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iGBHow-toHow to turn off photo auto-enhance on iPhone

How to turn off photo auto-enhance on iPhone

While Apple added the Deep Fusion tech on the iPhones to improve image quality, the auto-enhancement feature sometimes goes the extra mile, ruining the image quality due to overprocessing.

Many reports from users across the globe suggest that it often overprocess the images, making them look unrealistic and artificial. If you have been looking for a way to turn off the photo auto-enhancement on your iPhone, you’ve arrived at the right place.

Read on to learn whether or not you can turn off auto-enhancement on the iPhone and the possible ways to do that.

Can you disable the auto-enhancement camera feature on an iPhone?

To be very clear, you can not disable the auto-enhancement camera feature on your iPhone. This is because the Deep Fusion tech is built into the heart of the iPhone camera system, and mingling with it is impossible. The Deep Fusion tech automatically comes into action as soon as you click an image on your iPhone and applies some basic edits, such as brightness adjustments, color correction, and noise reduction, to enhance the image quality.

However, in most cases, these auto enhancements, due to oversaturation and overexposure, alter the true essence of the image. Unfortunately, you cannot even revert the image to its original state after the auto enhancements are applied, which happens in a fraction of a second.

How to stop an iPhone from auto-enhancing your photos

While you can not turn off the auto enhancements altogether, there do exist a few workarounds that you can follow to stop your iPhone from auto-enhancing photos to some extent. Let’s check them out.

1. Turn off Smart HDR

Apple introduced the Smart HDR feature in the Camera for the first time with the iPhone XS. Smart HDR enhances the quality of the captured images in varying lighting conditions by allowing the Camera to capture multiple shots in different exposures and then combine them later to create a single image with better highlights and shadow detailing.

Hence, the resulting exposed images might actually be due to the Smart HDR feature instead of Deep Fusion. As such, turning off the Smart HDR feature might deliver better-quality images. While Smart HDR automatically comes into action on iPhone 13 or later models, you can manually configure it on iPhone 12 or previous models. Here’s how:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Select Camera.
  3. Scroll to the bottom and toggle off Smart HDR.
    Smart HDR settings in iPhone Settings app.

2. Disable HDR Video

Similar to photos, the HDR Video feature also affects the quality of the recorded video by giving it “true-to-life color and contrast” and can make it look a little too bright. Turning the feature off can help retain better quality.

  1. In the Settings app, navigate to the Camera settings.
  2. Tap on Record Video.
  3. Finally, toggle off HDR Video.
    HDR Videos settings for iPhone Camera in Settings app.

3. Shoot in RAW format

If toggling off Smart HDR doesn’t help, try capturing images in RAW format. When you switch to the Apple ProRAW format, you get full control over your iPhone’s Camera app capabilities, and the resulting photos will come out with little or no image processing. Here’s how you switch to Apple ProRAW format on your iPhone:

  1. Open the Settings app and navigate to Camera.
  2. Tap on Formats.
  3. Next, toggle on Apple ProRAW & Resolution Control.
    ProRAW and Resolution Control option in iPhone Settings app.
  4. Exit Settings, and open the Camera app.
  5. Here, tap the RAW MAX button in the top-right corner, then start recording the video.
    RAW Max toggle in iPhone Camera app.

4. Turn off Night Mode

While Deep Fusion is usually responsible for producing overenhanced images, the Night Mode might be the main culprit behind overshadowed and oversaturated images when shooting in low-light conditions. The Night Mode is enabled automatically whenever the camera sensor detects low-light conditions. However, you can turn it off manually.

  1. Open the Camera app.
  2. Tap the Night Mode icon next to the flash button in the top-left corner to turn it off if it isn’t already.
Night Mode toggle in iPhone Camera app.

5. Take photos in Burst mode

Another great workaround to bypass auto enhancements on your iPhone is to capture photos in Burst mode. When shooting in Burst mode, the iPhone Camera captures a series of images in a fraction of a second, giving Deep Fusion tech little to no time to apply auto enhancements. Here’s how you to shoot in Burst mode on an iPhone:

  1. In the Camera app, drag the Camera button to the left or press the Volume Up button.
  2. The longer you keep holding the Camera button or Volume Up button, the more shots the camera will capture.

Once you are done with the shooting, you can view all the images and select only the best to keep in your library. Here’s how:

  1. In the Photos app, open the burst image you took.
  2. Here, tap the gray Burst button in the top left-corner.
  3. Swipe right or left to choose your favorite images.
  4. Once done, tap on Done in the top-right corner.
    Editing burst shots in Photos app on iPhone.

6. Use Live Photos

Using Live Photos is by far the best way to bypass auto-enhancement on the iPhone, as images captured in Live Photo mode do not get the auto-enhancement treatment. Thus, you can easily access the unedited versions of the captured image.

  1. In the Camera app, tap the Live Photo icon in the top-right corner to turn it on if it isn’t already.
  2. Now, click a Live Photo.
  3. Next, open the captured image in the Photos app.
    iPhone Photos app.
  4. Tap the Edit button (three parallel horizontal lines with a dot on each) at the bottom.
  5. Tap the Live Photo button on the left.
    Editing Live Photos in iPhone Photos app.
  6. Now, swipe right or left on the frame slider to find the preferred frame.
  7. Once done, tap the Make Key Photo button appearing over it.
    Selecting key frame for a Live Photo in iPhone Photos app.

7. Switch to a third-party camera app

If remembering all these workarounds is too much of a task for you, you can switch to third-party Camera apps like Blackmagic Camera, designed specifically for iPhones. Not only does the Blackmagic Camera app bypass auto-enhancements on your iPhone, but it also gives you access to pro camera controls that you can only get with a professional-grade camera.

I have been using the Blackmagic Camera app on my iPhone since the day it got added to the App Store, and not even once did I think of switching back to the native Camera app.

Image quality retained…

As much as we hail the iPhone’s picture quality, the Deep Fusion tech sometimes fails to deliver up to our expectations. The sad part is that you don’t even have a choice when it comes to auto enhancements. Fortunately, the workarounds detailed in this post can help you to some extent.

If you know of another way to bypass the iPhone auto-enhance feature, let us know in the comments below.

How do I stop my iPhone from auto-adjusting the exposure?

To stop your iPhone Camera from auto-adjusting exposure while shooting, tap and hold the subject on the screen to lock the exposure on it. You can then slide up or down on the subject to increase or decrease the exposure.

How do I turn off camera correction on my iPhone?

To disable Camera lens correction, open Settings, go to Camera, and toggle off Lens Correction.

Also read:

  • Vikhyat Rishi

    Vikhyat has a bachelor's degree in Electronic and Communication Engineering and over five years of writing experience. His passion for technology and Apple products led him to the tech writing space, where he specializes in writing App features, How-to guides, and troubleshooting guides for fellow Apple users. When not typing away on his MacBook Pro, he loves exploring the real world.

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  • Yash Wate

    Yash is a tech journalist and writer based in India. He has five years of experience writing features, how-tos, and reviews for various online publications. As an editor at iGeeksBlog, Yash's job is to ensure the articles are polished and suitable for publication. You can also read his work on How-To Geek, MakeUseOf, and TechPP.

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