iPhone 7 Plus owners get access to Portrait mode

iPhone 7 Plus owners get access to Portrait mode

When Apple launched the iPhone 7 Plus, the camera’s Portrait mode wasn’t available, and consumers were advised that the feature would become available ‘later this year’.

Since then, Apple has made Portrait mode available in beta.

How to get Portrait mode

Portrait mode is now available in the iOS 10.1 public beta. This means that iPhone 7 Plus owners must be a member of the Apple Beta Software Program. Anyone can sign-up to the Apple Beta Software Program for free and the sign-up process is easy to complete.

Read the iPhone 7 Plus review

Portrait mode is also available for developers through the iOS 10.1 developer beta.

How Portrait mode works

Portrait mode makes use of the iPhone 7 Plus’ 12MP wide angle lens and its 12MP telephoto lens. When Portrait mode is active, both lenses snap at the same time, so that the two cameras shoot as one.

iPhone 7 review

This allows the camera to take portraits with a depth-of-field bokeh effect. This mimics the shallow depth of field results that come from using a high-end DSLR camera.

Bokeh effect

The resulting image is one where the front subject stands out and the background is blurred. The iPhone 7 Plus does this by taking one regular image and one out of focus image, with a blur applied to the background. 

Shallow depth of field

Advanced machine learning and Apple’s in built image signal processor scans the scene to recognise people and creates a depth map, which is used to create the final image.

Portrait mode

Once the iOS 10.1 public beta is download, iPhone 7 Plus owners simply need to go to the Camera app in order to use Portrait mode.

iPhone 7 Plus camera features

In addition to Portrait mode, the Apple iPhone 7 Plus has a 2x optical zoom and a 10x digital zoom. The optical zoom can be used for capturing both images and video. When recording video, there is a 6x digital zoom on hand.

The main camera has a f/1.8 aperture and this allows 50% more light to pass through the camera lens. This makes the iPhone 7 Plus’s camera ideal for photography in low light. 

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Aiding low light photography further is a Quad-LED True Tone Flash. This is 50% brighter so it illuminates objects and subjects better and from farther away. The flash adjusts its colour to match the colour temperature of the environment, for more natural looking results.

iPhone 7 Plus camera features

Apple iPhone 7 Plus owners can also take up to 63MP Panorama landscapes and Live photos, as well as use camera features such as Burst mode, geo-tagging, body and face detection and Timer mode.

Optical image stabilisation counteracts tiny movements of the phone while photographing and this allows the user to take photos with a 3x longer exposure. This long exposure is extremely useful in low light because the longer the exposure, the more light photons hit the camera’s sensor.

In addition to being able to record 4K video at 30 frames per second, the camera can take 8MP still photographs while recording video. Video editing can be done in the iMovie app and the results can be shared instantly. The camera in the iPhone 7 Plus can also take Slo-mo video and Time-lapse video.

Apple Watch Series 2

Facing the user is a 7MP FaceTime HD camera that has a f2.2 aperture. The selfie camera has Auto HDR, a Retina flash and video recording capabilities at a quality of 1080p.

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Written by: Michael Brown