Camera makers have long boasted about how good their auto modes are at automatically judging a scene and delivering the best possible exposure, but Microsoft Research is taking the concept one step further with their new iPhone camera app Pix.
Once a user opens the Pix app, it begins taking photos–regardless of whether you’ve pressed the shutter. It snaps several before you press the shutter and several after and selects the best one. The “best” criteria includes things like whether a subject in the image is smiling, has his/her eyes open or is sharp and in focus. Once the best image has been chosen, the app taps the multiple unused exposures to reduce noise and optimize contrast and white balance.
Pix also has a variant of Apple’s GIF-like Live Photos dubbed Live Images. If the app detects motion, it will automatically compile it into a short video. If people are in the frame, it will stabilize the motion around the individuals. Unlike Live Photos, Live Images doesn’t need to be turned on or off. It kicks on automatically.
Video shooters can also leverage Pix. The app will not only stabilize video, but automatically create time lapses with adjustable playback speeds. Pix is free and available now.
Artificial intelligence is increasingly widespread on the back-end of a photographer’s workflow (helping to tag and organize images in programs like Lightroom and stock services like Pond5). It looks like it’s also making its way to the moment of capture as well. Should we welcome our robot overlords?
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