I fell in love with Apple’s Advanced Portrait Mode and
Depth Control as soon as I started shooting with my iPhone XS Max.
The dual-lens 12-megapixel camera in the brand new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max — consisting of a primary wide-angle lens with an f/1.8 aperture, and a secondary telephoto lens with an f/2.4 aperture, dual optical image stabilization and 2x optical zoom — incorporates a larger image sensor for improved colour fidelity and better low-light photographs. Simply, this is the finest camera that Apple has ever put inside one its devices.
Driving the iPhone’s enhanced camera system is new A12 Bionic chip with next-generation Neural Engine and improved software which enables Apple’s Smart HDR, a technology that ensures zero shutter lag while shooting multiple frames at different exposures — capturing both shadow and highlight detail — before automatically choosing the best parts of each photo and merging them together to create a single, beautifully exposed frame.
But what most impresses me about the new iPhone XS and XS Max is Apple’s brand new Advanced Portrait mode, which helps photographers create more sophisticated bokeh in their portraits — an effect where the subject is in focus and the background is softly blurred — and the all-new Depth Control, which allows users to adjust the depth of field (and the level of bokeh in their image) after the photograph has been made. I fell in love with this feature as soon as I started shooting with my iPhone XS Max, posting some of the portraits I made on my recent travels to Myanmar and Turkey on Instagram.
Last week, Apple in Cupertino reached out to me — they wanted to help show how the advanced photography technology in the iPhone XS and XS Max can be used — and they asked if they could feature one of the recent photographs I made using Portrait Mode on their Apple Newsroom website. Of course I happily agreed.
As I say often, photography is one of the most accessible and democratic forms of artistic expression there is. And, for me, it’s technology like this that is making it ever easier to make exciting, creative and impactful imagery.
Follow me and my iPhone photography on Instagram @scottawoodward.