Apple has announced the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. Two high-end smartphones which are equipped with advanced imaging technologies which improved significantly improve upon the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Both phones are equipped with a 7MP FaceTime HD camera, featuring the Deep Trench Isolation Pixel technology for sharper images in sensors that have pixels that are very close together. The camera also comes with a wider color capture and auto image stabilization. However, the big difference awaits in the rear-facing camera, and there where things get more interesting and where the true innovation is.
The iPhone 7 features a new 1/2.6-inch 12MP high-speed sensor, which has 60% faster signal processing speed and it’s 30% more power efficient than the iPhone 6 offering and it provides a wider color gamut compared to the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus sensor.
The iPhone 7 comes with a faster 6-element f/1.8 aperture lens and optical image stabilization, for sharper images and improved low-light capabilities. On the right side of the lens, there is a new Quad-LED True Tone flash which boosts 50% more light and reaches 50% further, also boosting the camera’s overall low-light performance capability.
The iPhone 7 Plus has a different setup. Instead of a single camera, the iPhone 7 Plus is equipped with dual 12MP rear cameras. Two cameras, one with a 28mm wide-angle lens, and the second with 56mm lens, both have an optical image stabilization. When you shoot in 1x zoom, the camera will use the wide-angle lens, and when you use the 2x zoom, the camera will switch and use the 56mm (35mm equivalent) lens. The telephoto lens is useful when shooting subjects that are further away from the camera and it’s more suitable for taking portrait images and produce images with shallower depth of field.
When you use the native iOS camera app, you have the option to slide the zoom from 1x to 10x. Above 2x zoom, the camera will use a software-based zoom, also known as digital zoom. However, this time, around, Apple says that because of the utilization of the telephoto lens, the images have 4 times better quality compared to iPhone 6 software-based zoom.
Apple also introduces a new feature that will be released for free for iPhone 7 Plus users later on this year. This feature significantly enhanced the background blur effect. When you shoot images in portrait mode, the camera uses machine learning to scan and identify faces in the scene and create a depth map using the two cameras and software, so people in the front will appear sharp and in focus, whether objects in the background will appear blurry. You can see this effect in real-time when taking the shot and it’s all done automatically in the background. You still get to enjoy the same great sensor and f/1.8 aperture, a 6-element lens system, OIS and the advanced Quad-LED True Tone flash.
Apple also introduced a new more powerful Apple-designed image signal processor, which has twice the throughput of previous-generation phones. The ISP analyze the scene using machine learning, applies auto exposure, focus (using focus pixels), apply white balance to produce accurate colors when taking a photo of different light sources, apply wider color capture, 4th-gen local tone mapping, does noise reduction and can combine multiple images to produce a single high-quality image. Over 100 billion operations happen every time you capture an image and it all takes only 25 milliseconds to accomplish, that’s how powerful the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 7 Plus are.
Both phones are IP67 certified and offer a high degree of protection against dust and water. This means that you can take photos in the rain without worrying about damaging your phone. The camera can even be used underwater, but Apple’s warranty does cover any damage that happens due to water damage, so I personally wouldn’t test out my iPhone 7 phone to see how well it copes with water, but it’s great that you have that water protection anyways.
The iPhone 7 and especially the iPhone 7 Plus offer users an advanced photographic tool that will help them get even better photos and videos. Now there is even a more distinct value for the 7 Plus that might convinced people to get the more advanced (and more expensive) model if they want the best of the best of mobile photography.