iPhone 7 Plus vs. iPhone 7 camera: Dual lenses provide major upgrade potential

Posted:
in iPhone
Apple's choice of an all-new dual-sensor camera module on the iPhone 7 Plus steals the show, making it a compelling upsell from the 12-megapixel single lens on the iPhone 7. If you're still torn deciding between which model is for you, here's a comparison of what the iPhone 7 Plus camera offers over the iPhone 7.




Apple has made a solid foundation for iPhone photography in the camera shared between the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus. A new six-element lens has been implemented, and is coupled with a high-speed 12-megapixel sensor that Apple claims is 60 percent faster and 30 percent more energy efficient than previous iPhone cameras.

The entire iPhone 7 family features optical image stabilization with a larger ?/1.8 aperture lens that lets in 50 percent more light.

Both models feature the True Tone flash. The new flash features four LEDs that put out 50 percent more light, and include a "flicker sensor" to detect the cycling of artificial lighting allowing for automatic compensation for in photos and videos.

Photo: ESPN
Photo: ESPN


Also on both the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus, is the new Apple-designed image signal processor. The new chipset is not well detailed yet, but Apple notes that it is used to detect faces and bodies, set exposure, set white balance, capture wide color, and reduce noise.

Other features on both models include auto optical image stabilization, Wide Color capture, and panorama features.

That's where the commonality between the two models end.

Dual-lens on the iPhone 7 Plus

New with the iPhone 7 Plus is the addition of a telephoto lens, and dedicated sensor. The telephoto lens adds an optical zoom of 2x, bringing the effective zoom to 10x. The aperture on the telephoto is smaller than the wide-angle lens, at ?/2.8.

Based on data culled from iPhone 7 Plus photographs that Apple highlighted from recent sporting events, the main sensor is the same 1/3-inch size of the iPhone 6s. The telephoto lens is slightly smaller at 1/3.6-inch.

Beyond just the optical zoom on the telephoto, two lenses and sensors on the iPhone can be used for range-finding in a single picture, allowing for the camera to produce a selectively out-of-focus portrait.




The technique, called bokeh, has had digital implementations for some time. However, Apple's dual-camera setup on the iPhone 7 Plus makes a depth map of the subject and background during the picture-taking process, rather than deducing subject and background after-the-fact, and selectively applies blur to portions of the image that are not the photo's subject.

While a big improvement for photographers is coming in iOS 10 in RAW support, the OS will not bring bokeh to the new camera at launch. An update with the feature is expected before the end of 2016.

In the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6s family, the difference in models was primarily in phone screen size, with the addition of optical image stabilization in the Plus models. The inclusion of the telephoto in the iPhone 7 Plus changes the game, and may lead to people that prefer the smaller model, shifting to the larger for the superior camera alone.
«1

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 7,318member
    This will matter to photography nerds. As for the general public all smartphones take “good enough” pictures for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Grandpa’s 90th birthday, Fappening.com, etc.
    edited September 2016 jbdragonnolamacguy
  • Reply 2 of 23
    cpsrocpsro Posts: 2,491member
    lkrupp said:
    This will matter to photography nerds. As for the general public all smartphones take “good enough” pictures for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Grandpa’s 90th birthday, Fappening.com, etc.
    The original iPhone took "good enough" photos. Better photos are always welcome.
    redraider11nolamacguymike1
  • Reply 3 of 23
    The camera and water resistance are my major reasons for upgrading. I think the camera will drive a ton of upgrades. This is anecdotal, but I know at least 5-6 people upgrading strictly for the camera. Most are even moving to the larger plus for the first time hurt to have the dual lens feature. People like the "latest & greatest"
    jahbladerevolutionwatto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 23
    The camera was the deciding factor for me and the reason I finally upgraded to 128 gig storage rather than my usual 16 .And I think Apple will see more 7 Pluses sold than they did for the 6 pluses. 

    But for me personally i will use my 16 gig SE as my primary phone. And expect to keep ipgrading It to another small form factor iPhone  whenever Apple makes one available. But the 7 plus will not my daily phone. Way too big.
    edited September 2016
  • Reply 5 of 23
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,008member
    qwwera said:
    The camera was the deciding factor for me and the reason I finally upgraded to 128 gig storage rather than my usual 16 .And I think Apple will see more Pluses hot the 7 than they did for the 6 pluses. 

    But for me personally i will use my 16 gig SE as my primary phone. And expect to keep ipgrading It to another small form factor iPhone  whenever Apple makes one available. But the 7 plus will not my daily phone. Way too big.
    There is no 16 gig SE.

  • Reply 6 of 23
    Can we at least agree that 56mm is anything but a telephoto lens? It's a fantastic addition to the wide-angle 28mm that we have come to expect and I'm sure the image quality will be as usual top of the line. But by all means this is at best a standard field of view lens and branding it as a telephoto is misleading. Put in an equivalent of 85, maybe 100mm and now we're talking tele but not 56. Please.  
    lmagoo
  • Reply 7 of 23
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,768member
    qwwera said:
    The camera was the deciding factor for me and the reason I finally upgraded to 128 gig storage rather than my usual 16 .And I think Apple will see more Pluses hot the 7 than they did for the 6 pluses. 

