With iPhone X, Apple reinvents the camera. Again.

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iPhone camera
Sure you can take pictures with it. But the iPhone X shows the future of the camera will have little to do with the photographic image.
Photo: Apple

Each generation of iPhone has brought with it a camera more amazing than the last. As users ogled over higher resolution, bigger sensors and new computational features, few saw the device’s evolution as more than just the making of a better camera.

But the iPhone X gives the camera a new job description — it’s not just a photography specialist anymore. How iPhone cameras function in the future will have little to do with the photographic image. And the iPhone X previews the innovations to come.

Apple’s latest acquisition could be game changer for iPhone camera

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sensor technology
An iPhone 6 shooting along side a camera modified with a Quantum Film Sensor in 2015.
Photo: InVisage/YouTube

Apple has reportedly bought a California startup that developed new image sensor technology that could boost the iPhone’s photo and video capability.

A news website that covers the digital imaging space reported on Apple acquisitions of InVisage, citing unnamed sources that said the deal was completed in July. Some former InVisage employees are already working in Cupertino, according to the report.

Smiles trigger selfies with Camera+ app update

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iPhone photo app
Camera+ adds features like smile mode and depth support.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

Even when your arm is stretched out as far as possible, it can be a struggle to get a finger or thumb on the shutter of your iPhone camera to take that selfie. An update to the app Camera+ trips the shutter with a smile.

Version 10 of Camera+, one of the more popular apps for iPhone photographers, announced new features this week with improvements that take full advantage of iOS 11.

Flashy 3-in-1 lens lights up your iPhone photos

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iPhone lens
One attachment with three lenses, an LED light, and a selfie mirror.
Photo: RevolCam

Lens attachments can extend the reach of an iPhone camera. But now you are carrying extra stuff and compromising the compact convenience of the camera that is always with you.

RevolCam is one attachment, but with three lenses, an LED light and selfie mirror and avoids the bulk each of those accessories could add to your pockets or bag.

Advanced iOS app zaps backgrounds from photos

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iOS photo app
The touch of a finger on a slider bar makes erasing backgrounds in photos simple.
Photo: Jon Colverson

Portrait mode on the iPhone does a very serviceable job of blurring out a distracting background. A new app makes it easy to remove the background entirely.

Depth Background Eraser, made for iPhone 7 Plus, 8 Plus and the soon-to-be-released iPhone X, uses the depth data stored in a photo to let your inner artist easily remove any background.

iPhone cameras just got a whole lot smarter

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iPhone camera
Sure you can take pictures with it. But the iPhone X shows the future of the camera will have little to do with the photographic image.
Photo: Apple

Hard to believe that a smartphone camera born from two tiny megapixels and a fixed-focus lens10 years ago now includes 3D facial recognition, augmented reality and a studio lighting emulator.

The camera system on the 2017 iPhones features more than incremental improvements for making pictures and recording video. In fact, the new camera hardware transcends photography and plays a deeper role in personal communication, entertainment, and data security.

Time photographer uses iPhone for stunning cover shots

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Time featured 46 women changing the world and photographed them using iPhones.
Time featured 46 women changing the world and photographed them using iPhones.
Photos: Luisa Dörr/Time

Luisa Dörr is not the first photographer to do a magazine cover shoot with her iPhone. But her 12 covers for Time magazine of women changing the world may be the most impressive to date.

Dörr photographed 46 influential women, from Oprah Winfrey and Serena Williams to Hillary Clinton and Selna Gomez, for the magazine, which published a piece called “Firsts,” featuring women who are changing the world.

iPhone becomes a reliable light meter with Lumu Power [Review]

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Lumu Power light meter
Is that an iPhone or a light meter? It's both.
Photo: David Pierini/Cult of Mac

Lumu Power light meter for iPhone

The iPhone democratized photography and disrupted the video and camera industry. Now a new product that plugs into the iPhone’s Lightning port aims to replace an important photographer’s tool — the handheld light meter.

The Lumu Power light meter is a small, plug-in photodiode that looks like a pingpong ball cut in half. The light meter, a product of Lumu Labs from Slovenia, rose out of a Kickstarter campaign in 2015. It’s won favorable reviews from photographers and photo websites as the company works to improve the companion app.