The iPhone 7 is the biggest thing in tech happening this month. Of the two new iPhones, the iPhone 7 Plus is the one that stands out thanks to its dual-lens iSight Duo camera system that packs both a wide-angle and a telephoto lens. Extra RAM, and Apple’s custom image signal processor complete the camera package of the phablet, which might be the first iPhone to offer DSLR-like effects.
As interesting as the iPhone 7 Plus is, the telephoto lens can currently do only one thing, and that’s offer 2x optical zoom if the conditions are right. Its bokeh blur effect that puts it into DSLR territory is only available to those brave souls who have installed the iOS 10.1 beta 1, as the feature was not ready in time for the official iOS 10 release.
However, there already are plenty of photo samples taken in that new iPhone 7 Plus-only portrait mode that brings over the blur. Well-known Apple enthusiast John Gruber tested the bokeh feature on his iPhone 7 Plus review unit with mixed results.
He posted all the unaltered images on Flickr, at this link, including the regular version of the photo, and the one with the depth effect (blur) applied.
“Some of them look great, most look pretty good, and at least two of them have serious problems,” he wrote.
The samples are work checking out to see how the telephoto lens performs in day-to-day tests, in the hands of a regular smartphone user. Some of them come with explanations that highlight some of the problems of the software in current form.
Most of the images are really great, but Gruber points out a few issues with the current beta version of the Portrait mode. He mentions exposure issues, subject edge detection problems as well as problems with blurring patterns. “Look at the doorframe on the right. It’s blurred, but the bricks right next to it are sharp,” he said about one image. “Patterns like bricks really give the depth effect trouble.”