iPhone 7 Plus

WoodWorks

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I recently purchased the latest, dual-camera iPhone 7 Plus, and have been playing around with it to see just how much that feature, and the inclusion of raw (DNG) file capability, have changed the iPhone's utility as a photographic tool.


Wizard Island.jpg
by David Wood, on Flickr

Even though the sensors and lenses are still tiny, the increased dynamic range of the new sensors, combined with raw output, allow it to shoot images that were simply unachievable with any previous iPhone.


Pompadour Ridge
by David Wood, on Flickr


First Snow.jpg
by David Wood, on Flickr

The two cameras with different (28mm and 56mm equivalent) focal lengths open up a wider range of shooting opportunities without resorting to digital zooming.


Near Montague, CA.jpg
by David Wood, on Flickr


Ashland.jpg
by David Wood, on Flickr


Ashland Creek
by David Wood, on Flickr

And having a decent camera in my pocket pretty much during all waking hours has allowed for spontaneous shooting whenever an opportunity arises.


Rain Deer
by David Wood, on Flickr


Side Window.jpg
by David Wood, on Flickr
 

WoodWorks

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Then there's the built-in "portrait" mode, which uses the two cameras to estimate the distance between subject and background, allowing for more accurate isolation of the subject, and progressive software blurring of the background.


Packard Portrait
by David Wood, on Flickr


Blue Swing Portrait.jpg
by David Wood, on Flickr


Leaf Portrait
by David Wood, on Flickr

That feature is hit and miss. But when it works, it works amazingly well.

There are other apps that allow for long exposure...


Ashland Creek.jpg
by David Wood, on Flickr

...and frame stacking to help eliminate noise in nighttime shots.


Omar's
by David Wood, on Flickr

My wife and I have just come back from a short vacation in Mexico, and as an experiment I decided to leave the A7II behind to see if I could be satisfied with only using the iPhone on that sort of trip.

Turns out that I could.


PV Sunset.jpg
by David Wood, on Flickr


Northern Baja
by David Wood, on Flickr (Shot from 37,000 ft.)


Vilma.jpg
by David Wood, on Flickr

Now, I'll admit that I'm awfully fond of the subject in that last shot. But would any of you be dissatisfied if you came home from a vacation with an image like that? :D
 

WNG

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Very impressive! They've really advanced the camera of smartphones. The images are all very well-composed as well.
 

Nexnut

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Pretty impressive, David. I've seen some truly excellent photography having been shot with smartphone cameras but couldn't imagine shooting with anything of that sort myself. Old me still loves dials and after some years of abstinence the smell of Rodinal in the morning.
 

Mus Aziz

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Old me still loves dials and after some years of abstinence the smell of Rodinal in the morning.
My favourite film developer. Together with Agfa APX400. Still have a full bottle stored somewhere in the house.
 

roundball

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That's impressive...and as you said, a lot of capability you'll always have with you
 

NickCyprus

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You can clearly see in some photos that they were shot with a phone but impressive results for a phone camera nevertheless!

My wife wants to upgrade from her 6 Plus to the 7 Plus - better she doesn't see this thread :D
 

HabsFan

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Good stuff. I just 'upgraded' from a 6 to SE. I prefer the smaller size and needed more storage. I didn't mess around too much with dng yet. I tried a few test shots and at 100%, the detail was cleaner. I have not tested DR yet but would imagine there more to be had. I used Lightroom mobile but I'm not a big fan of having to sync via cloud. What do you use for RAW capture?
 

WoodWorks

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Very nice imagery. And I wouldn't have guessed these come from an iPhone instead of an A7II; it'll be very interesting to hear how you assess both cameras in various situations.
Wow. Knowing your exacting standards, Ad, I didn't think these would earn much more than a quick glance from you. Thanks!

As for my assessment, the truth is that in the few instances where I tried to take the same shot with both the iPhone and A7II, the Sony just obliterated the iPhone. There's still a yawning gap between them. In low light the iPhone is a noise festival, and I try to shoot at ISO 20 whenever possible. A wallet tripod like this one comes in very handy.

But for the first time in my phone camera experience, I can sometimes take photos that don't just suck. So instead of repeatedly having the "Damn, I wish I had a camera with me" experience, I find myself thinking "Gee, I wonder if this thing will be able to capture that." And quite often it does.

Old me still loves dials...
Well, it doesn't have dials, but neither are you limited to just framing and clicking the shutter. My current favorite camera app (ProCamera) allows you to easily adjust white balance, ISO, exposure, and shutter speed. So you do have a lot of control over shooting parameters.

I used Lightroom mobile but I'm not a big fan of having to sync via cloud. What do you use for RAW capture?
See above re: ProCamera for capture. But there are now a handful of good camera apps that allow you to shoot raw files. And though I will sometimes use Lightroom mobile on my iPhone or iPad to develop the DNG files, I prefer to use the full desktop version of Lightroom on my big monitor after I get home. In any case, for me the ability to shoot raw files is a definite game changer.
 

bdbits

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Not to take away from the iPhone at all, just wanted to let any Android users know that yes, you can also shoot raw with lots of control over settings if you want, if not with your bundled camera app then there are other camera apps. Obviously quality will depend on the hardware installed on your phone.
 

WoodWorks

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Yes, and Android users had raw capture loooooong before we got it in the Apple world. There's no question that competition is driving things in a good (for all of us) direction rapidly.

And may I just add that in almost every other internet forum I've ever been to, we'd be mired in an OS war right about now. But that tiresome habit doesn't seem to happen here. You people rock! :2thumbs:
 

bdbits

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Yes, I was trying to word it carefully to avoid inciting anything. The lack of such pointless "wars" is one reason I hang around here! :thiagree:
 

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