YouTuber Marques Brownlee, also known as MKBHD, shared his results 2022 Smartphone Awards Last month. While the iPhone 14 Pro won in the best camera system category, a YouTuber has pointed out some shortcomings regarding the photos taken on Apple’s latest smartphone. Now MKBHD is back with a video In it, he explains why some iPhone photos look bad — and the answer: post-processing.
Ahead of the 2022 Smartphone Awards results, MKBHD also shared the results of its blind camera test. In this, Google’s Pixel 6A took the top spot, followed by the Pixel 7 Pro. This has left YouTubers and many others wondering what happens to photos taken with an iPhone.
Image post-processing is overkill
To take a good picture, it is important to have a good sensor capable of capturing as much light and detail as possible. However, since the camera sensors found in smartphones are much smaller compared to DSLRs, phone manufacturers are introducing new tricks every year to enhance these images with post-processing.
Any modern smartphone uses a combination of hardware and software to adjust images after they are taken to make them look better and compensate for the lack of a larger sensor. These include things like reducing noise levels, adjusting white balance, and increasing brightness to show more detail in dark scenes.
But in recent years, Apple and other companies are taking it to the next level. On the iPhone, Smart HDR stitches together multiple photos from different settings. This allows the phone to choose the best features of each of them to result in a better photo. But with a lot of post-processing going on, these images can look unrealistic. This is what happens with the iPhone camera.
As MKBHD points out, most phones handle well in favorable situations, such as a clear sky or an object in front of a clear background. But when you have different colors and textures in the same scene, post-processing needs to be smart enough to understand what would be the best texture for all these elements.
But the thing is, while companies like Google are doing it the right way, Apple is definitely not. As shown by a YouTuber, the iPhone 14 Pro always tries to lighten the shadows, especially on people’s faces, making the photo look too artificial. Compared to other smartphones, the iPhone overestimates the sharpness of photos. MKBHD complains that her skin tone looks too different on the iPhone camera.
Apple is destroying the iPhone camera with these smart features
While the iPhone has great camera hardware, it’s ruined by all the smart features Apple has introduced in recent years, like Smart HDR. Every year, the company adds more steps to camera post-processing. But instead of making the photos better, they make it look even more unnatural.
In iPhone 14 Pro camera review by Sebastian de With, developer of the popular camera app Halide, he also pointed out several flaws in Smart HDR. For example, every time there is a very bright background, the iPhone tries to increase the brightness of the people in the photo, making them appear more white. “I’ve honestly never seen it make a better photo. The effect is simply stunning,” he said.
In another example, the iPhone camera applies a lot of “weird artifacts” to selfies taken in low-light environments, but ends up with a “ridiculous watercolor-like mess” instead of the usual darkness. Photo with high noise.
Personally, I’m also noticing how Smart HDR ruins some of my photos, which are too sharp and have exaggerated colors. on redditMany iPhone users agree with this.
Apple should give users the option to take natural photos
For years, iPhone users mocked other smartphones because their photos looked too artificial. Now we’ve reached a point where iPhone photos look very unnatural. While I hope the company improves Smart HDR, I’d like an option to reduce or completely disable post-processing in the iPhone camera.
You can, of course, take a RAW photo using apps like Halide (note that ProRAW photos are still in post-processing), but you’ll end up with a much larger image file to get a more natural result.
what about you Is the iPhone camera’s excessive post-processing ruining your photos too? Let us know in the comments section below.
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