With the iPhone 7 Plus, Apple introduced a new feature to its camera called Portrait Mode which attempts to mimic the bokeh effects produced by DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. Then with the iPhone X, Apple introduced Portrait Lighting, which basically tries to copy the lighting effects that studio photographers use to light their subjects.
In a recent video published by Apple, they explain how they managed to achieve that. According to Apple, they studied photographs and paintings to gain a better understanding of lighting techniques, and also worked with “global image makers” and photographers. They also employed the use of machine learning which tries to copy the (sometimes) complicated setup of studio lighting.
Whether or not you think they managed to achieve this is debatable because under certain conditions just like Portrait Mode, Portrait Lighting might not be as effective. A rather good comparison video was shot last year by YouTuber and photographer Daniel DeArco where he compared actual studio lighting versus Portrait Lighting.
In any case we doubt that we will be seeing our smartphones replace DSLRs and mirrorless cameras anytime soon, but the advancements we’re seeing in the technology certainly makes them a more than worthy alternative to some regular point-and-shoots.