First iPhone 11 Night mode photos demonstrate Apple's illuminating camera tech

Posted:
in iPhone edited September 12
Apple's iPhone 11 is still more than a week away from release, but high-profile users seeded with early test units are already showing off the handset's capabilities, like Night mode.

iPhone 11 Night mode
Source: Coca Rocha via Twitter


Coco Rocha, international model and owner of Nomad Mgmt, managed to get some hands-on time with iPhone 11 Pro Max on Wednesday and captured a stunning image using what appears to be the handset's new Night mode.

"Don't ask me how but I got my hands on the new iPhone 11 tonight! Swipe through to see the difference between the 11 and the X in low light," Rocha said in a tweet. A subsequent post revealed Rocha was in New York celebrating the launch of Uniqlo's LifeWear Magazine.

Seen above, the pair of photos shared to Rocha's Twitter account pit iPhone 11 Pro Max against iPhone X in a nighttime photo head-to-head. While not a direct comparison against the Pro Max's direct predecessor, iPhone XS Max, the images go a long way toward illustrating the effectiveness of Apple's latest camera technology.

Taking a closer look at the sample shots, the image from the Pro Max is obviously brighter than a comparable photo taken by the iPhone X, with better color saturation, higher contrast and decent detail. There is a bit of smearing (likely due to aggressive noise reduction algorithms) and compression artifacts are more prominent, but Night mode is able to brighten the scene significantly without crushing blacks.

That said, the iPhone X is no slouch and reproduced the difficult scene with a fair amount of detail and accurate natural colors that lean toward the cooler end of the spectrum. Dynamic range suffered, as evidenced by blown out highlights in the hot dog stand and the video ad displayed on the car charging port.

Apple unveiled Night mode at a special media event on Tuesday. Limited to iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models, the new photography feature relies on a wide camera sensor that feeds image data to the A13 Bionic chip for automated analysis and rendering.

According to Apple, multiple images are taken in quick succession and sent to the A13 Bionic for processing. Images are aligned to correct for errant movements, algorithms detect and discard areas with blur, contrast is adjusted and colors are fine-tuned. A de-noising process is performed before unnamed "enhancements" are applied to arrive at a final image.

Night mode is activated automatically in low-light environments, though it is possible for users to manually defeat the feature if they so choose.

Another upcoming feature called Deep Fusion goes further by snapping eight frames, analyzing each and stitching together the best sections "pixel-by-pixel" in a process that takes about one second. Previewed on Tuesday, Deep Fusion is expected to hit iPhone 11 in a future software update.

Apple's iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max go up for preorder on Friday at 5 a.m. Pacific, with purchases slated to arrive on Sept. 20.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 22
    Will be interesting to see if the process takes 5 secs as reported. 
  • Reply 2 of 22
    hentaiboy said:
    Will be interesting to see if the process takes 5 secs as reported. 
    It said there it takes a second.
    "Another upcoming feature called Deep Fusion goes further by snapping eight frames, analyzing each and stitching together the best sections "pixel-by-pixel" in a process that takes about one second."
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 22
    People on Reddit are saying that 13.1 enables night mode on their XS and XR. Here's hoping this isn't an accident and Apple actually gives it to us A12ers in the final release. 
    gregoriusmiOS_Guy80AppleExposedjahblademagman1979sergiozberndogcornchipchasmtwokatmew
  • Reply 4 of 22
    kevin kee said:
    hentaiboy said:
    Will be interesting to see if the process takes 5 secs as reported. 
    It said there it takes a second.
    "Another upcoming feature called Deep Fusion goes further by snapping eight frames, analyzing each and stitching together the best sections "pixel-by-pixel" in a process that takes about one second."
    I was referring to Night Mode.
  • Reply 5 of 22
    Skeptical--looking at shadows, icebox, pedestrian, etc-- how rigorous a comparison. Not maligning her, but she possibly does have ulterior motivation to go viral. Of course she could just be excited by such a difference. (I've got an X and considering iphone 11 pro, so I hope she's right. But will wait for others to confirm)
    chemengin1Jordanf1
  • Reply 6 of 22
    noraa1138noraa1138 Posts: 15unconfirmed, member
    People on Reddit are saying that 13.1 enables night mode on their XS and XR. Here's hoping this isn't an accident and Apple actually gives it to us A12ers in the final release. 
    I’ve got 13.1 running on my XS and don’t see any option to enable night mode. Do you have a link to the reddit thread?
    edited September 12 SpamSandwichwatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 22
    People on Reddit are saying that 13.1 enables night mode on their XS and XR. Here's hoping this isn't an accident and Apple actually gives it to us A12ers in the final release. 
    Could it be that some are confusing night mode with dark mode?  Either way, you can experience night mode on any iPhone or iPad running iOS 12 or later by installing Neural Cam for $2.99. https://apps.apple.com/us/app/neuralcam-night-mode-camera/id1474856599   There are other apps that do it as well, but Neural Cam is the one I know about.  I am not associated with this app in any way.  Saw it mentioned on MacRumors
  • Reply 8 of 22
    When actually looking at the image on the iPhone X and the iPhone 11 Pro Max (i11PM), I wonder which one looks better?
  • Reply 9 of 22
    People on Reddit are saying that 13.1 enables night mode on their XS and XR. Here's hoping this isn't an accident and Apple actually gives it to us A12ers in the final release. 
    Do you have a link? 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 22
    Do you have a link? 
    People are debating whether it's actually night mode or not – they're saying that they're getting better results in low light, but there's speculation that it's improved processing that's not full-on night mode. This thread has a video of someone scrolling through their camera roll and it appears that photos brighten up when you swipe to them but I'm not sure what's really going on there. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 22
    My guess is that any "nightmode" can be emulated with a clever AI process (software) with the help of powerful processor. This have been achieved with Google Pixel. The shortcomings though are that they are not perfect, results in a lot of smearing from artificial compensation and it takes longer to process (this is the only reason I hate the Pixel nightmode).


