1210. What if I have the latest smartphone and it can add much more convincing bokeh blur than earlier phones or even than the typical photographer can add using Photoshop on their computer?

It’s not about how convincingly a manipulation is performed (Q7 weeds out any really poor corrections).

A manipulation is either allowed or it is not. “Adding non-optically generated bokeh blur” always disqualifies a photograph from TCQ regardless of how well it is done.

With TCQ, the “tools” used to execute an effect always take a backseat to “principle” when it comes determining what makes for trustworthy photographs.

Granted, not every picture-taking device can make TCQ-qualified photographs in every situation (see #1405).

Some devices are clearly better in “challenging photographic situations” than other devices are. (That’s why a professional bird photographer or astronomy photographer might say that a smartphone isn’t the best tool for every photographic situation.)

But one cannot apply arguments of degree to matters of principle, as is being done in #1210 above.

Even when executed to perfection, disqualifying manipulations still disqualify photographs from TCQ.

See also #6 on this brief, see TCQ makes no distinction between “digital changes” and “darkroom changes”, and see #520