This iPhone 13 camera feature is inspired by oil paintings, but do users like it?


Is the new iPhone 13 camera better than the iPhone 12? Apple certainly hopes so – after revealing that the company’s design team researched oil paint to change the way photographs were processed in the company’s new camera app. ‘iPhone.

In an interview with Wallpaper * magazine, Apple’s design team explained the interdisciplinary approach of their Cupertino studio.

It was described by famous designer Jony Ive in 2017 as a place where “We can have industrial designers sitting next to a font designer, sitting next to a sound designer, who is sitting next to a graphic animation expert, who sits next to a colourist, sits next to someone who develops objects in soft materials.

This multi-media approach clearly informs even the processing techniques used in the iPhone camera app. Wallpaper * writes that “the iPhone 13’s camera represents a substantial upgrade, with the Pro models boasting a triple-lens system with macro mode and 6x optical zoom.

As UI designer Johnnie Manzari explains, the camera now has a new portrait mode for stills and a cinematic mode for movies. Both exploit the emotional aesthetic of shifting perception. depth. “

Manzari adds: “We have done a lot of research into the history of portraiture as an art and craft form, going back to oil painting and how it influenced photographic traditions.

“The information we got was about the importance of eye focus, background processing and lighting. This has led to the features we’ve added to the iPhone over the years. , which balance these timeless principles in an accessible and more intuitive way.

Alan Dye, vice president of human interface design at Apple, adds, “It sounds a lot more human and there’s more to it, even though it’s an artifact of analog photography. “

Do users like the change, however?

The potential to capture a more analog, older feel for modern digital photography is certainly intriguing – and there is certainly some demand for it. Instagram’s original logo was based on a Polaroid camera, while the Dispo photography app allows users to take photos that don’t “develop” until the next day.

However, there can be a wedge between what Apple intends to do and how users experience them.

Since the launch of the iPhone 13, a number of users have taken to the discussion threads to express their dissatisfaction with the photos taken by the iPhone 13 Pro and iPhone 13 Pro Max – in large part. partly because of the processing which smooths the image and loses important details.

One Reddit post with thousands of upvotes, complains about the “oil paint” effect on the iPhone 13 Pro photographs, comparing side by side with more “natural” shots of the iPhone 11 Pro.

The first comment of the article reads: “I don’t know why modern smartphone cameras prefer (sic) the appearance of oil paint rather than noise in the image but retaining certain details. “

Another thread on the MacRumors forum is titled “Really bad photos with merged iPhone 13 Pro (+ Max)”, where users are complaining about the inability to turn off this processing. The comments say “I have tried everything and there is no way to avoid this” or “At least give us the option to turn off Smart HDR”.

There’s a whole thread on the Apple user support site. begging for the option to turn it off, which appears to have been possible on previous iPhones but was not implemented. Apple’s support website says, “By default, the HDR version of a photo is saved in Photos. On iPhone X and earlier models, you can save the non-HDR version as well.

Thus, the new models appear to restrict the possibility of dispensing with this particular treatment enhancement.

Apple’s design team know how to make a great product and draw inspiration from countless disciplines, but it’s easy to forget that, more than anything else, people like to control what features they should use.


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