Apple iPhone 12 camera gets new computational photography brains

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The Apple iPhone 12 brings Night Mode to ultrawide and selfie cameras, not just the main camera.

Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET

Apple’s iPhone 12 gets new computational photography smarts — the processing tricks that let a phone take better photos than otherwise would be possible with tiny camera hardware. Among the new features are expanding Night Mode for ultrawide and selfie cameras and an improved HDR mode for challenging scenes with bright and dark elements, the company said at Apple’s iPhone 12 launch event Tuesday.

HDR stands for high dynamic range — the ability to capture shadow details without turning highlights into a washed-out mess. The new iPhones bring third-generation HDR technology designed to better capture details like silhouetted faces, Apple said. It also uses machine learning technology to judge processing choices like boosting brightness in dim areas, Apple said.

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Cameras are one of the most important features on a new smartphone asking with processor and network speeds. We snap photos and videos to document our lives, to share with friends and family and to enjoy artistic expression.

Apple is repeating the hardware choices it made in 2019 with the iPhone 11. The basic iPhone 12 has two cameras, the primary view and an ultrawide option good for group shots, confined indoor spaces and  sweeping landscapes.

Apple’s iPhone 12

Screenshot by Stephen Shankland/CNET



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