The iPhone 7 Plus can do bokeh, the blurred background effect, known from DSLR cameras.
I have no talent for making good photos. I took once a DSLR class, but that did not help. I just snap and hope for the best. This is why I use my iPhone only for making photos since the last 2 years. As reported earlier, my black iPhone 7 Plus arrived yesterday earlier than expected. It is actually perfect timing as Apple just released the public beta of iOS 10.1 with the new portrait mode feature.
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I installed the iOS 10.1 beta right away after getting the iPhone 7 Plus configured. The highlight of this iOS beta is the portrait mode feature. With the easy to use camera mode you can snap photos with a blurred background, so called bokeh. So far the bokeh effect is a feature mostly available in DSLR cameras.
When you select Portrait mode the display shows a depth effect label. Only if yellow than the depth effect is at work. The object or person you want to focus on needs to be within 2.5m.
I first did a test on the Apple Watch on my desk. This test shoot immediately made clear that you need a lot of light for a good photo. As the blur is not optical, but algorithmic, you get washout effects on the edges of the object your focusing on. I headed outside as the sun was peaking through the clouds. The results have been dramatically better in sunlight. Sharp lines made the object in focus pop out like the lion and mermaid you see in the photo gallery.
The iPhone 7 Plus Portrait mode is an incredible way to snap photos with the cool bokeh effect for web publishing and social media. For great hi-res photos, everything would need to be perfect. Professional photographers will definitely want to stick to DSLR cameras. If you only need low-res photos for web publishing or social media and you are like me not into using DSLR, the iPhone 7 Plus Portrait mode is incredible.
The feature is still in beta. We do not know if Apple's engineers have still room for improvement and make the low light performance better. A great feature to have would be the ability to zoom in portrait mode.
An annoying limitation is that you cannot zoom in portrait mode for some reason.
The iPhone 7 Plus is in high demand and ships with a 2 to 3 week delay. The Jet Black model is delayed until November. Apple released the new iPhone 7 on Friday, September 16, 2017. Apple is likely selling more iPhone 7 than expected by industry insiders and analysts. The iPhone 7 is what the iPhone 6 should have been. The iPhone 7 looks like a real Apple product. The iPhone 6 with its ugly antenna lines and steampunk camera lens did never feel right. The black iPhone 7 Plus has solved both issues. The camera lens is still protruding, but the way Apple solved the necessity of this it is acceptable.
The iPhone 7S must be really out of this world to make me upgrade from the iPhone 7 Plus. It was a very easy decision to get rid of my iPhone 6S. No regrets besides a whole in my bank account.