouse.
It's here! The long-awaited next-generation Fujifilm GFX has been officially launched. Click through to learn more about the camera that Fujifilm is hoping will shake up the pro photography market - the GFX100.
We recently had the opportunity to shoot in Florence, Italy with a pre-production sample of the Fujifilm GFX 100. Check out our gallery of JPEG samples to get an idea of its capabilities.
We've known about the Fujifilm GFX 100 since last fall, but now it's official: this 102MP medium-format monster will be available at the end of June for $10,000. In addition to its incredible resolution, the camera also has in-body IS, a hybrid AF system, 4K video and a removable EVF.
What must be the world's most camera-friendly airport has set out locations all around its perimeter fence specifically so photographers can get all the best angles unhindered by wires.
According to DJI, any drone model weighing over 250 grams will have AirSense Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast (ADS-B) receivers installed to help drone operators know when planes and helicopters are nearby.
Premiere Rush is targeted at Youtubers and vloggers who want to edit video on the go.
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (USDHS) sent out an alert on Monday stating drones manufactured in China are a 'potential risk to an organization's information.'
The new module might be implemented in the upcoming Galaxy Note device generation.
Chris and Jordan are kicking off a new segment in which they make feature suggestions to manufacturers for the benefit of all photographer-kind. To start things off, they take a look at the humble USB-C port and everything it could be doing for us.
The Olympus TG-5 is one of our favorite waterproof cameras, and the company today introduced the TG-6, a relatively low-key update. New features include the addition of an anti-reflective coating on the sensor, a higher-res LCD, and more underwater and macro modes.
We've long held Olympus' Tough cameras in high regard and the TG-6 is no exception. It offers top notch image quality for its class and lots of useful features. It's also a blast to shoot with.
A meticulously curated video from YouTuber Guy Jones highlights the evolution of street photography from mid-19th century to present day.
A big design is in the pipeline for the popular Godox shoot-through flash trigger, with a new control layout and a collection of new features - including Bluetooth connectivity
The iconic statues of Easter Island are at risk of getting destroyed thanks to tourists climbing on them and picking their noses.
The Honor 20 Pro looks like an attractively priced alternative to some more established flagship competitors.
We've been playing around with a prototype of the new Peak Design Travel Tripod and are impressed so far: it's incredibly compact, fast to deploy and stable enough for the heaviest bodies. However, the price may turn some away.
Peak Design is back at it again, this time crowdfunding the Travel Tripod, the company's 9th Kickstarter to date.
The Camera Store has reported that on May 15, 2019 their store was robbed of a Sony lens and camera, and an employee subsequently sprayed with bear spray while attempting to apprehend the suspect.
Voigtländer's 21mm F1.4 Nokton lens for the Sony E mount has been officially announced.
Google complies with an executive order and resulting blacklists that prohibits US companies to do business with certain foreign entities.
Dutch public broadcaster VPRO has published a documentary called '#followme' that takes a behind-the-scenes look at how some Instagram influencers game the system trough shady tactics.