Along with bringing new features to the iPhone XS and iPhone XR like dual-SIM support, Apple has confirmed that iOS 12.1 also solves an issue with the smartphones’ smart HDR camera system that results in smoother-looking photos.
This effect, which has been commonly referred to as ‘skin-smoothing,’ adds a Samsung-like processed quality to images shot with the XS, XS Max and XR.
The left image was taken with the iPhone XS Max, while the right image was snapped with the iPhone X. In this photo pairing, smart HDR is turned on with the iPhone XS Max.
According to The Verge, Apple’s Smart HDR feature is selecting the “wrong base frame for HDR processing” when taking a selfie. Instead, the feature should be choosing a frame “with a short shutter speed to freeze motion and preserve detail.”
Since neither phone features optical image stabilisation in its front-facing camera, this resulted in blurrier shots and a loss in detail that resembles a skin-smoothing effect, according to Apple.
The left image was taken with the iPhone XS Max, while the right image was snapped with the iPhone X. In this image pairing, smart HDR is turned on with the iPhone XS Max.
While I’ve encountered this issue frequently, I’ve found that it affects both the rear and front-facing camera, though Apple only seems to have explained why the problem is occurring with the XR and XS’ selfie shooter. Further, it remains to be seen if this new update, which is set to select the sharpest base frame when taking selfies, will also solve the skin-smoothing problem with the rear-facing camera.
Source: The Verge