Apple tests dazzling Deep Fusion for iPhone 11 in new iOS 13 beta

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iPhone-11-cameras
Deep Fusion makes smartphone photos better than ever.
Photo: Killian Bell/Cult of Mac

Apple is today providing beta testers with an early taste of its upcoming Deep Fusion feature for iPhone 11.

Apple first previewed the new technology, which promises to deliver some of the most detailed photos you’ve ever shot on a smartphone, at the iPhone 11 launch event last month.

Registered developers can start trying it out today by downloading the latest iOS 13 beta.

We’ve already been blown away by what the iPhone 11 lineup is capable of when it comes to photography. And there’s more to come later this year with Deep Fusion.

Here’s what you have to look forward to if you’ve upgraded to iPhone 11, 11 Pro or 11 Pro Max.

Deep Fusion pushes details to the max

Deep Fusion solves one of the biggest problems we have with smartphone cameras — the lack of detail in photos taken in medium lighting situations (like those shot indoors).

It does this by cleverly combining multiple images, shot at different exposures, for the best possible results. Here’s how it works:

  1. Before you’ve even hit the shutter button in the Camera app, three frames have already been captured at a fast shutter speed.
  2. Another three frames are captured as soon as you hit the shutter button. Then, another is taken with a longer exposure to capture more detail.
  3. Your iPhone brings all of these photos together into what Apple calls a “synthetic log.”
  4. Deep Fusion then picks a short-exposure image with the most detail and merges it with the long-exposure image. Only two frames will be combined in Deep Fusion mode.
  5. Your iPhone then processes the merged image to maximize the detail in your shot. It identifies things like the sky and a person’s hair and clothing to establish which areas require the most detail, then makes its adjustments accordingly.

Deep Fusion is a breakthrough

All of this takes around one second, and it happens automatically. You don’t need to activate Deep Fusion manually; your iPhone will know when it’s required and it just goes to work. You don’t even get an indicator in the Camera app to tell you it’s working its Deep Fusion magic.

Apple's Deep Fusion samples look spectacular
Apple’s Deep Fusion samples look spectacular.
Photo: Apple

What you will notice is the most detailed photos you’ve ever shot on a smartphone. As you can see in Apple’s sample images here, things like skin, hair and clothing look better than ever.

Check out the detail in this iPhone 11 Deep Fusion image
Check out that detail!
Photo: Apple

Deep Fusion doesn’t work for burst photos. Plus, it requires the new A13 Bionic chip, so you can only enjoy it on iPhone 11, 11 Pro and 11 Pro Max. Apple has not yet confirmed when the feature will be available to everyone, but beta testers can start trying it out today.