With the iPhone 7 Plus, Apple makes dual cameras the new normal

“The iPhone is renowned for taking great photos. Even by that measure, the iPhone 7 Plus contains some new technology that promises to push phone photography to a level few have experienced,” Tim Moynihan reports for Wired. “And not just on Apple’s devices, but on smartphones in general.”

“From a photo standpoint, the unique feature on the iPhone 7 Plus is its dual-camera setup,” Moynihan reports. “This has been done before by other phone-makers with varying results. But this is the first time it’s being done in an iPhone, which gives it a new kind of legitimacy and pace-car status in the industry. Other companies, who typically strategize from a place of making a better camera than the one on the iPhone, must now do something similar to Apple’s new camera just to keep up.”

“Of course, slapping an additional lens and sensor on a phone doesn’t automatically make it a better camera,” Moynihan reports. “A lens is only as good as the sensor and processing pipeline behind it. The iPhone 7 sports a 12-megapixel sensor behind its 28mm wide-angle lens, while the iPhone 7 Plus packs another 12-megapixel sensor behind that portrait-friendly telephoto lens.”

iPhone 7 Plus
iPhone 7 Plus

“The iPhone 7 Plus should continue Apple’s reputation for building what has become the world’s most popular camera,” Moynihan reports. “And it will also continue to drive the rest of the smartphone industry forward.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Not to minimize the optical zoom, which is huge advance, but, for us, it’s all about the bokeh.

iPhone 7 Plus: Apple just made its flagship iPhone even more irresistible – September 7, 2016
Apple introduces iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus with breakthrough cameras and water-resistance – September 7, 2016


  1. I’ve always had reservations about having too much depth of field on iPhone cameras. To a large extent it’s down to having a physically small image sensor with a medium aperture lens. I’m eager to see just how well this new camera system works. It certainly sounds very promising for portraiture.

  2. Blurred backgrounds aren’t for everyone.

    Of course the iPhone 7 has an improved camera, that’s great. But 2x optical zoom is nothing and the competition isn’t too shabby.

    DSLR remains the superior tool for photography.

    1. I wouldn’t look at it as a DSLR replacement, but as a means to give everyone the opportunity to take better pictures in general. I’m not going to lug my Nikon D700 with me every where, so I want my phone camera to be as close to it as possible for the “everyday” shots.

      1. I do think that the enhanced camera is impressive engineering on Apple’s part, but let’s talk about logistics: To record superior photos, the camera CANNOT save the image as a compressed JPEG, which is what most (including all prior iPhones) do. So now if the iPhone 7 supports RAW, great. Just don’t pretend that the average user is going to be pleased when his entry-level 32GB phone memory is filled up with hi-resolution photo and video in no time. I hope Apple educates buyers about this, and steers the budding photographers toward the 128 and 256 GB models.

        Good further reading:

        1. For some reason and no doubt it’s about the money, CBS and all of its subsidiaries like CNET, ZDNET and CBSN have an axe to grind against Apple. The negativity around the keynote and new product announcements have been through the roof. I wouldn’t trust anything they have to say, particularly about Apple and its products.

        2. Read the article, valid points are made. It would be unwise to dismiss information that you think is biased … and let’s remember than MDN is unabashedly MORE biased in the opposite direction, selectively picking only the articles that it feels you should read. Triangulate your news sources to find the center.

    2. Being able to shoot RAW at 24MP is no guarantee that the resulting photograph will be any good. There is truth in the old saw, “the best camera is the one you have with you.” I usually take my DSLR with me when I have a specific image I want to capture, but I can’t take it everywhere. I always have my iPhone camera. Thas has allowed me to make photographs that I would have missed in the past because I didn’t have my “serious” camera with me. There is a lot to be said for serendipity, and this is something the iPhone camera excels at.

    3. Sure DSLR remains superior to an iPhone camera, even an iPhone with dual sensors. That’s just physics. A DSLR is a specialized device with larger sensor arrays and pixels elements, larger and variable aperture, powerful optical zoom, and Interchangeable lenses for specific purposes. Size matters. Specialization matters. Lens options matter.

      But you are entirely missing the point. This is a discussion of the relative merits of the cameras available on smartphones. As the saying goes, the best camera is the one that you have with you. Many more people own cell phones hat own DSLRs, and those cell phone cameras are almost always readily available. Relatively few people carry around a DSLR with any frequency. Smartphones have already pretty much killed off digital point-and-shoot consumer grade cameras. But prosumer and pro DSLR cameras will be around for a long time.

  3. How long will it take for an app developer to make an app that uses to two cameras to create 3D images and videos. The 3D effect would not be that great since the lens are close together, but still…

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