New iphone 7 & 7 plus camera features get powerful upgrade


Please note:In September 2019, we updated the Mobile test protocol to coverultra-wide-angleperformance and renamed the Camera. We also expanded our low-light testing and created the newNightsub-score, which incorporates the previous Flash score. We have retested this device using the new Wide and Night test protocols and updated the scores in this review, but we have not changed the text from the original review.

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For more information, please see the articles about our newWideandNight test protocols.




Apple iPhone 7 Plus camera review (originally published September 11, 2017)

The Apple iPhone 7 Plus is the iPhone 7’s larger sibling, and apart from a bigger display, adds a dual-camera setup to the specifications. In addition to the standard camera with a 28mm-equivalent focal length lens, the Plus model comes with a secondary module that doubles the focal length, allowing for a 2x optical zoom factor and a bokeh/portrait mode. In comparison to its predecessor, the iPhone 7 Plus also comes with a faster lens and improved image processing. A four-element flash and optical image stabilization on the standard lens are on board as well, and a wider color gamut (DCI-P3) makes for richer colors when used with Apple or other high-end displays.

Our updated Mobile test protocol now allows us to take into account the iPhone 7 Plus’s dual-camera bokeh and zoom headline features when testing. Read the full review below to find out how the iPhone 7 Plus camera performs.

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Key specifications:

Dual-camera12 MP 1/3.6-inch secondary camera with f/2.8 aperture and 56mm-equivalent focal lengthPortrait and Zoom modes (thanks to the new dual-camera design)5.5-inch full-HD display

Comparing the iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus

The iPhone 7 Plus features additional capabilities based on its dual-camera architecture. It is not the first phone with a dual-camera, but it was one of the first to use the second camera as an optical zoom and for computing depth information. Its new Portrait mode uses the depth information gleaned from analyzing the images from both of its cameras to selectively blur image backgrounds, while keeping the subject sharp. This mimics the shallow DOF effect and pleasing Bokeh that photographers who use DSLRs and other standalone cameras can achieve. With our new test protocols, we are able to evaluate how well those features perform, and how much of a difference they make in image quality compared to the single-camera iPhone 7.

Because the main cameras on the iPhone 7 and 7 Plus are the same, most of our Sub-Scores for them are similar. So to learn more about their camera features and imaging performance, as well as to see how the new Zoom and Portrait features stack up in our tests, seethis special detailed analysis of how the two phones’ cameras compare.

Test summary

With an overall score of 88, the iPhone 7 Plus comes very close to highest-scoring models in our new Mobile ranking. Given that the iPhone 7 Plus’s main camera is the same as that of the iPhone 7, most of the image and video sub-scores are very close for the two models. However, thanks to its dual-camera and longer secondary lens, the Plus model scores higher in the bokeh and zoom departments, resulting in a three-point higher overall score than the iPhone 7 (88 vs. 85).

Bright light: Excellent exposures and dynamic range

Shooting in bright light, the iPhone 7 Plus captures very good exposures with wide dynamic range, making it an excellent choice for landscape, streets scenes, and architecture, as well as for general outdoor (daylight) photography. Colors are both vivid and pleasant, especially in sunny conditions, and generally the white balance is stable. We observed some light-green casts in some very specific conditions, but they were fairly minimal.Target exposure is good in almost all tested conditions. Even images captured in very low light (1 Lux) are still usable, although slightly under-exposed.


Outdoor images have good color rendering and saturation, although usually with a visible yellow cast.There were some exposure failures, such as overexposed highlights, in very tricky or high-contrast scenes, but the instances of these were minimal.In general, HDR-mode exposures displayed excellent detail across the entire tonal range, with well-defined skies and clouds in the highlights, and visible details in the shadows.With our new test protocol, we have added more challenging scenes, and were able to detect some high-dynamic-range (HDR) limitations compared to the Google Pixel, as shown in this image:

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