Big news out of Cupertino today as Apple launched the new iPhone 7 Plus
and iPhone 7
smartphones... the fastest, most powerful, longest lasting phones Apple has ever made, not to mention some thrilling updates on the camera front.
Let's first talk about what makes the iPhone 7 Plus more interesting for photographers.
Yes, there's the larger screen and longer battery life (which has added about an hour of usage versus the 6S Plus), but the big news is the dual 12MP iSight Camera.
That's right, the iPhone 7 Plus has not just one, but TWO cameras. The first is the same 28mm wide angle f1.8 lens found on the standard iPhone 7. But, sitting next to that lens is a new 56mm telephoto f1.8 lens that's perfect for portraits. This means you now have access to a 2x optical zoom at the touch of a button, or a 10x soft-ware assisted zoom.
The 7 Plus will also, after a free firmware update later this fall, have the added functionality of a Depth Effect, which is designed to recreate the look of a high-end DSLR with shallow depth of field and beautiful bokeh. Depth Effect works by scanning the scene for faces, creating a depth matte, and sharpening people and faces while blurring the back ground. This effect works with the 56mm portrait lens.
Aside from that, however, all the great features from the iPhone 7
are also available in this iPhone 7 Plus. Optical image stabilization (O.I.S.). Wide Color Gamut image capture for more dramatic and vivid colors. A new Apple-designed ISP that searches for human shapes (bodies & faces), sets the exposure, reads focus, analyzes color and tone mapping, reduces noise and, when prompted, fuses multiple exposures together in 25 milliseconds.
Other camera improvements include the Quad LED True Tone Flash, which is 50% brighter than the previous generation and includes a Flicker Sensor to compensation for flickering artificial light sources. And, with certain apps, you can also capture the RAW image file directly from the image sensor. Live Photos have also been improved with O.I.S. as well as the ability to edit your clips.
Apple says it's their best iSight camera ever and I'm inclined to believe.
The front-facing FaceTime HD camera has been improved as well, bumping up to 7MP from 5MP, and includes auto image stabilization as well as wide color gamut image capture.
The iPhone 7 Plus also boasts a new Retina HD Display with 25% brighter than the 6S generation and also support the DCI P3 Wide Color Gamut, a hot feature you may have heard about on Ultra HD displays.
Outside camera and display improvements, both new iPhones will debut running iOS 10, powered by the A10 Fusion Chip, which is a 64-bit, four-core CPU that's 40% faster than the A9, twice as fast as the A8, and 120 times faster than the original iPhone. The iPhone 7 body has been redesigned to be as seamless and polished as possible, and, as rumored, the analog mini-headphone jack has been dropped in favor of lightning connector EarPods that are included with every purchase. If you want to keep your old headphones, no worries, Apple will also include a lightning-to-mini-stereo adapter in each box.
You can also opt for Apple's new wireless AirPods or multiple wireless Beats Audio headphones set to debut later this fall. This new wireless tech, based on the W1 chip, promises to be easier than ever before, with iCloud kicking in to set up your AirPods across all your devices after one initial pairing. Also on the audio department, the iPhone 7 Plus is finally getting stereo audio speakers, which will help with gaming and movie watching, that are two times louder than the mono speaker found on the 6S and 6S Plus.
Apple iPhone 7 Plus Features
- iOS 10
- Water & Dust Resistant
- A10 Fusion Chip
- 1 more hour of battery life than the iPhone 6S Plus
- ApplePay with Felica Tech
- Stereo Speakers
- Lightning Connector EarPods
- Compatible with optional wireless AirPods & Beats Headphones
- Improved HD Retina Display with DCI P3 Wide Color Gamut
- Redesigned Home Button
- New Color options
- iSight Camera
- Dual 12MP image sensors & lenses
- 28mm wide angle lens (from the iPhone 7)
- 56mm telephoto lens
- 2x optical zoom
- 10x software assist zoom
- Optical image stabilization
- Up to 3x longer exposure
- f1.8 aperture
- Quad LED True Tone Flash with Flicker Sensor
- Improved Apple-designed ISP (image signal processor)
- Wide Color Gamut image capture
- Live Photos Improved (O.I.S. & in-camera editing)
- RAW image capture
- 7MP FaceTime HD camera (up from 5MP)
- Wider Color Capture
- Auto image stabilization
In the Box
Pricing & Availability
The Apple iPhone 7 Plus will be available for pre-order on September 9, 2016, with the first units shipping on September 16. Pricing starts at $769 for the 32GB model, while the $869 128GB and $969 256GB models will also be available. Apple AirPods will be available for $159 in late October.
The Apple iPhone 7 Plus will be offered in five colors, including Silver, Gold, Rose Gold, and two black options, Black and Jet Black. Please note Jet Black will only be available on models with the larger 128GB and 256GB storage capacity.