AI Camera: Meaning, Features & Popular Models in 2023

By Tati Taylor 20 days ago, Cameras & Lenses

An AI camera consists of an artificial intelligence software that helps your device automatically change different settings (white balance, saturation, brightness, etc.) to improve the quality of the photos at any given moment.

Such advanced cameras allow you save much time by handling editing tasks in real-time, which would ordinarily take you up to 1 hour to do in professional photo editing software like Photoshop or Lightroom.

AI Camera in Smartphones

AI camera in your smartphone can simultaneously perform multiple functions, not only saving you a ton of time but also helping you take stunning pictures even if you don't have any professional knowledge.

The most popular smartphone models with an AI camera are the Google Pixel 3, Samsung A50, and all the new iPhone models starting at X.

artificial intelligence camera in smartphones

Despite a popular misconception, an AI-based camera doesn’t simply apply filters to images, as it’s responsible for a broader range of parameters that might seem too complex to a regular user.

The main functions that are overseen by the camera’s artificial intelligence include:

  • Correct color reproduction settings;
  • Exposure settings;
  • Automatic skin tone alignment (for selfies), spot covering, etc.;
  • Photo type detection (human, building, animal, etc.) and automatic parameter adjustments depending on the subject.

Artificial intelligence allows evaluating a photo before taking it to improve its quality afterward. Advanced AI cameras can compare a shot before you take it to other photos that are available in free access thanks to its built-in image comparison tools that give the user tips regarding how to better frame the shot and which settings to tweak to make the photo look better.

The camera automatically detects the subject and then optimizes the photos according to specific scenarios. The most popular and frequently used functions, especially by beginners, are:

  • Bokeh effect: the subject in the foreground remains clear while the background is blurred to add the impression of professional bokeh photography.
  • Automatic color saturation increase: this makes the photo look brighter and more eye-catching.

An AI camera can also automatically adjust other parameters that are usually found in “Expert” mode: ISO, white balance, HDR, manual focusing, etc. Most users who aren’t involved in photography professionally don’t know what to do with such parameters.

The camera with AI technology takes away the necessity to learn such functionality since the device will adjust all these settings automatically depending on the shot.

AI DSLR and AI Mirrorless

Automated red-eye effect deletion has been included in mirrorless and DSLR cameras for many years now along with facial and even smile recognition, which makes the camera snap the photo when it sees the subject showing their teeth – all such features are powered by artificial technology.

The question is: will such brands as Nikon and Canon incorporate more advanced AI systems in their premium DSLRs? After all, it took forever for them to enhance their flagship models with WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity.

artificial intelligence camera canon powershot pick

While the industry titans decide what they should do, a crowd-funded “smart camera assistant” branded Arsenal aims to fill a so-far empty market niche. Its creator claims that this is a handy accessory that allows you to wirelessly control your DSLR while using your smartphone and letting AI make sure you take the perfect photo every time.

The AI relies on comparing the real-time scene with a huge library of past photos while employing picture recognition to detect specific subjects and apply the optimal settings like a higher shutter speed when taking photos of wildlife.

Currently, Canon is heavily relying on artificial intelligence technologies for producing its unmatched autofocus system, which can be found in the EOS-1D X Mark III. This model employs “deep learning”, which provides the same result as an AI but doesn’t allow the camera to continue learning on its own. That said, the brand’s latest Canon PowerShot Pick does rely on AI to find, recognize, follow and take photos of subjects in a scene entirely autonomously.

Main Features

AI mainly applies to phone cameras but the complexity of this technology and the degree of automation that it provides will quickly sweep most users off their feet.

While it’s still too early to put your DSLR or/and mirrorless camera on the shelf, AI is already on the brink of completely changing the entire process of taking photos.

Furthermore, it’s bound to completely alter the way we edit photos and manage existing image catalogs as well.

Red Eye

One of the earliest applications of artificial intelligence in photography came in the form of automated red-eye effect adjustments. This feature relies on basic algorithms to determine whether the subject has red eyes and if that’s the case the software deals with that issue in-camera.

