iPhone XR can take Portrait mode shots of pets & more in future Halide app update

Posted:
in iPhone
Although Apple's own Camera app normally blocks anything but humans when shooting with Portrait mode on the iPhone XR, one app developer is promising to add compatibility with pets and other subjects.

A Halide example of depth on the iPhone XS versus the iPhone XR.
A Halide example of depth on the iPhone XS versus the iPhone XR.


An update to Halide Camera is "coming soon," said Chroma Noir's Sebastiaan de With. The company elaborated on Reddit, saying that while it already has pets working, "more tooling" is needed to enable support for other objects.

"It seems it'll be a bit more 'temperamental'; in some settings it won't work if there's not enough variance in relative distance of objects, but a can of soda water on my desk worked just fine," one member of Chroma wrote.

The problem, the company explained, is that the XR has a quarter the depth data available to dual-lens iPhones like the iPhone XS. Nevertheless a variety of third-party apps should be able to use Apple's Portrait technology.

Portrait mode simulates the bokeh (depth-of-field) of professional lenses, blurring the background for artistic effect. On dual-lens iPhones, going back to the iPhone 7 Plus, a 2x zoom lens is used to capture the subject, while the normal wide-angle lens records the depth data needed to isolate the subject from the background.

The iPhone XR has just a single wide-angle lens, meaning that Apple has to rely on software methods to calculate depth. That may be why the XR version of the Camera app is limited to humans, since Apple has yet to refine its algorithms.

At present, Halide is not fully compatible with the iPhone XR. The developers say that an update to add at least compatibility will arrive shortly, but it isn't clear if this update will contain the Portrait mode refit.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 3
    wood1208wood1208 Posts: 1,763member
    We understand wide angle and telephoto cameras combination helps define better depth for taking pictures of objects/animals in portrait mode. But, Pixel 3/XL with single camera like iPhone XR can take pictures of objects/animals in portrait mode. This makes me think with software updates to XR, there is a hope for taking pictures of objects instead of just humans..
  • Reply 2 of 3
    dewmedewme Posts: 1,894member
    What a beautiful Siamese cat. Too bad that you didn’t have proper front lighting to really bring out the lovely blue eyes. The difference between the XS and XR is striking because the XS photo almost makes the cat look like a Chocolate Point where the XR is clearly a Seal Point. The backlighting from the window definitely creates a worst case scenario for the HDR processing. The XR photo is much more aggressive from an HDR standpoint, almost too much. 
    StrangeDays
  • Reply 3 of 3
    dewme said:
    What a beautiful Siamese cat. Too bad that you didn’t have proper front lighting to really bring out the lovely blue eyes. The difference between the XS and XR is striking because the XS photo almost makes the cat look like a Chocolate Point where the XR is clearly a Seal Point. The backlighting from the window definitely creates a worst case scenario for the HDR processing. The XR photo is much more aggressive from an HDR standpoint, almost too much. 
    No! Our device software must account for and correct every aspect of our poor composition and lighting!
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