The popular camera app Halide introduced support for the new virtual 2x zoom for the iPhone 14 Pro last year. Now with its first update of 2023, Halide is rolling out a new feature called “Neural Telephoto,” which enhances zoomed photos for non-Pro iPhone users.
Halide’s Neural Telephoto gives iPhone users 2x virtual zoom
While all iPhone Pro models feature a telephoto lens for optical zoom, regular iPhone models only have wide and ultrawide lenses. This means that all zoomed photos are only digitally cropped, which results in a worse quality compared to a photo taken with the telephoto lens. However, Halide will now help these users to take better zoomed photos.
As the name suggests, Neural Telephoto uses machine learning to improve the quality of these cropped photos. So instead of getting blurry results, digital zoomed photos will look sharper with Halide. Of course, the result won’t be the same as taking a photo with a telephoto lens, but the feature delivers much better results than zooming in using the native Camera app.
According to the developers behind the app, the feature works “from iPhone SE to the latest iPhone 14.”
While we have previously brought features first and foremost to Pro iPhones, we wanted to add features for serious photography for more than just Apple’s top-end iPhones. This update does exactly that by giving iPhone users — from iPhone SE to the latest iPhone 14 — a whole new camera lens powered by the iPhone Neural Engine.
So now, even if your iPhone doesn’t have a telephoto lens, you will see a 2x button in the Halide app. By default, Halide will store the image in enhanced JPEG/HEIC and also the unedited version in RAW. “We think it’s the best of both worlds; no surprises or less-than-RAW output.”
You can download Halide for free on the App Store, although the app requires a subscription. You can also buy a lifetime license for $59.99.