Macro cameras on iPhones is a new thing and iPhone loyalists around the world are all wowed. The iPhone 13 Pro series gets this photography mode by relying on a repurposed autofocus mode on the ultra-wide camera. The standard iPhone 13 models miss out on the macro camera though and older iPhone users can’t do anything about it. However, what if we tell you that an app can do it on all iPhone models?
The Halide Mark 2 Pro Camera app developed by LUX optics gets the macro photography capability in its latest update. Relying on clever neural networks on iPhone 8 and newer models, as well as upscaling techniques, most iPhone cameras can shoot macro photos, And for those having the iPhone 13 Pro models, the app claims improved performance in macro photography.
Macro photography on all iPhones
In order to achieve macro photography, the Halide camera app relies on clever software tricks to reproduce macro photos that almost match the dedicated cameras on the iPhone 13 Pro.
The app developers have tapped into the neural networks that’s present in all modern-day iPhone models. With digital zoom and upscaling in the mix, the app claims to get some great looking macro photos. The samples listed on the site are comparable to what an iPhone 13 Pro can do.
“…we’ve packed the science of super resolution into a feature we call Neural Macro. We trained a neural network to upscale images in a way that produces much sharper, smoother results than what you typically get in an editor. It’s available on all iPhone with a neural engine— anything made in 2017 or later— and it produces full 4k resolution JPEGs at either 2× or 3× magnification,” says the developer.
“Halide examines your available cameras and switches to whichever one has the shortest minimum focus distance. Then it locks focus at that nearest point… To nail that focus point, Focus Peaking draws an outline around the sharpest areas of your image,” says the app developer.
If you have an iPhone 13 Pro series, the Halide app lets taps into the macro camera’s hardware and use the neural mode to offer sharper macro photos than the stock camera app.
Halide is available for free to download, although you only have a 7-day trial period following which you have to pay monthly or annual subscription charges to use the service.