In bringing LiDAR and ProRAW to the iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max, Apple has delivered the most impressive photography on a smartphone to date, so let’s look at how to use the tools to their maximum.
It’d be highly unusual for Apple to release a new iPhone without at least tweaking the camera set-up, and 2020’s iPhone 12 range did not disappoint. The iPhone 12 Pro models, consisting of the standard Pro and Pro Max, feature LiDAR scanners on the back for the first time, following on from the success of the same mysterious dot that appeared on the iPad Pro earlier in the year. Known as Light Detection and Ranging, LiDAR uses lasers to judge distances and depth in a photograph, making it the ideal companion to augmented reality apps and setting a new standard for photography on iPhone. Though the technology right now is limited to the professional versions of Apple’s smartphones and tablets, perhaps due to cost, it represents the future of cameras and opens up some truly exciting possibilities.
Although LiDAR as a concept is certainly nothing new, it allows you to scan and map your environment by firing out laser beams, timing how long it takes for them to return. LiDAR started out life on planes, before moving to self-driving cars, and now it’s in our pockets. And unlike time-of-flight sensors which have appeared on a number of Android devices in recent years, LiDAR fires out laser pulses at different parts of the scene, offering an improved range and better occlusion of objects, meaning that your iPhone can display virtual objects that disappear behind real ones much better than some rival brands. And impressively, the technology is super fast, utilizing Apple’s custom-built chips to deliver a more focused, detailed understanding of the scene. Whilst it’s augmented reality that benefits the most right now, with gaming and shopping apps enjoying the new Li-DAR technology, it means that your iPhone understands what’s in the scene much better than it did in the past, which means that custom photo apps can utilize data in a scene and help you take better shots. As well as helping users measure themselves without needing a tape measure or a pencil, it significantly boosts portrait mode effects and low-light focus, so it’s time to put your new iPhone camera to the test.
A PROFESSIONAL PHOTOGRAPH FORMAT
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