Apple releases Portrait mode for iPhone 7 Plus that gives shallow depth of field feature like a DSLR
FORGET about grabbing that clunky DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera. Your iPhone 7 Plus today has just become a much better camera.
Apple has finally launched the Portrait feature that was the highlight of the iPhone 7 announcement last month.
Through software trickery, the Portrait feature recognises the subject in a photo and isolates that by blurring objects that are in the distance.
Although it’s called Portrait mode, you don’t need to be shooting pictures of people to get it to work.
Today we tested it at our desk using a roll of sticky tape, and we now have an arty picture of the sticky tape with the rest of the office blurred in the background.
When you take a picture with Portrait mode, you get two versions of the photo in your camera roll. One has the photo with the depth-of-field effect applied, the other is just a straight out of the lens shot.
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There are a couple of catches when using the Portrait mode.
For one, you need the iPhone 7 Plus with the dual lens cameras — it won’t work with the iPhone 7 or any other iPhone. This is a feature that is unique to the 7 Plus phone model and not a part of the general iOS 10 software because it requires the two lenses in the largest iPhone to detect the distance of objects.
When you go to Portrait mode, it automatically switches to the 2x lens. It then tells you if you are too close to the subject with the words “move farther away” appearing on the screen until it’s happy with the distance between you and the subject. The feature will not work in low light.
The feature, although released today, is still in beta. That means Apple will continue to improve it although given it is now part of the latest iOS 10 release Apple considers it stable enough for wide public use.
This is not true depth of field that you get with a wide aperture on a DSLR camera and the software, although very clever, is not perfect.
With our photo of the roll of sticky tape, the soft focus effect was applied to the inside of the roll which, if we had taken the photo with a DSLR, should have been as sharp as the rest of the roll.
To use the feature with your iPhone 7 Plus today, first go to Settings and download the latest software update.
Portrait mode then appears in your camera between the Photo and Square modes.
By: Rod Chester, News Corp Australia Network
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