The iPhone 13 Pro features a new camera capable of focusing closer than ever before. Let's take a tour of what this lens unlocks, some clever details you might miss in its implementation, why its "automatic" nature can catch you off guard, and much more.
June 2, 2021
Lux Year 4: Doubling Down
A look into year four at Lux — The most intense year yet, with Halide Mark II's launch, a global pandemic and much more.
March 20, 2021
Welcome to Lux
Allow us to to reintroduce ourselves. We're Lux, a tiny studio you might know from our photography apps, Halide and Spectre, or our obsessive articles on photography. Until now, we published though Medium, but today everything changes.
First, a little history.
December 15, 2020
We make the most popular RAW camera for iPhone, so when Apple revealed their new ProRAW image format, we were beyond excited.
Then they announced it’s coming to the built-in camera app. Why would Apple cram a complicated feature into an app meant for everyone?
October 22, 2020
Pro. Camera. Action. Introducing Halide Mark II
After eighteen months of work, today we’re excited to announce a new photography app. It takes everything we’ve learned since launching the acclaimed manual photography app, Halide, and combines it with the technology developed for Spectre, Apple’s 2019’s iPhone App of the Year.
We call this new app Halide Mark II.
May 20, 2020
Lux Year 3: The End of the Beginning
It’s Halide’s third birthday! Every year, we’re going to celebrate with a recap. Last year was big. Buckle up, because this one’s a rollercoaster.
April 27, 2020
iPhone SE: The One-Eyed King?
After four years of waiting, we have a new small and even budget-conscious iPhone.
We take a look at what makes this new iPhone's camera unique — and find an interesting surprise.
September 30, 2019
Halide 1.14: Time to Get Switchy
Welcome to Halide 1.14, our first big update after a busy summer. We’ve spent the last few months preparing for iOS 13 and new hardware, and we’re very excited to walk you through what’s new. iPhone 11 and 11 Pro Support We released a small lightning update on iPhone 11 launch day with basic support for the new cameras. Now we’re ready to release our big update. We engineered new features that take advantage of the powerful new hardware in the latest and greatest iPhones, starting with… The Tactile Lens Switcher In the past we’ve had a simple button that swaps between your wide angle and telephoto cameras. It served us well, but it was time to revisit it for the three cameras on the iPhone 11 Pro. At a glance, our lens switcher looks the same as before; we kept it in the same spot so it doesn’t interfere with your viewfinder and is within easy reach. Keeping the viewfinder clear of any obstructions is one of our highest priorities. It works similarly, too, at first glance: just keep tapping to cycle between 1x, 2x, and 0.5x sizes. Unfortunately, switching cameras has a bit of a delay. If you’re composing..
May 30, 2019
Halide: Year Two
Time flies: today marks the two year anniversary of Halide. It’s kind of wild to think that just two years ago, we were sitting behind our laptops ready to launch our camera app without knowing if it would be well-received. We knew that it was something that worked well for us, and if others found it pleasant to use, we’d consider it a success. Now, Halide is by far one of the most popular camera apps for iPhone. Tons of people use it to take photos every day. It has a sister app: Spectre. And we are now lucky enough to work on Halide and Spectre full-time and have huge plans for their future. So here we are, two years later! We did an update a year ago — so we thought we’d give a update on our last year. The Timeline We’re less than a week away from WWDC, and last year was no different. After the announcement of iOS 12, we spent Summer of 2018 working hard to prepare for the new OS. We released four small updates focused on fixing bugs and cleaning up code. We also started work on our second app, Spectre. We’re a two-person company, and we were both..
May 23, 2019
A Spectre Retrospective: Part 3 — Engineering
This is the final part of our Spectre retrospective. In this post, I’ll talk about the technology behind a computational long exposure, a few UI innovations, and our plans to share code between apps. The Computational Long Exposure We started building Spectre, among other things, to get around hardware limitations. Most iPhones can expose an image for a maximum of 1/3rd of a second, and only the latest iPhones (XS and XR) support a maximum exposure time of one second. That’s a far cry from the several seconds you need for an interesting long exposure. Why does Apple cap the hardware at one second? While it has never publicly commented on this, the longer a sensor is active, the more heat it generates. A large DSLR has plenty of space to dissipate heat while the compact, airtight body of an iPhone is another story. Heat increases sensor noise, and more importantly, it can damage components in your iPhone. It’s true other smartphones support several second exposures. They use a different set of components in a different configuration that dissipates heat in a different way. (It’s also possible those phone markers are A-OK with the stress on the components.) Every design is about tradeoffs...