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Deep Fusion Coming to iPhones 11 in iOS 13.2 Beta 1

Matthew Panzarino, writing at TechCrunch:

Apple is launching an early look at its new Deep Fusion feature on iOS today soon with a software update for beta users. Deep Fusion is a technique that blends multiple exposures together at the pixel level to give users a higher level of detail than is possible using standard HDR imaging — especially in images with very complicated textures like skin, clothing or foliage.

It requires the A13 chip, so it’s iPhones 11-only. I spoke with Apple this morning about it, and Panzarino’s description of how Deep Fusion works matches my notes exactly. Just read his write-up.

Here’s an interesting tidbit: Deep Fusion only works with the telephoto and regular wide lenses — it does not work with the ultra-wide lens. Because of that, Deep Fusion is not compatible with “Photos Capture Outside the Frame”, because the outside-the-frame content is usually captured with the ultra-wide lens. So I think we now have two reasons why “Photos Capture Outside the Frame” is not turned on by default:

  1. Apple believes that Deep Fusion will improve more photos for more users than Capture Outside the Frame will, so Capture Outside the Frame is off by default. Deep Fusion is not a mode or even an option like Night Mode is — it will simply apply automatically when the Camera app thinks it should. For the wide angle lens, that’s in mid-range indoor lighting conditions; for the telephoto, Deep Fusion will be applied in all but the brightest outdoor conditions. (So, if you want to compare the effect of Deep Fusion, one way to do it is to capture the same scene with and without “Photos Capture Outside the Frame” enabled — only when it’s disabled will Deep Fusion kick in.)

  2. Privacy. Someone framing a still photo might have something outside the frame they would not want captured — anything from a shirtless portrait where the ultra-wide image would reveal the subject is pantsless as well, to an object on your desk or countertop where the ultra-wide image might reveal an envelope with your home address.

Tuesday, 1 October 2019