We make the most popular RAW camera for iPhone, so when Apple revealed their new ProRAW image format, we were beyond excited.

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Then they announced it’s coming to the built-in camera app.

Many developers in our shoes would freak out, thinking Apple wants to gobble up their customers. We were just confused.

Apple builds products for the broadest possible audience, and RAW is a tool for photo-nerds. These powerful files take skill to edit and come with significant tradeoffs. Why would Apple cram a complicated feature into an app meant for everyone?

As we dug deeper into ProRAW, we realized…


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After eighteen months of work, today we’re excited to announce a new photography app. It takes everything we’ve learned since launching the acclaimed manual photography app, Halide, and combines it with the technology developed for Spectre, Apple’s 2019’s iPhone App of the Year.

We call this new app Halide Mark II.

Mark II is more than an update: it’s a new camera. An elegant, intuitive camera casual photographers can enjoy, while providing the most advanced features expert photographers demand.

We have a lot to talk about — so much we can’t fit it all in one post — so today…


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It’s Halide’s third birthday! Every year, we’re going to celebrate with a recap. Last year was big. Buckle up, because this one’s a rollercoaster.

In the last year, we’ve released five major updates to Halide. Our second app, Spectre, was chosen by Apple as 2019 iPhone App of the Year. While 2020 turned into a rather challenging year, we’re relieved to report things are going to be all right.

Even when things go well, one does well by remembering Ed Catmull’s advice: “Success hides problems.” That’s why we’re going to be fully transparent, sharing where we missed our marks, and…


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After four years, we have a new budget-conscious iPhone. Like previous SE, it reaches that price point by sticking to components from previous generations. iFixIt found the the camera sensor interchangeable with that of an iPhone 8.


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Welcome to Halide 1.14, our first big update after a busy summer. We’ve spent the last few months preparing for iOS 13 and new hardware, and we’re very excited to walk you through what’s new.

iPhone 11 and 11 Pro Support

We released a small lightning update on iPhone 11 launch day with basic support for the new cameras. Now we’re ready to release our big update.

We engineered new features that take advantage of the powerful new hardware in the latest and greatest iPhones, starting with…


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Time flies: today marks the two year anniversary of Halide.

It’s kind of wild to think that just two years ago, we were sitting behind our laptops ready to launch our camera app without knowing if it would be well-received. We knew that it was something that worked well for us, and if others found it pleasant to use, we’d consider it a success.

Now, Halide is by far one of the most popular camera apps for iPhone. Tons of people use it to take photos every day. It has a sister app: Spectre. …


This is the final part of our Spectre retrospective. In this post, I’ll talk about the technology behind a computational long exposure, a few UI innovations, and our plans to share code between apps.

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The Computational Long Exposure

We started building Spectre, among other things, to get around hardware limitations. Most iPhones can expose an image for a maximum of 1/3rd of a second, and only the latest iPhones (XS and XR) support a maximum exposure time of one second. That’s a far cry from the several seconds you need for an interesting long exposure.

Why does Apple cap the hardware at one second…


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This is the first in a three part series about launching Spectre.

In Part 1, we’ll debate adding a feature to an existing app vs an launching an entirely new one. In part 2, Sebastiaan will dive into the design process of the app. In part 3, I’ll discuss the technical challenges we faced building Spectre.

Early Origins

In May of 2017, we launched Halide, our camera app for advanced photographers. From the day we launched, we’d get requests for longer exposures.

Background for Non-Photographers: Normally you capture a photo in a fraction of a second. However, there are practical or artistic…


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Last month we launched Spectre, our first foray into computational photography.

We’re incredibly humbled by the response and amazed by your images. Here are a few favorites we found tagged with #SpectreShot on Twitter and Instagram.

Now that that things have settled, we’d like to recap how things went, what we’ve been up to, and highlight the big updates in Spectre 1.1.

The Launch

To say our launch was a success would be an understatement. On day 1, Spectre instantly rose to the first place in the App Store. …


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Today we’re releasing Halide 1.12, which features two great enhancements.

An RGB Histogram to Shoot Perfect Roses

Ever taken a photo of roses that look muddled and washed out? That’s because the photo is technically well-exposed, but one of the color channels is clipping. Take this photo:

Ben Sandofsky

Developer at Lux Optics. We build photography apps like Halide and Spectre.

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