How to use Depth Control on iPhone XS and XS Max

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Depth Control on iPhone XS
Depth Control can add subtle or wild background blur to your images.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The iPhone XS has an incredible new camera, and the best part of that camera is the new Depth Control feature, which lets you adjust the background blur after you take the photo.

This is a powerful feature, but to get the most out of it, you might want to check out these tips and tricks on using Depth Control on iPhone XS.

The iPhone XS Camera review for iPhone 7 owners

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Depth Control gets confused by glass.
Depth Control gets confused by glass.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

Most iPhone camera reviewers are upgrading from last year’s model, the incredible iPhone X. Most iPhone buyers are upgrading from an earlier iPhone, probably the iPhone 6s or 7. This review is for the buyers. In it, I compare the new iPhone XS camera to the iPhone 7 camera, and talk about just how massive an upgrade this is.

iPhone X owners shouldn’t feel left out, though. Camera-wise, the iPhone XS and XS Max might be the biggest iPhone upgrade since the iPhone 3GS added autofocus. One note: The iPhone XS Max has the exact same camera as the XS, so this review goes for both.

iPhone XR Portrait Mode has one serious limitation

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iPhone XR
Portrait Mode and Portrait Lighting on the iPhone XR.
Photo: Apple

Portrait Mode on the iPhone XR may not be as fully-baked as the version found on Apple’s other iPhones.

The iPhone XR looks like it has almost all of the same features as its higher-priced siblings. Even though it only has one camera lens in the back, it can still take Portrait Mode photos. However, attendees at Apple’s keynote yesterday found out the iPhone XR version only works on people.

Know the differences between iPhone XS and iPhone XR

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iPhone xs xr compared
With all these vibrant options, the iPhone XR wins the color game.
Photo: Apple

Unlike previous iPhone launches, it’s not immediately obvious which iPhone you should buy if you want the best. Or rather, the iPhone XS is clearly the flagship model, but the iPhone XR, launching a month later, has some features which are better than its sibling.

So, what are the important differences to know before you choose which new iPhone X is right for you?

Everything you need to know about your iPhone camera’s aperture

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Here I could have blurred the netting by using a wider aperture.
Here I could have blurred the netting by using a wider aperture.
Photo: Charlie Sorrel/Cult of Mac

A few days ago, we learned about the iPhone’s shutter, the part of the camera that “opens and closes” to let light onto the sensor. Today, we’re taking an in-depth look at the aperture, aka hole. The aperture is an opening in the lens that can be made bigger or smaller. Like shutter speed, its primary purpose is to control how much light reacts with camera the sensor (or film).

Also like shutter speed, aperture has some extra effects on how the image looks. Specifically, it can control how much of the image, front to back, looks sharp.

iOS 12 brings big improvements to iPhone’s Portrait mode

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truedepth iphone x camera portrait lighting
Portrait mode never looked so good on iPhone.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

iOS 12 packs a whole host of significant improvements that Apple didn’t get a chance to showcase during its WWDC preview. One of those, according to one developer, is a greatly-enhanced Portrait mode for compatible iPhone models.

The image below highlights the impressive difference between a Portrait photo taken with iOS 11 and another taken with iOS 12.

iPhone X camera officially ‘studio quality’

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Apple ad says iPhone X takes studio-quality portraits.
There were some complaints after Apple ads claimed the iPhone X takes "studio-quality portraits."
Photo: Apple

The advertising regulatory body in the UK ruled that Apple can say that the  iPhone X takes “studio-quality portraits.”

An ad for this smartphone promised “Radically new cameras with Portrait Lighting. Studio-quality portraits. Without the studio.” However, this brought two complaints to the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA).

Apple shows off iPhone X’s studio skills in new video

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iPhone X portrait lighting ad
Up your selfie game with iPhone X's portrait lighting feature.
Photo: Apple

Apple debuted a new ad today that showcases the incredible powers of Portrait Mode on the iPhone X.

The fun new ad is similar in style to some of the wild Face ID ads Apple put out earlier this year and highlights how having an iPhone X is like literally carrying an entire array of studio lights in your pocket.

Check it out:

Apple throws shade at Android in hilarious iPhone ads

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Apple ad
Up your selfie game with Portrait Lighting.
Photo: Apple

Apple is back with a new set of ads aiming to get Android users to switch to iPhone. The two new ads showcase Portrait Mode and Portrait Lightning on the newest iPhones, while also bragging about the App Store’s security compared to Google Play.

Watch them both: