Filmmaker wonders ‘what kind of voodoo’ Apple’s conjuring in iPhone Xs, Xs Max, XR camera system

“I was fortunate to test the iPhone XS Max with the FiLMiC Pro team in Barcelona,” Richard Lackey blogs eponymously. “The iPhone XS Max and it’s bretheren the XS and XR are fascinating devices. Employing intelligent and dynamic digital signal processing, the latest generation iPhones can generate images that seem to be beyond the ability of the optics and sensor alone. Of course, that’s exactly the beauty and promise of computational imaging.”

“I don’t know anything that Apple are doing in terms of the camera beyond the general information that is public or was presented in the keynote. So these are my own assumptions and speculation based on what I am seeing in the recorded images. I could be on the right track, or tragically wrong,” Lackey writes. “If any Apple engineer happens to come across this article and wants to reach out personally and talk shop, really, you’ve got my head spinning trying to figure out what kind of voodoo you’re pulling off in this phone. Of course, I know that conversation is not going to happen, commercial secrets are secrets for a reason.”

“The video below was shot off the cuff, all handheld on my last night in Barcelona with the FiLMiC team. I wasn’t planning to shoot anything that night, and left my own beloved iPhone 7 Plus, Moondog Labs anamorphic lens and gimbal behind,” Lackey writes. “It just so happens I was handed the iPhone XS Max we had all been testing the previous days, and so I just shot what was happening around me. There are two versions of the video, the first version is color graded with FilmConvert (plus my own adjustments) in DaVinci Resolve. In retrospect I feel the look is a little bit heavy handed, and there are a couple shots that aren’t 100% matched, but it’s too late now. The ungraded version follows, which shows the original uncorrected video clips as recorded with FiLMiC Pro.”

Lackey writes, “The iPhone XS Max, XS and XR camera system seems to generate images that are beyond the sum of its parts.”

Much more in the full article – recommendedhere.

MacDailyNews Take: The iPhone XS Max, XS and XR camera system is actually breathtaking. Only Apple offers such an advanced photography/videography system.

If your average Joe or Jane could frame/compose/crop an image properly, professional photographers and videographers would be sweating bullets!

Holy f-stop, this leap forward in camera quality is stunning!MacDailyNews, September 20, 2018

Austin Mann reviews iPhone Xs camera: ‘I’ve never worked with a camera that can balance light like this – not even close’ – September 20, 2018
Inside Apple’s iPhone Xs camera technology that rivals DSLR quality – September 20, 2018
‘Shot on iPhone Xs’ video showcases Apple’s amazing new camera – September 13, 2018


  1. … that the ungraded version looks much better and shows better low light detail. Must have been an American drinking that Coke in the restaurant. Too bad they couldn’t find a McDonalds in Barcelona.

    1. They drink Coke all over the world, dude.

      In Germany, some drink a mixture of Coke and Orange Fanta (not the American Orange Fanta, BTW) and you can buy it pre-mixed.

      Do not be such a snob.

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