Did Microsoft just make the best camera app with Pix for iPhone?

By , Jul 27, 2016

Microsoft Pix AI teaser 001

Microsoft Pix, a smarter camera app that helps you take better pictures without extra effort, is now available for download from the App Store. Microsoft says its app is “a bit like having a professional photographer inside your camera” in that it uses advanced artificial intelligence, computational photography and video stabilization to automatically pick the right settings to help boost and improve your iPhone photography skills.

Grab Microsoft Pix from the App Store for free and let us know if it impresses you.

Camera with the smarts

Intelligence behind Pix’s lens ensures people and scenes look their best. In fact, if faces are detected in your shot, the app’s entire process is optimized around them.

There are no modes or settings aside from a minimalist set of tools. Like the stock Camera, Pix was designed to improve your photos and videos without you doing any work. The app captures a burst of ten frames with each shutter click—some from before the tap—and uses artificial intelligence to select up to three of the best shots.

Microsoft Pix teaser 001

Re/code explains that Pix uses artificial intelligence in a variety of ways. In one example, it uses discarded stills to improve the best shots by reducing noise. It also automatically adjusts contrast and white balance as you snap photos.

Microsoft itself explains the process:

Before the remaining frames are deleted, the app uses data from the entire burst to remove noise, and then intelligently brightens faces, beautifies skin and adjusts the picture’s color and tone.

These best, enhanced images are ready “in about a second.”

Pix vs. Apple Camera

The Next Web has provided these comparison shots between Apple’s stock Camera app and Microsoft Pix. Here’s a sample scene shot with the standard iOS camera.

Microsoft Pix stock Apple Camera sample image

And here’s the same scene taken with Microsoft Pix:

Microsoft Pix sample image

Notice how Microsoft’s app provides better color vibrancy and clarity and more accurate skin tones while bringing out more details across dark areas versus Apple’s stock app.

Live Image and other perks

Pix has other tricks up its sleeve.

While the app is selecting and enhancing the best of the burst images, another set of algorithms sorts through the frames to determine whether any motion would make for an interesting looping video within the image.

If so, the app will loop the specific motion for an effect Microsoft is referring to as Live Image. The app detects loop candidates in 50 milliseconds and Live Images are processed within two seconds of the shutter tap.

Microsoft Pix Live Image teaser 001

Another example: one of the algorithms running in the background is trained to detect whether eyes are open or closed. Images from the burst of frames with open eyes are ranked higher. And last but not least, Pix includes Microsoft’s Hyperlapse technology that smooths and speeds up video into time-lapses, supports saving images into your Camera roll and works on older iPhone models, including the iPhone 5s.

An Android version of Pix is on its way, said CNET. To learn more about Pix features, check out Microsoft’s website.

Microsoft Pix is available free from the App Store.

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  • igorsky

    Fail. What’s the point? Nothing is faster than using the integrated camera. Most people post-edit, anyway.

    • Alex-V


    • sunfire7

      The point is that this article is patrocinated. You gotta pay the bills from somewhere

    • Gucciipad

      +1 100% agree

      • Abhijeet Gupta


    • besrate hogsa

      I am gonna go ahead disagree with you
      just for the heck of it

      • igorsky

        Well played haha

  • John Wickham

    Isn’t Hyperlapse Instagram’s product?

    • LonGi3

      Hyperlapse the app is an Instagram product but here the writer is referring to Hyperlapse the technology from Microsoft which stabilizes videos.

  • Zack Morris

    the chick on the front right is hot. Id hit it.

    • CltrAltDelicious

      T H I R S T

    • Michael Sweeney

      Zack, hey buddy! I haven’t seen a thing from you since saved by the bell. What have you done with your life, Have you tried cocaine & strippers simultaneously?

      • Zack Morris

        time out. other than hangin at the max, not much. Kelly is doing well. Just had lunch with Mr. B. He has let himself go. Ive gotten back into the management business for girl bands. After hot sundae’s success I figured I get back into things. Time in.

      • Michael Sweeney

        Perfect. How’s screech? I haven’t heard from him since his attempt in porn. Lisa looks a little busted nowadays as well, in my opinion.
        So you still rocking that 1980’s army cell phone?

  • Zack Morris

    FYI…Crashes on iOS 10 beta.

    • 5723alex .

      Not on mine.

      • Zack Morris

        What phone do you have. Crashes on 6 plus and 6s.

      • 5723alex .

        6s Plus iOS 10 beta 1.

      • Zack Morris

        hopefully they fix it although since I’m on a beta I shouldn’t even be complaining. I’m on the dev beta 3. I’m sure it will be fixed by the official ios 10 release.

    • Abhijeet Gupta


  • Skoven

    While photos does look very nice using Pix (compared to a stock camera HDR), there are major problems:
    1. Don’t “algorithm” whether i wan’t a live photo – just do it like iOS does it (or have an options at least). I say this because i haven’t been able to produce said live photo in Pix.
    2. No camera grid.
    3. No way of setting/seeing frame rate in video.

    Number 3 being the worst one actually – can’t be switching between two apps when the moment for a video/photo is there!

    If MS change these things, i might give it a shot as my default camera app tough.

  • 5723alex .

    Does the app take Live Photos ? I shoot only Live Photos which I convert to videos using Google’s Motion Stills.

    • Skoven

      Sometimes it does, if the app choses to depending on the shot.
      But it’s not like live photos from ios.
      Try it and see the difference 🙂

  • Micke på taket

    Hmm or maybe not

  • :D

    Are the live images in the same format as Apple’s Live Photos?

  • Jp

    No iPad 4 support sniff’