Apple’s Deep Fusion hands-on: A13 Bionic Neural engine-drive artificial intelligence for your photos

Apple's Deep Fusion (Image Credit: Jeremy Horwitz/VentureBeat)
Apple’s Deep Fusion (click or tap for larger view) (image credit: Jeremy Horwitz/VentureBeat)

Jeremy Horwitz for VentureBeat:

After an on-stage preview at a September media event, a new iPhone 11 feature called Deep Fusion arrived in preview form yesterday with the first beta of iOS 13.2. Deep Fusion is Apple’s name for a new machine learning-aided computational photography trick iPhone 11 models can apply on the fly to enhance detail.

While the DSLR snaps one photo in a split second, A13 Bionic-powered iPhone 11-series cameras will snap three, five, or seven, using tricks like beginning to shoot before the shutter button is pressed and shooting multiple exposures so fast that DSLRs can’t keep up. And while traditional photographers wrestle with questions over the integrity of composite images, Apple AI will pick the best parts from a stack of them and turn them into one idealized “photo” in the time it takes you to blink your eye…

You literally flip a switch — in iOS 13.2 beta 1, confusingly labeled “Photos Capture Outside the Frame” — to turn the feature on or off. If the switch is off, Deep Fusion is on, which means you’re giving the iPhone permission to extract maximum detail from a series of immediately related photos and deliver that final image to you as your photograph.

MacDailyNews Take: Even in beta, Deep Fusion works and, as Jeremy writes, most of us will want to leave it on as it’ll help out when it needs to and, unlike some other things like Instagram filters or Google’s rather awful Night Shit, it doesn’t seem to ever hurt image quality.

Interns, TTK! Prost, everyone!


    1. Who cares, they’ve been ripping us off for decades with their unsophisticated mechanical bodies and high-priced lenses.

      I speak as a long-standing photographer whose first ‘professional’ SLR was an Olympus OM1. Value, small, with ‘cheap’ lenses and great quality images.

      I loved that camera, man.

    2. Johan, the pro market isn’t shrinking. All the pro’s I know and work with still have stand alone digital (and film!) cameras. What’s happening is the prosumer and amateur market is shrinking, as those whose livelihood doesn’t depend on having a real camera with real lenses and accessories are finding their needs met with phones.

  1. Hate to say it, but when I drop the above photo into photoshop and do a pixel-by-pixel inspection, I find a lot of digital noise and over-sharpening. This may be due to the way the photos were saved on the iPhone, or handled once they were moved to a computer and processed for publication, but they look like crap to me. I’ve literally spent thousands of hours in my career inspecting photos at the pixel level to ascertain suitability for professional publication, and editing and color correcting them for publication. I would reject the top picture and ask the photog for a RAW digital image instead, or work off the bottom image to see if it could be successfully edited.

    1. Therein lies the problem. Your view of the of a photo is entirely different from the vast majority of consumers in the world. Most people will never drop a photo into Photoshop to notice digital noise. To most people a photo is just going to be a pleasant memory or maybe forgotten in an instant. Photos for most people are all about the content and less about the quality. Most consumer’s photo scrapbooks are filled with crap quality photos, but are still precious to them. Yeah, so they’ll never see professional publication, but almost no one actually cares about that. LIfe is too short to be fussing over a single photograph.

  2. The iPhone has fine camera for average consumers but I doubt it’s going to put the digital camera industry out of business. I think there can only be so much resolution with lenses and sensors that are relatively tiny on a smartphone. Maybe I’m wrong if there’s a possibility if some advanced AI can turn any photo into a masterpiece.

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