Apple may not have made a great job of announcing it, but the iPhone XS camera is now pretty widely accepted to be very, very good in the majority of cases.

Yes, we know that there is some aggressive noise reduction going on that can cause some problematic results, but beyond that there’s a lot to love about the new camera. Shooting RAW images using something like Halide however, is not one of them.

As the developer behind Halide has noted, the iPhone XS actually takes some pretty horrendous RAW images because it overexposes. Thankfully the clever folks who make Halide, have been able to come up with a way of getting around that, and it actually turns out that the iPhone XS can take some amazing RAW images, so long as you use Halide.

That’s because the team has been able to come up with something called Smart Raw – a process that uses an algorithm to underexpose RAW images, allowing it to use the lowest possible ISO. There’s then some magic sprinkled on top that the Halide team is understandably keeping quiet, and the results are pretty impressive.

Over on the Halide blog there is an explainer of what is going on with the new Halide 1.10 update, one which includes the new Smart RAW capabilities, as well as a lot of images that were taken using an iPhone XS and the new Halide update. To say they’re impressive is an understatement, to say the least, and if you’ve been looking forward to really letting your new iPhone XS stretch its legs, you’re going to be in for a treat.

Google’s recently announced Pixel 3 will surely give the iPhone XS a run for its money, and Google’s own algorithmic smarts will produce some awesome images. We’re just glad to see smartphone makers, and importantly, developers, building tools that allow people to take increasingly awesome photos with something that sits in their pocket. Long may it continue!

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