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This might be the worst thing about the iPhone 7 Plus’ crazy new camera

Published Sep 12th, 2016 5:20PM EDT
iPhone 7 Plus Camera Features
Image: Apple Inc.

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The iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus are not the same, and Apple made that very clear on stage last Wednesday. The iPhone 7 has a great camera that features several improvements over the camera in the iPhone 6s and iPhone 6s Plus. If that’s not enough, the iPhone 7 Plus has an even better camera that brings mobile photo quality to DSLR levels. But even still, there are a couple of things you might not like.

MUST READ: How to get the iPhone 7 or 7 Plus you want on launch day even without a preorder

The first one is related to that amazing depth-of-field effect that Apple explained on stage. Come Friday when that iPhone 7 Plus ships to your door, you won’t be able to use the special new bokeh effect. Apple has to roll out an iOS update to enable it sometime this fall. That’s not so bad, though.

But there’s another that Apple can’t fix with a software update, and that’s optical image stabilization (OIS).

Just like both iPhone Plus models before it, the iPhone 7 Plus does come with OIS — in fact, so does the iPhone 7. But only one of the two 12-megapixel cameras inside the iPhone 7 Plus has OIS. The wide-angle iSight camera that’s also inside the iPhone 7 comes with OIS, but the telephoto lens that enables optical zoom doesn’t have OIS.

That means recording video while zooming at 2X will be shaky and zoomed photos will have more blur than normal ones.

Of note, well-informed KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, who regularly offers accurate reports about unreleased Apple hardware, already told us that next year’s iPhone 7 Plus successor would be the only recipient of a dual-lens camera. According to Kuo, both cameras in next year’s iPhone Plus model will have OIS.

“Note that for the dual-camera of iPhone 7 Plus, wide-angle CCM is equipped with optical image stabilization (OIS) [voice coil motor] VCM, while telephoto CCM only comes with general VCM,” he wrote in a note to investors. “We believe the focus of the dual-camera upgrade will be equipping telephoto CCM with OIS CCM, so as to significantly enhance optical and digital zoom quality.”

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.