Microsoft made a better camera for your iPhone than Apple

Microsoft made a better camera for your iPhone than Apple
Highlights

It’s called Microsoft Pix.Here’s the gist of it: You take an image, and Microsoft uses artificial intelligence to dynamically adjust your camera settings to best fit the scene. There are no exposure controls, no HDR-specific mode, no settings whatsoever. Just point and shoot.

Microsoft might have just made the best camera app for the iPhone, and it’s ridiculously easy to use.That’s a fairly bold claim, but there’s real some substance behind it, and we’ve been able to try it out beforehand.

It’s called Microsoft Pix.Here’s the gist of it: You take an image, and Microsoft uses artificial intelligence to dynamically adjust your camera settings to best fit the scene. There are no exposure controls, no HDR-specific mode, no settings whatsoever. Just point and shoot.

One of the most common complaints I see from iPhone users – and smartphone photographers in general – are scenes with heavy backlighting, where your subject is surrounded by a brighter object behind them. Think of someone indoors standing in front of a window on a bright day.

For example, here’s one sample scene shot with the standard iOS camera:

And here’s one taken with Microsoft Pix:

Note how Pix isn’t simply making the entire image brighter – it’s simply brightening the parts of the image that need to be brightened.

In this scenario, Pix detects there are actual humans in the shot, decides thats the most important part of the image, and adjusts exposure, contrast and HDR settings in order to properly expose them without completely blowing out the highlights. All this processing is happening locally, by the way, not in the cloud.

The camera also has a clever ‘best shot’ mode to, well, pick the best shot out of a burst. It’s far from the first manufacturer to do this, but has the most clever implementation I’ve seen.

The camera is actually always taking photos while the app is open, and tries to pick the best image based on a number of parameters. Are everyone’s eyes open? Are your subjects smiling? Did they make a cool pose or motion? The AI calculates these factors and chooses the best.

Depending on the scene, it might offer more than one best shot if the scenes are different enough.The camera also uses its always-shooting system to help reduce noise.

Aside from the standard processing in your iPhone, the camera mashes up multiple shots to detect and reduce noise, although we weren’t able to try out this aspect ourselves.

Perhaps the best example of the ingenuity here, however, is with Microsoft’s take on Live photos. Instead of the blurry mess Live photos generally are. Microsoft automatically trims the images based on what it thinks you actually care about (e.g., not your shoes as your return your phone to your pocket).

Moreover, the app uses tech from Microsoft’s own Hyperlapse to stabilize your live images. It’s smart enough to know when you’re purposefully panning the camera, for example, versus when you’re trying to keep the camera stable to capture a subject. In the latter scenario, it pretty much looks like you’re holding your phone on a tripod.

In other scenarios, the app basically creates a cinemagraph:

Pix is not always perfect. Sometimes having everything well exposed can make an image less punchy. And while it makes the average shot better, the lack of virtually any controls feels a bit limiting for those who try to get a bit more artsy. What if you purposefully want your subject to be underexposed for a cool sillhouette?

I’d like to see a manual mode that still pulls in AI features, but gives me more control when I need it. Still, that’s not who Pix is really being aimed at. This is for the person that just opens their camera app and starts shooting, the ones who probably never touch the HDR setting or exposure controls at all in the default camera app.

If that’s you, you should probably give Pix a try. You can download it from the App Store now. And don’t worry team Google, an Android version is coming soon.

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Source:Techgig.com

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