    But for me personally i will use my 16 gig SE as my primary phone. And expect to keep ipgrading It to another small form factor iPhone  whenever Apple makes one available. But the 7 plus will not my daily phone. Way too big.
    You have a 16GB iPhone? Why did you opt for that?
    qwwerajbdragonstevenoz
  • Reply 8 of 23
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,008member
    Apple implemented dual lens camera correctly very well compared to the iPhone competitor companies like Huawei, HTC, and LG. But the potential for multiple cameras are huge.  Apple made a huge step forward. 
    watto_cobra
  • Reply 9 of 23
    tzeshan said:
    qwwera said:
    The camera was the deciding factor for me and the reason I finally upgraded to 128 gig storage rather than my usual 16 .And I think Apple will see more Pluses hot the 7 than they did for the 6 pluses. 

    But for me personally i will use my 16 gig SE as my primary phone. And expect to keep ipgrading It to another small form factor iPhone  whenever Apple makes one available. But the 7 plus will not my daily phone. Way too big.
    There is no 16 gig SE.

    ...anymore
  • Reply 10 of 23
    Rayz2016 said:
    qwwera said:
    The camera was the deciding factor for me and the reason I finally upgraded to 128 gig storage rather than my usual 16 .And I think Apple will see more Pluses hot the 7 than they did for the 6 pluses. 

    But for me personally i will use my 16 gig SE as my primary phone. And expect to keep ipgrading It to another small form factor iPhone  whenever Apple makes one available. But the 7 plus will not my daily phone. Way too big.
    You have a 16GB iPhone? Why did you opt for that?
    I send everything to the cloud and use very few dailyapps. I also delete the ones I rarely use and only download new ones as I need them.

    i plan to use my 7 plus differently, that's why it will have 128 gig storage.
    edited September 2016 watto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 23
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,172member
    cpsro said:
    lkrupp said:
    This will matter to photography nerds. As for the general public all smartphones take “good enough” pictures for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Grandpa’s 90th birthday, Fappening.com, etc.
    The original iPhone took "good enough" photos. Better photos are always welcome.
    Trying to compare a Camera way back then to one now is laughable. Back then it wasn't good enough. The MP is nothing. Around 5MP is good enough for most people's needs for Facebook, Instagram, etc, and just fine for a 8x11 picture. The higher MP matters more for Much larger pictures, or if you want to zoom in and crop. A 640x480 Camera or whatever in the past wasn't just good enough. .3MP is not good enough. (That's Point 3). There's still the problem also of size Limitations. There's a reason why a DSLR can have a 1" Sensor with a large lens. There's no remote way you can do that on a Smartphone. Apple went with a little larger lens. There's only so far you can go in MP with size limitations where to small causes other issues. It's all a balancing act. We're getting close to the MP limit without some new tricks. At this point it's overkill for most people. Quite frankly, to me seems silly to have the second camera. All you get out of it is really 2x optical which isn't all that much and a future bokeh effect. Not even 3D, not that it matters much, but a second camera for a few little things. It's almost bordering on Gimmick!!! So I'm sure Samesung will copy it on their phones in the future. I'll hold onto my iPhone 6 for a 3rd year and see what Apple has for the next iPhone next year.
  • Reply 12 of 23
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,172member
    tzeshan said:
    Apple implemented dual lens camera correctly very well compared to the iPhone competitor companies like Huawei, HTC, and LG. But the potential for multiple cameras are huge.  Apple made a huge step forward. 
    Did they really? 2x Optical? That's not really all that much and a future bokeh effect that only works on faces. So that's kind of limiting. There's no 3D which is going away. What else is there that they really couldn't do with a single camera? I think it's on the Gimmick side of things.
  • Reply 13 of 23
    tzeshantzeshan Posts: 2,008member
    jbdragon said:
    cpsro said:
    lkrupp said:
    This will matter to photography nerds. As for the general public all smartphones take “good enough” pictures for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Grandpa’s 90th birthday, Fappening.com, etc.
    The original iPhone took "good enough" photos. Better photos are always welcome.
    Trying to compare a Camera way back then to one now is laughable. Back then it wasn't good enough. The MP is nothing. Around 5MP is good enough for most people's needs for Facebook, Instagram, etc, and just fine for a 8x11 picture. The higher MP matters more for Much larger pictures, or if you want to zoom in and crop. A 640x480 Camera or whatever in the past wasn't just good enough. .3MP is not good enough. (That's Point 3). There's still the problem also of size Limitations. There's a reason why a DSLR can have a 1" Sensor with a large lens. There's no remote way you can do that on a Smartphone. Apple went with a little larger lens. There's only so far you can go in MP with size limitations where to small causes other issues. It's all a balancing act. We're getting close to the MP limit without some new tricks. At this point it's overkill for most people. Quite frankly, to me seems silly to have the second camera. All you get out of it is really 2x optical which isn't all that much and a future bokeh effect. Not even 3D, not that it matters much, but a second camera for a few little things. It's almost bordering on Gimmick!!! So I'm sure Samesung will copy it on their phones in the future. I'll hold onto my iPhone 6 for a 3rd year and see what Apple has for the next iPhone next year.
    5X digital zoom on 7 Plus could be better than 5X digital zoom on 7.
  • Reply 14 of 23
    qwwera said:
    tzeshan said:
    qwwera said:
    The camera was the deciding factor for me and the reason I finally upgraded to 128 gig storage rather than my usual 16 .And I think Apple will see more Pluses hot the 7 than they did for the 6 pluses. 

