The power of the camera on the new iPhone 7 Plus means it is now a legitimate professional tool for the creative photographer, allowing you to do things you could only dream of doing before unless you had a hefty digital SLR. So what makes the new camera so good, and what exactly can you do with it?
The 7 Plus features twin 12 million-pixel rear cameras with separate lenses. This allows images to be captured in both wide-angle and telephoto fields of vision, equivalent to a 28mm and a 56mm lens on a standard SLR camera. The biggest benefit here is allowing you to zoom in up to 2x without losing resolution – most current phone cameras tend to do this with a digital zoom, with images looking more pixelated the closer you crop.
Create a pro-looking image
The nifty processor in the iPhone 7 Plus uses the data collected from both of its rear cameras to build a better picture of the image you want to take. Analysing the shot in a fraction of a second, the processor helps to identify people and faces as well as fine-tuning the white balance, exposure and focusing. Crucially, this also allows the iPhone to produce a shallow depth-of-field effect, throwing the background out of focus while keeping your subject sharp, just like a professional DSLR would.
The best way to try out the new depth-of-field effect is to experiment – but it's also a good idea to take a closer look at how it's used in professional images. A shallow depth-of-field is often used for portrait shots, keeping the eye focused on the features of the human face by softening the background. "Bokeh" is the term pros use to describe the quality of the out-of-focus areas in an image, and you can get some great bokeh results like blurring bulbs, candles and lamps to create circular beads of coloured light instead of having pin-sharp details.
Avoid camera shake
The chance of a shaky shot is now significantly reduced, thanks to the in-built optical stabilisation system in the iPhone 7. This reacts to subtle movements in your hand to keep the camera steady and your foreground images sharp, which is especially helpful in low-light conditions.
Enjoy more room for editing
Keen photographers will also be pleased to hear that the iPhone 7 can now save images in the raw format. The raw file type is prized by pros as it retains far more picture information and allows for total control over the image once it reaches editing software like Adobe Photoshop. If you're worried about taking up too much space on your hard drive though – don't. The raw format functionality can be toggled off in the settings menu, which means you can still choose to shoot in high-resolution (but less space-sucking) JPEGs.
Explore panorama, HDR, and other nifty functions
As well as the extra lens, the iPhone 7 Plus also features a quad-LED flash, an auto HDR function for greater dynamic range, a panorama mode capable of creating up to 63MP images and the usual burst, timer and live photo modes – that last option lets you capture 1.5 seconds of audio and video before and after you press the shutter (now fully editable after Apple's latest OS update).
Up your ante with Camera+
Camera+ has long been the go-to app for iPhone photographers as it offers some of the greatest manual controls, allowing you to be more creative with your images. It features separate focus and exposure selection points, brightness adjustment, a range of scene modes, a macro mode and has now added a slow shutter mode for night scenes and cotton-wool-style waterfalls – all perfect complements for the 7 Plus's new lenses – and all good reasons why even the pros might want to leave their heavy DSLR cameras at home from now on.
Whether you're an enthusiastic amateur or a seasoned pro, getting Apple's newest phone models with all their camera updates is easy with our 12Up programme! Simply sign up when you purchase your iPhone 7 Plus on StarHub's Online Store and you can enjoy the latest Apple phone every 12 months (instead of the usual 24-month wait for recontract)!