When Apple announced the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro, it teased a new camera feature called Deep Fusion. At the time, Apple only said that Deep Fusion was coming later this fall, but today a bit more info on the feature has come out.
Apple is adding Deep Fusion to the iOS 13 beta with an update. This feature is coming to the iPhone 11, iPhone 11 Pro, and iPhone 11 Pro Max, and Apple says that it "advanced machine learning to do pixel-by-pixel processing of photos, optimizing for texture, details and noise in every part of the photo." Deep Fusion is enabled automatically and is invisible to the user.
According to a report from The Verge, Deep Fusion is used in medium-light scenes. Even before you press your shutter button, the camera takes three frames to freeze the motion, then it takes three more when you press the shutter button and then one more longer-exposure image to capture detail. The three normal photos and the long-exposure image are merged into a "synthetic long", which is then combined with the short-exposure image with the most detail.
The two images are also put through four detail processing steps that are tailored to increasing levels of detail, with the sky and walls in the lowest level and skin, hair, and fabrics in the highest level. Deep Fusion then determines which details to pull from each and blends everything together to create the final shot.
Deep Fusion takes a little longer to work than Smart HDR, but Apple says it should take longer than a quarter to half a second by the time you move to your camera roll to see your final Deep Fusion image. Also of note is that Deep Fusion requires an A13 Bionic processor, meaning it's only available on the iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro phones, and Deep Fusion does not work with the ultra wide camera on the Pro and Pro Max models.
Apple has provided a couple of example shots that show off Deep Fusion, but since we don't have non-Deep Fusion examples to compare them to, we can't yet get a complete understanding of the differences that Deep Fusion can make. With the feature arriving soon in the iOS 13 beta, though, we should be able to make some comparisons soon. Apple certainly makes Deep Fusion sound powerful, and so we're looking forward to putting it to the test to see what it can really do.