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My iPhone is the best iOS-Halide camera

Edition MacDigger shares useful and interesting application that will appeal to users.

The first saying, which will remember any photographer: “the Best camera is the one that you have at hand”. As always, for unconditional truth hiding many details. Indeed, to have any kind of camera and know all its functions than rave other tools without understanding the basics.

But any technology will sooner or later grow. Then instead of developing it restrict restrictions. Alternative camera Halide for iOS is the app which should look iphonegrapher who are looking for life after the stock “Camera”. Understand why.

Functional beauty

Way to the heart of an iOS user is through design. In Halide perfectly understood this truth and polished interface is to literally to Shine.

But before proceeding to the detailed description, will put aside an important challenge facing the developers. To wean the iPhone user from the standard “Camera” need a monstrous effort. The reasons are many:

  • Habit. “Camera” with us many years. Its use is felt intuitively.
  • The prolonged absence of alternatives. The so-called “advanced” camera existed long time ago, but popularity is not won. To break the ice between ordinary user and program to iphoneography it was not easy, and the support of the RAW format appeared relatively recently.
  • Convenience. Again, Apple has decided all by herself. The camera is available directly from the lock screen swipe to the left, with this trump position that allows you to shoot the scene almost instantly, hard to argue.
  • So, keeping in mind such a tough competition, looking at Halide otherwise.

    Almost like a standard Camera

    When the program starts, the user looks like the usual (at least in logic), design. The shutter button, the preview pictures, the wheel settings at the bottom and more options at the top of the screen. Conceptual Halide follows the standard “Camera”, but reinterprets its elements — adapting to fit the needs of advanced users.

    Where in the “Chamber”, the shooting mode (video, slow-mo, portrait, panorama) from Halide switch automatic and manual modes. When all adjusts the camera, it lights up yellow. In case of manual selection before the user turns the focus wheel. It can be dragged as a “by eye”, and use the tool, which in real time shows areas with proper sharpness. So you will not miss with the focus.

    At the same time, both in automatic and in manual modes available exposure compensation — EV slider is located in the lower left corner. It works obviously: Wake up brightens the frame up, swipe down to dim. Double-tap restores the default setting.

    To better understand, correctly lit shot, you can activate a small histogram. Speaking of photo terms, this is a graph of the distribution of pixels with different brightness in the picture. Left on it — black shades, the middle midtones, and the right — white light. Learn how to read the data on the histogram is the essential skill for a photographer.

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    Beginners enough to learn a banal truth. More evenly distributed than this “statistics”, the better. Distortions, if they are not made consciously, talking about underexposed or overexposed frames. However, if you choose still have the darkness better than light. To “pull” out of the frame with negative exposure balanced picture is easier than to save peresechenii the.

    We return to the possible Halide. Next to the sign, the histogram at the top center, it shows the icon of a circle with a triangle inscribed there. Pull the “tail” under it — and the camera will present familiar elements. Left to right: flash, timer, grid, format you shoot (RAW or JPG), settings. Their position can be changed, but let’s just focus on the functional parts.

    For starters, we strongly recommend to enable the grid. As in the native application, it divides the viewfinder into nine rectangles. Benefit two: beginners it helps to frame and, if desired, to follow the famous rule of thirds. The second advantage is the integration with gyroscope and vibration motor. Halide activates weak tactical responsewhen the camera is in “correct position”: for example, parallel or perpendicular to the ground level. In many situations, this allows you to avoid perspective distortions, and littered the horizon.

    The second important setting is the switch to RAW format. This term (from the English. raw uncooked, untreated) several times already glimpsed in the review. I’m sure most readers and so do not need to explain its essence. Those for whom the Halide will be the first “professional” iPhone camera, a small explainer useful. So the standard “Camera” stills writes in the HEVC format. The program itself takes care of processing images. Outlet are juicy images that occupy a minimum of disk space and do not require serious treatment. All these advantages are achieved at the cost of “erasing” information from the frame.

    At RAW the procedure is different: with the frame is stored much more information obtained by the sensor when shooting. Cons to see just the “raw” files are not compressed and weigh, usually, about 10 MB. Their appearance at first, too afraid of without processing your photo look more flat, grey and dull. But RAW opens space for further editing. Between these two options, Apple has opted for the mass — the majority want convenience. The standard “Camera” impossible to shoot in RAW, this feature is the only third-party applications.

