March 26, 2023

Does the iPhone 14’s compulsory post-processing wreck images?

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Lately, YouTuber Marques Brownlee, who additionally goes by the alias MKBHD, shared the outcomes from his 2022 Smartphone Awards. In these, the iPhone 14 gained within the class for “Finest Digicam System.”

Regardless of this award, this identical YouTuber identified one thing that many photographers might need cause to debate, specifically that iPhones at the moment are making images worse. The offender? Put up-processing.

In one other video posted to YouTube earlier than asserting the outcomes of the 2022 Smartphone awards, MKBHDv shared outcomes from the Award’s blind digicam check.

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In these, the iPhone 14 really got here in 7th place, with 1st and a pair ofnd place titles going to 2 Google telephones, the Pixel 6A and the Pixel 7 Professional, respectively.

These outcomes underscored the primary query of why the iPhone fared so poorly.

In accordance with his argument primarily based on each components of those awards, post-processing is solely turning into exaggerated in some instances. That is particularly the case with the iPhone, which is in any other case thought of to have among the finest cellphone cameras in the marketplace in the present day.

As MKBHD argues, the vast majority of telephones deal with images fairly properly beneath first rate situations corresponding to clear lighting and simple backgrounds.

Nonetheless, when various colours, textures and lighting situations crowd right into a scene, the post-processing methods in some telephones begin to fail with how a lot they exaggerate sure corrective options. In accordance with the YouTuber, the iPhone 14 is a serious offender on this.

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All high-quality trendy smartphone cameras want to make use of a reasonably broad vary of methods to enhance the standard of the images they take. Part of the rationale why is that their sensors, regardless of their typically excessive megapixel counts, are very small and may solely seize a lot gentle, shade and element.

These methods embrace noise discount mechanisms, white steadiness tweaks and synthetic brightness changes.

Extra not too long ago although, Apple and others have taken these tweaks to new ranges with options like Good HDR, which mixes a number of images collectively to make one single composite shot after which provides all kinds of post-processing on prime of that.

The end result, in accordance with MKBHD’s argument, is that pictures begin to skip previous realism and into the territory of digital weirdness.

The YouTuber exhibits this off in his movies with comparisons between images taken with an iPhone 14 Professional and fashions corresponding to Google’s Pixel 7 Professional. The outcomes proven by him are certainly visibly extra natural-looking within the Google cellphone’s picture.

The iPhone images alternatively are over-lightened, over-sharpened and even show colours that begin to look unnatural.

In different phrases, despite the fact that the iPhone 14’s digicam is technically wonderful and options among the world’s greatest sensor know-how from Sony, the digital manipulation that Apple’s inner {hardware} and software program applies to those sensor outputs spoils their potential.

Apple has certainly been including steadily extra steps to the picture post-processing in its telephones through the years and has now reached some extent the place the top end result deteriorates high quality as an alternative of including to it, not less than in some contexts. Good HDR is a selected offender in these issues.

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Different iPhone reviewers and customers have identified these identical points on Twitter, mentioning their complaints about sure elements of Apple’s Good HDR know-how, or the truth that Apple has no possibility for deactivating it, which merely appears absurd.


In fundamental phrases, one drawback with the iPhone 14 and its even pricier variations is that it overdoes the post-processing in some photographic contexts, primarily due to Good HDR know-how. The second drawback is that Apple, as is so very typical of the corporate in sure methods, provides its customers no choices for disabling this characteristic in the event that they wish to.


Customers of iPhones can take purely RAW images with their gadgets, however that is hardly an answer for anybody who simply desires a fast, easy, clear JPEG shot that doesn’t take up a number of dozen megabytes and requires conversion to be shared on social media.

MKBHD’s YouTube video on this complete topic is price a watch too. It goes into further particulars and fairly a number of examples.

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