Last week we detailed the camera hardware changes of the iPhone XS vs. the iPhone X, and I wondered why Apple’s keynote focused on changes in camera software rather than the new hardware. After testing the iPhone XS cameras for the last week, I get it.
The iPhone XS doesn’t just have a bigger sensor: It has a whole new camera — and the biggest change is its reliance on computational photography.
It’s A Smart Thing
Apple is smart. They see diminishing returns cramming more and more electronics in a fingernail-sized sensor. Photographic technology is the science of capturing light, which is limited by optics and physics.
The only way to circumvent the laws of physics is with something known as ‘computational photography’. With the powerful chips in modern iPhones, Apple can take a whole bunch of photos—some of them before you even pressed the shutter—and merge them into one perfect shot.