Halide's New Feature Lets You Take Virtual Telephoto Shots on Non-Pro iPhones

iPhone 14 Pro models feature a telephoto camera lens with 3x optical zoom, allowing users to take close-up photos of far-away objects without compromising quality.

1halide virtual telephoto
Such telephoto features are limited to Apple's Pro models, but thanks the latest update to popular third-party camera app Halide, users with non-Pro iPhones can now also get in on the action.

Halide 2.11 comes with a new feature called Neural Telephoto, which adds virtual lenses to the app's interface that enhance details in shots by applying the same machine-learning that powers Halide's macro mode.

Normally, when you use digital zoom to enlarge an image area, the number of megapixels decrease, which lowers the quality of the image, resulting in blurry, jagged shots with visible pixels.

Neural Telephoto takes these shots and enhances them with its machine-learning system, providing much better results at a virtual 2x zoom, according to the app's developers.

2halide virtual telephoto
Neural Telephoto shots are zoomed and enhanced using machine learning in HEIC and JPEG, but the feature also captures unedited, non-zoomed full RAW files. By default, Halide shoots in RAW and JPEG mode, which provides users with an unaltered RAW file along with a zoomed and enhanced JPEG file.

The feature is available now as a free update for all existing users. For new users, the Halide app is priced at $2.99 per month or $11.99 per year, or $49.99 as a one-time purchase.

Tag: Halide

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Top Rated Comments

biziclop Avatar
18 months ago
No matter how you rename “digital zoom”, it won't give you real details.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
jdoyle Avatar
18 months ago
Remember when apps were $1 and you own it? Now its a $2.99 monthly subscription. I'll do without I think....
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Jxdawg Avatar
18 months ago

Here we go. See legend on the upper left of each photo.

All images scaled to approx. the size of the "native" resolution of the iPhone sensor.
You rock! This is about the quality I was expecting. Not great TBH.
Score: 12 Votes (Like | Disagree)
7149041 Avatar
18 months ago

No matter how you rename “digital zoom”, it won't give you real details
Phone photography is no longer photography. At best it's an AI assisted image generation based on camera input. The amount of magic that now goes into it sets it light year sapart from a good DSLR / mirrorless, and not in terms of quality. It's just physics, there's only so much they can squeeze from these tiny optics.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
153957 Avatar
18 months ago
So does the iPhone 14 Pro now get a 6x ML-powered zoom option in Halide?
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
SantaFeNM Avatar
18 months ago
Here are examples I just took with my iPhone 13 Mini. The first two photos were taken at 2x, and the 2nd pair are at 3x. The first of each pair (photos 1 & 3) are the iPhone's native camera app. The 2nd photo of each pair (photos 2 & 4) are taken with the Halide app.

Notice the green on the chrome edges of the barstools and on the edges of the window frames. Those are the Halide photos. I'll take the less smoothed native photos over that green artifact in the Halide photos!

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Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)