Next iPhone could take better shots with automatic scene recognition fueled by AI

ios auotmatic scene modes smartcam leak cell phone camera iphone feat
Scene modes that help users capture better shots without the technical know-how have long been part of the consumer camera. Now, new details suggest a form of automatic scene detection could be coming to the next iPhone. Digging into a HomePod firmware leak, one developer suggests the same artificial intelligence technology that organizes the Camera Roll is stepping up to real-time performance to help the camera choose the best settings. The iOS automatic scene mode or SmartCam was uncovered earlier this week.

According to Apple Insider, the code includes data for recognizing several specific scenes, including babies and pets, as well as sports, fireworks, and specific landscapes such as snow or a sunset. The same report suggests that the new Smart Cam automatic scene modes will recognize the same things that existing iPhones already tag to sort existing photos — the difference being that with real-time identification, the camera could use that data to take better photos in the first place.

Since the feature was uncovered through a firmware leak and not confirmed by Apple, it’s unclear just when — or even if — the feature will arrive. With Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference not offering a single mention of such a feature, speculation is that the feature will be exclusive to the next iPhone and not one that is available with an update to iOS 11.

The idea of allowing the camera to choose the scene mode isn’t completely new. Several dedicated cameras have similar features — Sony calls it Intelligent Auto Mode, Canon has Scene Intelligent Auto Mode, and Nikon dubs it Easy Auto or Auto Scene Selector. For Panasonic, its Intelligent Auto, Fujifilm calls it Scene Recognition Auto and Olympus has iAuto. Using different sensors, the camera determines factors like whether or not a face is in the scene or if there is motion, then chooses the scene mode automatically. Instead of flipping through the scene modes, the camera chooses the option. One startup even aims to use AI to bring smarter auto settings to DSLRs.

If the feature does in fact come with the next iPhone, the option would make the native camera app better at adjusting the settings to accommodate for different scenes, since the iPhone, unlike a dedicated camera, doesn’t include scene modes (at least not without a third party app). As just a bit of code, users will have to consider the iOS automatic scene mode SmartCam, along with the growing list of iPhone 8 rumors for now.

Mobile

OnePlus 6T vs. Honor View 20: We compare the cameras in these ‘flagship killers’

For less than $600, you can buy either the OnePlus 6T or the Honor View 20, two extremely capable smartphones with plenty of exciting features. But which one has the best camera? We found out on a recent trip to France.
Photography

From DSLRs to mirrorless, these are the best cameras you can buy right now

From entry-level models to full-frame flagships, many cameras take great photos and video. The best digital cameras, however, push the industry forward with innovative sensors and improved usability, among other things. Here are our…
Product Review

Canon democratizes full-frame with the EOS RP, but keep your expectations low

At just $1,300, the RP is Canon's least expensive full-frame camera yet, but it was born into a world of high-end, high-cost lenses where it doesn't yet feel at home.
Photography

Nikon will bring eye-detection autofocus to the Z6 and Z7 in May

An upcoming firmware update will bring Eye AF to the Nikon Z6 and Z7 -- along with improved autofocus performance in low light. The update will also give the cameras support for the CFexpress format.
Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Hi-viz bike reflectors and a tiny flashlight

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world will take your breath away

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Photography

Using A.I., Lightroom can now boost the resolution of RAW photos

Need to eek a bit more resolution out of a RAW file? Adobe Lightroom and Camera Raw can help with a new feature called Detail Enhance. The tool uses A.I. in the demosaicing process to enhance details and reduce artifacts.
Photography

Tight on space? Here’s how to transfer photos from an iPhone to a computer

Never lose any of your cherished selfies or family vacation photos from your iPhone again by learning how to transfer photos from your iPhone to a computer, whether you want to use a cable or wireless transfer.
Photography

Corel VideoStudio adds tools for customizing color in simple video edits

VideoStudio is Corel's more consumer-oriented video editor but the software recently gained advanced color correction tools. The update adds custom transitions, along with speeding up performance, and adding new shortcuts.
Computing

500px reveals almost 15 million users are caught up in security breach

Almost 15 million members of portfolio website 500px have been caught up in a security breach. The hack occurred in 2018 but was only discovered last week. Users are being told to change their 500px password as soon as possible.
Photography

Olympus packs an enormous zoom ability in its latest interchangeable lens

The Olympus Digital ED M.Zuiko 12-200mm F/3.5-6.3 has the widest zoom range of any interchangeable lens with a 16.6x zoom. The lens, which covers a 24-400mm equivalent, is also weather sealed.
Photography

Nikon brings a classic workhorse lens to the Z series with new 24-70mm f/2.8 S

The Nikon Z series finally has a bright zoom available without an adapter. The Nikkor Z 24-70mm F/2.8 S offers new coatings and more customizable controls in a smaller, lighter body than the comparable F-mount lens.
Photography

Fujifilm’s X-T30 is a semi-pro, feature-rich camera that’s affordable to boot

Fujifilm's newest mirrorless camera delivers the premium features of the X-T3 without the premium price, giving aspiring enthusiasts a lower-cost option that can still match the image quality of Fuji's flagship.
Photography

Fujifilm XP140 squeezes more durability, low-light ability into a waterproof cam

Fujifilm's waterproof compact can now head even further underwater. The Fujifilm XP140 features several upgrades, including a more durable body, a wider ISO range for low light, and expanded auto modes.