Ever since the launch of Portrait mode on the iPhone 7 Plus, Apple has been relentlessly running ad campaigns showing off the phone’s camera capabilities. Portrait mode has significantly narrowed the gap between smartphone cameras and DSLRs. In one of its ads, Apple tried to convince fans that the iPhone 7 Plus is as good as a movie camera. Fortunately for Apple, professional photographers have started adopting the 5.5-inch iPhone.

iPhone 7 Plus Portrait Mode
Image Source: Apple Inc. / YouTube video (screenshot)

Pro photographers embracing the iPhone 7 Plus

Billboard magazine’s latest cover was shot using the iPhone 7 Plus and Portrait mode. It was Billboard’s idea to take a portrait of the Fifth Harmony singer Camila Cabello with the 5.5-inch iPhone. Photographer Miller Mobley was up for the challenge. Mobley said in an interview with Mashable that he had never shot professionally on an iPhone. But Mobley who has photographed celebrities like Ryan Gosling and Taylor Swift, was up for the challenge.

Mobley said he was all about embracing new technology. He normally relies on high-end professional cameras such as the Mamiya 645DF+ or Canon 5D Mark III that cost thousands of dollars. By comparison, the iPhone 7 Plus starts at $769. Mobley pointed out that the iPhone does have certain limitations compared to professional cameras. For instance, he had to add extra illumination during the shoot to the smartphone’s poor low-light performance.

Apple’s software needs some improvement

The iPhone 7 Plus has a 12-megapixel camera, which offers a limited resolution for cropping. Mobley told Mashable that these were “more thought out” images rather than casual snapshots. He pointed out that Apple’s software still needs some work before it can be used widely for professional photography. It occasionally produced weird results. The photo used for Billboard’s cover was edited and enhanced. Nevertheless, it’s an impressive feat for the iPhone 7 Plus.

The iPhone 7 Plus comes with a Portrait mode, which takes advantage of the phone’s dual-camera system to blur the background and highlight the foreground object. The device features an image signal processor to scan the scene to identify people and other objects in the foreground before the background is artificially blurred.

Apple releases two new ads

In its continued effort to promote the iPhone 7 Plus, Apple has released two new ads titled Profile Picture and Boyfriend. Both of these 15-second clips show the Portrait mode in action. Though Apple has limited the feature to its 5.5-inch smartphone, third-party apps such as Fab-focus have made it possible to take Portrait mode pictures on other devices such as the iPhone 7, iPhone 6S and 6S Plus.

The iPhone 7 Plus has become wildly popular among consumers despite its higher price tag, thanks to the dual-camera system. Its strong sales have proved that consumers are willing to pay more for cool features.