See examples of how Apple’s latest computational photography technique, Smart HDR, allows the iPhone to compete with the dynamic range in several of the top full frame cameras on the market today.
In his latest upload, Tyler Stalman proposed an answer to the question: could the latest generation of iPhones produce a level of dynamic range that really competes with that of the full frame sensor cameras on the market today? His key takeaway, backed by several examples, is simply that the latest iPhones are able to produce, in a lot of situations, more dynamic range than even the much larger full frame sensors can turn out. And this all comes down to the rapid advancements that are being made in computational photography versus sensor performance gains.
Dynamic range aside, it is still quite clear to me that mobile photography, albeit iOS or Android based, has a ways to go with overall image detail and usability in anything other than casual use. And really, in most arenas, it should not be taken seriously against a full frame camera. This is still especially evident when the images are viewed on anything other than the phone screen it was captured on. But with these rapid gains in computational photography and the overall prowess of these ridiculously powerful mobile processors that now easily handle the merging of a multitude of image exposures in real-time, it shows us all today a glimpse of the exciting future of photography, mobile or not, that awaits just over the Smart HDR horizon.