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The Truth about "Beautygate" on iPhone XS & XS Max!

you may have heard some talk about

Beauty gate where Apple's new iPhone 10s

and 10's Mac seem to be applying a skin

smoothing filter to photos taken with

the selfie camera now that's not the

truth so let's talk about what's

actually happening behind the Saints

it's all due to the new smart HDR

feature in Apple's new iPhones which is

designed to increase dynamic range as

you can see in this photo from our

iPhone 10 vs 10 s Mac's photo comparison

the face and body are properly exposed

but on the TENS image the highlights and

the background are blown out on the 10s

max you can see all the details and

textures and the colors are accurately

reproduced not only that but if you look

at the shadows they appear brighter and

you get more detail as well now here's

where it gets interesting if you compare

the pants on each image it looks like

there's a smoothing effect being applied

on the 10s Macs and if you look at a

selfie photo taken in low-light the

effect is even more pronounced now

there's two main reasons why this is

happening and they're both related to

smart HDR with a regular HDR photo on

last year's iPhone 10 the camera will

snap three photos one exposed for the

face one for the highlights and one for

the shadows and then blend the best

parts of each image into one photo

professional photographers sometimes

take these photos manually before

blending them in a program like Adobe

Lightroom resulting in a photo with

incredible detail and dynamic range with

Apple's new smart HDR it all starts with

something Apple calls zero shutter lag

whenever your camera app is open the

camera is constantly shooting a four

frame buffer basically for photos over

and over again without actually saving

them so that when you do take a photo

you get one instantly and at the same

time the camera is also capturing a

variety of frames at different exposures

it then analyzes and merges the best

rings together into one photo which

you've gotta admit has seriously great

dynamic range in order to make this work

all this has to happen very quickly and

you can thank the new front-facing and

rear-facing sensors for this the new

sensors have increased readout speed

allowing it to snap photos quicker

however there's another limitation

shutter speed which is basically the

amount of time the camera shutters open

to allow light into the sensor now since

smart HDR requires everything to happen

very quickly the shutter speed needs to

be faster so as not to slow down the

process because of that

less light has a chance to get into the

sensor and to compensate the camera

increases the ISO which digitally

brightens the image but that also

increases noise in bright sunlight we

won't notice much of a difference since

the image may already be perfectly

exposed even with faster shutter speed

but in a low-light scenario the ISO

needs to be turned up pretty high which

introduces a lot of noise and to

compensate for that Apple adds noise

reduction processing to the images and

the most common drawback to noise

reduction is that the details start to

lose their sharpness and look soft

basically what people are calling skin

smoothing and the reason the effect is

more noticeable on the front-facing

camera is because the sensor is a lot

smaller than the one on the rear so even

less light has a chance to get in

sebastien d width the developer of the

camera app halide discovered that the

new iPhone appears to favor fast shutter

speeds and higher ISO levels regardless

of whether the smart HDR feature is on

or off so no Apple isn't applying a

beauty filter the smooth out areas are

mostly due to added noise reduction if

we compare a low-light photo from the

10s max to something like the galaxy

note 9 we'll see that the node 9 is

applying noise reduction as well leading

to a similar beauty mode effect so

there's half of the Beauty gate puzzle

now let's go through the second half

which is responsible for making this

effect look even more pronounced because

smart HDR is taking more frames at

different exposures and combining them

it's able to have more high light and

low light detail than ever before

however when merging these images

together the photo becomes more balanced

and there is an overall decrease in

contrast throughout the whole image

looking at these photos it seems as

though the iPhone tends photo is sharper

but if you look closely it's actually

not the reason the photo looks sharper

is because it has more contrast now

contrast is basically the difference in

brightness between objects in a photo in

this example the bottom half isn't any

sharper it just has added contrast we

noticed this effect when comparing the

tennis max to the note 9 the photos and

video on the tennis max lacked contrast

and looked less sharp compared to the

note 9 but in reality it was just as

detailed looking at the selfie photo

comparison you'll notice that the iPhone

tends image has more contrast making it

look more detailed the iPhone tennis

Max's lack of contrast makes it look

like there's some kind of ski

smoothing effect being applied but if we

add some contrast back in that effect

goes away so it's actually the lack of

contrast that makes it seem like the

skin is softer even when in a well-lit

environment so there you have it that's

beauty gate in a nutshell technically

Apple would just need to tweak the

software to resolve the issue if they

choose to ask for some more HDR

ALPA can tune the feature to make it

work slower and allow the shutter to

stay open a bit longer but of course

that'll reduce the dynamic range

performance on the 10s and 10's Max's

new cameras so thanks for watching guys

let me know what you thought about that

explanation in the comment section below

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