    But for me personally i will use my 16 gig SE as my primary phone. And expect to keep ipgrading It to another small form factor iPhone  whenever Apple makes one available. But the 7 plus will not my daily phone. Way too big.
    There is no 16 gig SE.

    ...anymore
    tzeshan said:
    qwwera said:
    The camera was the deciding factor for me and the reason I finally upgraded to 128 gig storage rather than my usual 16 .And I think Apple will see more Pluses hot the 7 than they did for the 6 pluses. 

    But for me personally i will use my 16 gig SE as my primary phone. And expect to keep ipgrading It to another small form factor iPhone  whenever Apple makes one available. But the 7 plus will not my daily phone. Way too big.
    There is no 16 gig SE.

    Apple still sells the 16GB iPhone SE. It's $399.
  • Reply 15 of 23
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,768member
    qwwera said:
    Rayz2016 said:
    qwwera said:
    The camera was the deciding factor for me and the reason I finally upgraded to 128 gig storage rather than my usual 16 .And I think Apple will see more Pluses hot the 7 than they did for the 6 pluses. 

    But for me personally i will use my 16 gig SE as my primary phone. And expect to keep ipgrading It to another small form factor iPhone  whenever Apple makes one available. But the 7 plus will not my daily phone. Way too big.
    You have a 16GB iPhone? Why did you opt for that?
    I send everything to the cloud and use very few dailyapps. I also delete the ones I rarely use and only download new ones as I need them.

    i plan to use my 7 plus differently, that's why it will have 128 gig storage.
    Okay, thanks for that. I was just curious. 
    qwwera
  • Reply 16 of 23
    Another website reports that on the dual-lens 7s, only the wide-angle lens has optical image stabilization.
    What's up with that?  Wouldn't OIS help better with camera shake on the zoom lens?
  • Reply 17 of 23
    The Plus size is way too big for me as I use my front pants pocket for transporting the device...The Phablet size has absolutely no appeal to me regardless of that phone's features...if I want a bigger screen, I'll grab my iPad...That camera has always been good enough for me...I get a new phone every year too.
  • Reply 18 of 23
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,276member
    1) I thought the internets agreed that the 7 Plus was a gimmick¡

    2) I like that Apple doesn't press the aluminium "bump" for the camera(s), and I don't mind that it exists, although it seems like a lot of people still take umbrage with the back not being perfectly smooth.

    3) I wish I enjoyed taking photographs more. Personally, I still find it a chore, even with how simple Apple has made it to take great photos. There is one thing I would like to see with smartphone cameras: landscape photos and videos whilst holding in portrait-orientation. With two cameras of the same orientation, would it not be possible to interpolate two images/frames into a 16:9, or would this be too difficult due to differences in the camera HW? The issue I find with landscape filming is that you often want to catch something quickly but safely holding the device in portrait is considerably easier.



    edited September 2016 nolamacguy
  • Reply 19 of 23
    nhughes said:
    qwwera said:
    tzeshan said:
    qwwera said:
    The camera was the deciding factor for me and the reason I finally upgraded to 128 gig storage rather than my usual 16 .And I think Apple will see more Pluses hot the 7 than they did for the 6 pluses. 

    But for me personally i will use my 16 gig SE as my primary phone. And expect to keep ipgrading It to another small form factor iPhone  whenever Apple makes one available. But the 7 plus will not my daily phone. Way too big.
    There is no 16 gig SE.

    ...anymore
    tzeshan said:
    qwwera said:
    The camera was the deciding factor for me and the reason I finally upgraded to 128 gig storage rather than my usual 16 .And I think Apple will see more Pluses hot the 7 than they did for the 6 pluses. 

    But for me personally i will use my 16 gig SE as my primary phone. And expect to keep ipgrading It to another small form factor iPhone  whenever Apple makes one available. But the 7 plus will not my daily phone. Way too big.
    There is no 16 gig SE.

    Apple still sells the 16GB iPhone SE. It's $399.
    Oh I didn't realize that. For some reason I thought it was discontinued and uped the storage. 
    Thanks for the correction
  • Reply 20 of 23
    lkrupp said:
    This will matter to photography nerds. As for the general public all smartphones take “good enough” pictures for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Grandpa’s 90th birthday, Fappening.com, etc.
    Photography nerds spend thousands on camera equipment. This will matter to anyone who likes taking great photos with their phone.
    mike1qwwerawatto_cobra
Sign In or Register to comment.