Apple posts new iPhone X ad: A New Light

This ad focuses on Portrait Lighting.

  • This is the least imporatnt thing about the iPhone X. I tried portrait lighting once, just to see how it was. Not good. But then it’s not for actual photographers.

    And lest I sound too dismissive, I know that I’m probably being way over critical for how an iPhone camera is to be used. it’s just this whole idea grates on my sensibilities about how to see and use light in photography. Being a photojournalist is probably a major hindrance to “getting it” as well.

    • I don’t know about the “not for actual photographers” part but I just spent a month in Australia and took some really amazingly good shots with the iPhone X but never used Portrait mode even once.

      • You are right about the camera. It is fabulous for a phone. I just dislike the nonsense about portrait mode giving you “studio lighting” or whatever marketing is thinking they can get away with saying. At best it’s the same thing as using Photoshop to darken edges and mess with saturation.

        • Mo

          Oh, does Photoshop now also use three-dimensional face-mapping to apply those adjustments?

          • And when does ignoring the light in the room look strange because it doesn’t fit the way it’s mapped on the face. It leads to photos that don’t look right but they can’t figure out why.

          • Mo

            And if the photo doesn’t look right with one effect, the consumer tries another, or reverts to the original.

            You’re criticizing a new capability because you personally wouldn’t use it.

          • My point is it’s not real. Isn’t that photography’s value for some people, its documentary nature? I also dislike Instagram as paint by numbers photography.

          • Mo

            For some. Again, we’re not discussing a product made for only one use-case.

          • Herding_sheep

            95% of people are not photographers with access to sophisticated lighting rigs.

            In the absence of that, Portrait Lighting is surprisingly good. Not every shot, but most shots it works well.

            Is it the same thing as an actual studio with thousands of dollars of lighting rigs? No. It uses AI and depth mapping to apply lighting EFFECTS more sophisticated than the average user can with Photoshop, which most users have no clue how to use.

            So yea, I’d say the marketing speak is pretty accurate. Studio quality lighting EFFECTS without the studio. Which is what advertises. Lighting EFFECTS.

      • John Kordyback

        I use it more than I expected. It’s fun for a lot of shots, not just people.

    • Maritza


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    • Mo

      Least important for you, perhaps.

      I can see how pro photographers would see portrait lighting as yet another incursion into their livelihoods. But for better or worse, most consumers will see the feature as yet another good reason to buy a new iPhone.

    • But then it’s not for actual photographers.

      Hmm so do you want to tell Austin Mann he’s not a real photographer, because you said so?

      • A talented photographer can make pictures with anything. But they understand the limitations if they’re good, and work with them. Some just choose to make a thing out of the limitations while others don’t.

        • yeah but you said its “not for actual photographers”, and he’s a, you know, actual photographer who says its for him. so clearly youre full of it.

          its a feature. photographers will use it. non-photographers will use it. pictures will vary. this is how cameras have always been.

  • Mo

    Mr. D., your link might have been changed. I’m seeing this video at

    • Amanda


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  • John Kordyback

    I’m amazed how grumbly the comments are in this thread. People are taking more pictures than ever before, sales of digital cameras (i.e. changeable lenses) have been up for the last two years. Interest in photography continues to grow and we have amazing tools to use all the time.

    Sure there is marketing hype. Maybe you don’t like the effects. But I bet you also do use Photoshop or other tools to do similar things. Good for you and I hope you’re having fun.

    Personally I’m having more fun with photography on my iPhone and with my camera than I ever thought imaginable. Am I as good as other photographers? No, but I’m learning. But then again, maybe I’m not an “actual photographer”. 😉

    • the fragile are easily shaken.

    • Yes I use Photoshop. Every day professionally since May of 92. But not to do “the same thing.” Easy mistake to make when people are unaware of the subltle differences in how different people use that program for whatever reasons.

      It’s great that Apple gives people tools to make their photos look more “professional.” It’s just a touch annoying that the marketing copy gets a little hyperbolic.

      • Lexie


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