    To get better results, more accurate colors and details - and especially faster shot - there is no way around the additional camera lens. Which is why, hate to admit it but, Huawei phone have achieved this. Let's see if iPhone can do it better with the 11 Pro model.
    muthuk_vanalingamwatto_cobra
  • Reply 12 of 22
    bigpicsbigpics Posts: 1,382member
    Thinking about "pro" users, it would be "pro-er" if we're able to not just turn the feature on and off, but to specify and dial in the degree of the effect.

    Fingers crossed since I'm getting one.

    I'm constantly adjusting exposure, highlights, blacks and shadows in post already. And it's more difficult with low light pix.....
    cornchipwatto_cobra
  • Reply 13 of 22
    kevin kee said:
    My guess is that any "nightmode" can be emulated with a clever AI process (software) with the help of powerful processor. This have been achieved with Google Pixel. The shortcomings though are that they are not perfect, results in a lot of smearing from artificial compensation and it takes longer to process (this is the only reason I hate the Pixel nightmode).


    To get better results, more accurate colors and details - and especially faster shot - there is no way around the additional camera lens. Which is why, hate to admit it but, Huawei phone have achieved this. Let's see if iPhone can do it better with the 11 Pro model.
    Your guess is mostly correct.  It can be, and already has been,  emulated in software on iOS.  Dual lenses will produce better results, but they aren't required.  https://apps.apple.com/us/app/neuralcam-night-mode-camera/id1474856599 ;
  • Reply 14 of 22
    AppleExposedAppleExposed Posts: 1,664unconfirmed, member
    The camera and modes blew me away.

    Being able to record 2 different cameras at once was amazing.

    Movies/documentaries will be filmed with this.
    magman1979tmayberndogcornchipStrangeDayslostkiwiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 15 of 22
    cornchipcornchip Posts: 1,418member
    Wonder how this will compare to the droids out there
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 16 of 22
    cornchip said:
    Wonder how this will compare to the droids out there
    They won’t be the droids you’re looking for. 
    JustSomeGuy1Tuuborcornchiplostkiwimacguiwatto_cobra
  • Reply 17 of 22
    ajlajl Posts: 113member
    This demonstrates how this kind of smartphone are extremely expensive. After one year or less you realize your over 1,000 dollars device doesn't have such that value, after all.
  • Reply 18 of 22
    I think the most interesting part of this photo is Night-mode's reproduction of the lighting on the cart. Typically bringing a night scene into balance means losing colour and detail in the already-bright portions.

    So in a way this is a bit like HDR for dark scenes.

    I'll be curious to see what this can do for photography of night-time light shows, such as Vivid in Sydney, amongst others.
    edited September 13 watto_cobra
  • Reply 19 of 22
    ajl said:
    This demonstrates how this kind of smartphone are extremely expensive. After one year or less you realize your over 1,000 dollars device doesn't have such that value, after all.
    Not sure what you mean. The phone I purchased last year is still returning its value in the work that I do and the enjoyment it brings in the off hours. Nothing changes just because a newer/better model is released. Electronics are not an investment unless you own an original Apple computer or something along those lines.
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 20 of 22
    Like NeuralCam, Apple's Night Mode appears to be taking multiple exposures and stitching them together. The longest exposure is about 1/2 second. This is plenty of time for an f/1.8 sensor to illuminate all but a pitch black night. On my iPhone XS, NeuralCam takes about 10 seconds to process an image. The iPhone 11 cuts this time down to 1 second. This is 'computational photography wizardry' according to Phil Schiller. I believe it.
    edited September 13 watto_cobra
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