Apple has fitted a new dual-lens camera to the new iPhone 7 Plus, and the smartphone has a unique portrait shooting mode that was revealed at the company event early September.
The camera was billed as the best that has ever been seen on an iPhone, and one that could stand its own against DSLR cameras used by professionals. Now the team at Fstoppers has decided to put that claim to the test in a new video.
iPhone 7 Plus wins a few rounds against Nikon D300s
The results were in fact quite surprising given that the iPhone 7 Plus outperformed the DSLR in a number of tests. These include video quality tests, low-light (ISO) performance and durability.
However, the DSLR, a Nikon D300s, was a far stronger performer when it comes to image quality in good light conditions with a shallow depth of field. The two devices were tied in camera speed tests, as well as a versatility test that is far from scientific.
At the same time, the Fstoppers test used a Nikon D300s DSLR which is a few years old. This model has a 12-megapixel sensor, the same as the iPhone 7 Plus.
It is likely that the iPhone 7 Plus would perform less strongly against today’s DSLRs. Camera technology has advanced significantly in the last few years for DSLRs as well as smartphones.
Fstoppers impressed by dual-camera system
However, these improvements are arguably more noticeable in smartphones. The test certainly appears to have impressed the team at Fstoppers.
“The iPhone is getting shockingly close in many areas and has actually surpassed DSLRs in a few,” said Fstoppers. “We have to remember that the DSLR that we used in this test is seven years old, but we also have to remember that the iPhone isn’t a camera; it’s a phone with a million features, one of them being a camera. It’s absolutely crazy that a phone can hang with any DSLR.”
According to the specifications, the iPhone 7 Plus has two camera sensors. One is a 12-megapixel unit with a wide-angle lens, optical stabilization and strong ISO performance. The other is a standard/telephoto lens with poor ISO performance.
Fstoppers was impressed by the new “portrait mode” on the iPhone 7 Plus. The feature fakes a shallow depth of field, and the tester called it “quite convincing, especially for web use.”
Will smartphones one day overtake DSLRs?
With continued advancement in the field of smartphone cameras, it wouldn’t be surprising if DSLRs had some real competition very soon. To think how far smartphone makers have come with camera technology in just a few years is remarkable.
The cameras on top of the range smartphones that were sold around a decade ago produced photos that impressed us at the time. However take a photo with one of them these days and it would appear barely usable.
Nowadays anyone but hobbyist photographers or professionals can use a smartphone camera to document their lives. An increasing number of media sources are also publishing videos and photos shot on smartphones.
Unless you are trying to do something out of the ordinary, a modern smartphone camera is more than good enough. The idea that progress is set to continue is an exciting one, especially for those with a keener interest in photography and video. Perhaps smartphones will one day reduce DSLR cameras to a novelty item used by a hardcore group of professional shooters.