The Microsoft Pix App Gave Us 6 Reasons to Reconsider Using iOS Stock Camera App

William Elcock

Taking photos with our mobile phones is so commonplace these days that we don’t even think twice about it. In the past, us amateur photographers out there used to carry around point and shoot cameras. Add those to the list of things that phones have replaced!

Time to ditch the stock iPhone camera?
Time to ditch the stock iPhone camera?

iPhones, and iOS devices in general, have a reputation for taking decent photos but as you already know there is always room for improvement. This is where Microsoft Pix comes in.

Microsoft Pix is like having a professional photographer inside of your phone.

It’s a dead simple app for iOS. It unleashes your device’s true photo taking potential without you having to put in much effort. With that being said, let’s delve more deeply into this powerful but simple app. What is it that makes it such a strong contender?

Microsoft Pix

Microsoft Pix has a variety of ‘smart’ features which makes it appealing to the user who is just looking for a simple point and shoot solution. Lets take a closer look at these features.

1. Smart Settings

Smart settings refers to the ability of the app to automatically adjust the camera’s settings based on the prevailing conditions between camera snaps.

Pix’s smart settings kick in as soon as you open it. Settings like ISO and the level of exposure are automatically adjusted in order to produce the best shot possible. See below for the level of compensation automatically taken by Microsoft Pix (photo on right) based on the lighting conditions as opposed to a photo taken with the stock iOS camera app on an iPad Mini 2 running iOS 9.3.4.

pianos_stock pianos_Pix

2. Face Recognition

This feature tweaks the camera settings, on detecting faces in order to help you and your friends to look your best!

people-centric

Take Note: Pix even goes the extra mile when it comes to faces, showing you the before and after pictures to ensure that you are satisfied and that the final result is desirable.

3. Best Moment/Best Images

The app is taking photos even before you press the capture button. After pressing the capture button, a series of photos are also taken in order to capture the best moment. The app then selects up to three of the best shots; hence best images.

In Addition: Pix does not only take factors like image quality into consideration when selecting the best image, it also looks for factors such as open eyes and smiles.

For example, in the image below, Apple’s stock camera snaps a picture of a little boy and it’s okay but the Pix image was selected based on his broader smile and the effect of light on everyone’s skin, resulting in an overall better picture.

pix_smile

You can even view the difference between the image you took and the image that was chosen by the best image selection process as seen below.

guitar_before_1guitar_after_1

4. Image Enhancement

Although the majority of the photos taken by the app in the process of capturing a scene are discarded, data from these discarded photos is used in order to enhance the quality of the best images. The tech behind this is quite smart and won’t leave you disappointed.

pix_smarter_auto_enhancement

5. Live Images

When motion is detected by the app, it automatically creates a Live Image which is a short video loop. This is similar to Live Photos which is a feature the iOS stock camera app offers.

However, Microsoft Pix’s image stabilization allows for almost eerily still Live Images as compared to Apple’s offering where any shaking of the camera is visible.

microsoftvsapple
Microsoft Pix vs. Apple Camera, image via Microsoft

6. Hyperlapse

Hyperlapse allows for automatic image stabilization. This feature also allows for a time lapse effect to be added to recorded videos. The speed of the lapse can be adjusted.

speed_selection

Ready to Switch?

After all of the artificial intelligence magic has been worked, you should have access to what is hopefully a beautiful best image. Below is a comparison of a scene taken with both the stock iOS camera and Microsoft Pix on an iPad Mini 2 running iOS 9.3.4.

stock_sample_resized_1pix_sample_resized_1

As you can see the Microsoft Pix version looks a little more crisp as compared to the stock iOS version.

The beauty of Microsoft Pix is that it allows anyone to take gorgeous photos with minimal effort. It automatically picks out optimal settings for you.

With all of the processing going on you might think that Pix takes a long time to produce images but it produces a best image in under 2 seconds.

Although this is probably awesome news for a large number of users, there are those of you out there who will desire a little more control over their pictures and would like to individually tweak various settings. Pix is probably not the type of app for that class of user as Microsoft purposely left out any trace of manual controls to tweak settings.

Overall the app works well and it is ideal for everyday photo snapping.

ALSO READ: 3 Superb iPhone Apps to Turn Your Photos into Art Work

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#camera#photography

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William Elcock

Written By

William Elcock

William has been helping friends troubleshoot tech problems for several years and thus made the natural progression into tech blogging. In addition to consumer electronics William also has a vested interest in various renewable energy topics.