How would you feel about AI adding detail into images if done well.


Distinguished Member
Ok, so the last three words of my title question "If done well" is of course the key to everything I'm going to ask about as no one would want something if it's done badly ;)

If we move forward to a time, where AI/Image processing/call it what you will recognizes all aspects of a photo you take, knows what that part of an image should look like, due it's knowledge base of almost everything that's every been photographed to call upon.

How would you feel about such a system adding in detail from it's database, into your image to add detail that it missing due to, perhaps limitations of the device you are using. A phone perhaps?

A very basic/simple version of such as the above was already done by Huawai I understand earlier in the year, where it apparently detected that you had taken a photo of the moon, or the moon was in the shot, and it added in a different image of the moon to replace/overlay the moon in your photo. Something like that.
Whilst very very basic, and an easy? one to attempt to do, as the moon is a known object and isn't going to change fundamentally.

I could imagine, say the blur of a bark of a tree, that could not be resolved with your phone camera, having extra detail added of the correct type.
Perhaps Grass detail, brickwork, etc etc.

Naturally this would send shock waves through the brains of the professional photographer, yet I could imagine tour average person loving more detailed images.
Note, this is all under the banner of "If done well" and something possible perhaps in the future.

A skilled photoshop person may be able to do something similar today. Better moon, tree detail etc. and the photo would still look like the one you took it, only better.

Your thoughts on such a concept?


Distinguished Member
I guess my simplest answer is that it's going to happen whether we like it or not, there's a limit to what can be done with tiny sensors and lenses and given these devices have powerful hardware, computational photography is an ideal solution to improve the image quality.

I'm not a snob with mobile phone cameras and I think it's great they offer superb performance these days but I am concerned where it's going. It is a good counterpoint that right now experts can and do significantly modify images but I think the difference is that's a small number of images compared to the huge masses of mobile phone pictures that are taken and shared every day.

I've been looking through old photo albums all taken on film and what's noticeable about them compared to the era of digital cameras is almost every shot is taken for a reason so in most cases there was a spool of film bought for the summer holidays which would contain several posed shots away somewhere and a few more back home to finish the reel. Then there would be a gap up to Halloween or Christmas when the next spool was purchased which would again contain posed shots from Halloween and Christmas etc.

With digital cameras and moreso camera phones people take more continuous photos through the year and they also take more mundane boring every day photos. I know some people don't like that but I feel it gives a good view of people's lives that's missing when looking at older photos. My worry with increasing amounts of computational photography, those every day photos are going to get more and more fake making it more like a computer generated image rather than an actual one.

I'm not keen on the shallow depth of field effects phone cameras offer as I think it looks fake especially as the software usually boosts the saturation considerably as well even ignoring the mistakes it often makes I'd prefer it was just a normal shot.


Distinguished Member
Thanks for the interesting reply, and yes, I feel I have to agree, the type of thing I suggested, whilst not in any way talked about yet.
Other than the unfortunate Huawei incident where they were caught cheating. As it still is classed as cheating, as it's not a technique yet that's accepted, plus it helps if you are honest about it also ;)
In general if the end result is a natural looking photo, but of a higher visual quality, with more detail, less noise, but of course also accurate then I'm all for it.
I think most general people would be all for it also, however I would still say there should be an option to turn off "AI Detail Enhancement Mode - ADEM" off.

The moon, is the moon.
It wobbles about a bit, and it had phases, but if you replace the ball of fuzz in my mobile phone photo of the moon, with an identically lit etc version with actual detail as opposed to a grey blur, then would I be upset?
Would it actually be a more honest/accurate image?
If that is how the moon actually looks in real life, and my lens/sensor is unable to capture the data, one could argue the AI version where the data has correctly been inserted is the more accurate one.
No ?

Of course, the moon is a simple example and a very well known object.
I'm amazed of the quality of what a tiny lens can capture now.


Distinguished Member
It’s coming so let’s think of cool ways to make good use of it. The moon example is a good one - everyone will be able to take perfectly detailed moon pics and why not? I thought I got an email from a company based in France that claimed to be using AI in this direction fairly recently, I’ll add the name when I remember it.


How do I feel about it? It’s fine for those who want it, but it’s not for me as processing is part of photography and I enjoy doing it.


Distinguished Member
Yup. It’s going to happen along with the smoothed skin, faked bokeh, bigger eyes and bunny ears but I don’t take photos for that stuff.
To be fair with noise reduction, sharpening, saturation, vibrance and contrast you can create or enhance things that were not there or barely there already.
I’d be annoyed if my photos were automagically doctored but as long as I can choose to use it or not then it’s fine.

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