    See also: How to shoot in RAW on an iPhone and why

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    Halide shoots great in RAW, preserving all the advantages of the format. But adds to them another — speed. Photos are saved almost instantly, even despite their complexity and weight. Another top iOS camera Ligthroom from Adobe (Yes, this is not only the editor) handles raw images, the feelings, two to three times longer.

    The latest features available for configuration in Halide — ISO and white balance. To activate manual correction by clicking on that same triangle inscribed in a circle. Again, it’s very simple: ISO indicates the light sensitivity of the sensor, AWB — temperature image. The first parameter it is desirable to keep as low as possible, because its improving effect on the sharpness. The second option is variable — white balance helps to visualize the natural lighting conditions and has several presets (cloudy day, lamp).

    What to do with it?

    The answer is simple — to remove. The beauty of the Halide in the fact that even without configuring the settings manually you already have an advantage: at least thanks to the RAW format. Its potential, however, still need to properly implement. View photos by clicking on the preview in the lower left corner. There you can delete or export.

    To accurately process RAW files, I suggest these editors: Snapseed, VSCO, Darkroom. First its free and functionality. Second — for a long list of quality filters (especially subscription VSCO X). Third — for native integration with the Halide. If the Darkroom is installed on an iPhone, edit, you can, without leaving the camera — and then immediately save your masterpieces to the gallery.

    By the way, a warning: the streams no notes about RAW file to you or to the standard HEVC. This is another point in favor of the fact to sort the files directly inside the Halide.

    Breaking the cherry on the cake

    The description of this feature I saved for last because it, at times, hard to believe. Halide, created by only two developers, knows how terrific to work with blur in the background. This is the same feature, which at the time sold the iPhone 7 Plus and justified the installation of a second camera.

    Let me remind you: the smartphone has learned to mimic the bokeh effect, which creates a high-aperture lenses on system cameras. That’s only adult “cameras” background blur is obtained in a natural way, thanks to the optical characteristics of the glass and the sensor size. For portrait mode in iPhone rap neural networks they process data about the depth of the frame and in accordance therewith alter the image. In order not to clamp the advanced functions are only for the native “Camera”, Apple created a framework API Depth.

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    Halide uses it. IPhone 7 Plus, 8 Plus and iPhone X camera offers mode Depth, which has a corresponding mark on the screen. It includes portrait function, but with a few enhancements.

    The screen displays three icons: a circle with gradient sections, the icon of a man and the inscription Depth. The first feature consists in the viewfinder of the gray image. Don’t worry — just Halide is able to show you how the camera sees the depth of the surrounding scene. Faded silhouettes of a visualization of data processed by the sensor. Functionally, it is not often useful, but generally impressive.

    Proceed to the second icon. It includes portrait mode: dual enlargement and background blurring. But be careful — on preview of the Halide shows a slightly stronger side than in the final picture. If you again click on the icon with the little man, it will turn white. But the image on the screen changes. Halide will begin in real time to show where distributed background blur, with pulsating white waves. It may be useful to outcalibrate distance or position relative to the subject.

    When viewing the depth image also has its own characteristics. For starters, you can disable yourself portrait function. But what is more interesting is the AR-display mode. With it the developers plenty of fun. In fact, it is the combination of Depth and framework API ARkit. Removed frame can be visualized as a 3D poster at any point in the surrounding space and to consider it from all sides. However, most of the images will consist of pixels, but play around function still funny.


    Do not be afraid of the size of this review. Halide is a very intuitive application, which is naturally revealed in the hands of the user. It is not necessary strained to get used to, all of life hacks will eventually become obvious.

    The main thing here, as in the development of a real, physical camera — do not be afraid of experiments. Halide just prepares them for a good soil. With this camera can not be afraid of the dark environment — RAW will help to beat off a weak light. She will reveal the potential of portrait photography (especially on iPhone 10). And most importantly, will certainly arouse curiosity in the work with the raw files.

    With all this list of advantages, price the camera is more than available. Halide costs $5,99. You need to pay once, no subscriptions. Is it worth it? The question you need to ask yourself.

    Presentations Apple says that iPhone is the most popular camera in the world. But to do a real study of his photo opportunities not everyone is ready. The majority will still be enough “Camera”. For the enthusiast there is Halide.

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