Facial Recognition

ai camera definition

Face detection is another popular AI-based feature included in a lot of cameras that was initially employed for locating the focal point in the shot. The algorithm ensures the person in the photo is always in sharp focus. This feature has gradually evolved and can now be found in a lot of AI photo editors.

Nowadays, facial recognition isn't just used for determining the focal point but also for differentiating the subject from the backdrop. You probably know this technique as "portrait mode", which makes the photo look like it was taken with a wide aperture and creates the imitation of a shallow depth of field. Moreover, facial detection is now a standard feature included in most modern security cameras as well as new smartphones.

Subject Recognition

During the last few years, manufacturers have taken facial detection to the next level by allowing users to browse through their smartphone galleries by subject. The ability to search through your image library by typing in the desired keywords is simply groundbreaking and is only possible thanks to AI-based image recognition software.

Usage Cases

Now that you know the AI camera meaning and its main features, it’s time to dive into the most popular usage cases for such devices while focusing on the most relevant ones.

Automated Sports Broadcasting

usage cases ai camera automated sports broadcasting

AI-powered cameras have drastically changed the way sports events are shown to viewers around the globe. From football and hockey to tennis and racing, simple-to-use AI camera systems are employed for recording and streaming live action while offering built-in network connectivity in apps to watch live sports.

Additionally, such cameras can be supplied with deep learning algorithms for analyzing video footage and providing valuable player inputs to team managers.

If you’d like to learn more about how embedded cameras are used for modern automated sports broadcasting and what are the top models in that category, then you should read the relevant article on picking the optimal camera for this purpose.

Traffic Management

usage cases ai camera traffic management

AI-backed traffic systems are essential for contemporary city planning since they help battle traffic congestion and overcrowding while drastically lowering the number of fatal accidents. Thanks to the inclusion of deep learning picture segmentation technology, such systems can focus on processing visual data in real time. As such, it's a stress-free process for an AI camera to segment/monitor cars, evaluate traffic density, track adherence to speed limit regulations, and so on.

Security and Smart Surveillance

usage cases ai camera security and smart surveillance

The rise of smart cities has led to an increase in demand for reliable surveillance that guarantees citizen safety. Additionally, such functionality is highly revered by large enterprises that require 24/7 security. As such, it shouldn’t be surprising that an AI security camera solution is highly sought after by people who are in charge of parking lot surveillance and street monitoring.

Smart AI cameras are capable of recording footage and taking photos while relying on deep learning algorithms – from tracking and analyzing groups of people with facial detection to processing footage in real-time to recognize threats and send notifications in case of danger.

Smart Farming

usage cases ai camera smart farming

Performance evaluation comes down to the tiniest details when it comes to automated farming systems since even the tiniest bit of misrepresented data can lead to loss of business or overspending. As such, this industry heavily relies on advanced deep learning technology embedded into its AI cameras.

The AI cameras used here are expected to capture the smallest details related to crop cultivation, soil conditions, diseases, and so on, while businesses automate the farming process. If you’re interested in learning even more about this topic, please refer to the relevant article.


  • • What is an Artificial Intelligence camera capable of?

Such a solution is designed to help users capture higher-quality photos by employing smart object and scene recognition and performing appropriate camera setting optimization. AI cameras can identify a broad range of scenes including studios, beaches, forests, vast landscapes, etc.

  • • Can AI capture data in real time?

Artificial intelligence is not only capable of performing real-time analytics but is also incredibly efficient in doing so, allowing businesses to make sense of and organize huge amounts of data that they have to deal with daily.

  • • Why are AI-powered cameras important?

Incorporating powerful AI-backed tools into video surveillance and outdoor security cameras helps security staff monitor the premises 24/7 while enjoying superior situational awareness without having to constantly stare at the monitors.

  • • What can artificial intelligence not be used for?

Artificial intelligence is incapable of creating, conceptualizing, or creating strategic-level plans. Even though AI excels at optimizing different parameters for narrow objectives, it can’t determine its own goals or exercise creative thinking and apply common sense.

  • • How can AI enhance image quality?

One of the ways AI can improve the quality of your photos is by employing machine learning algorithms to boost the resolution of your image. This is achieved by creating a version of a photo with more pixels that provide a higher level of detail compared to the original.