For me, I use my phone to keep my email in check, browse social media from time to time, look up answers to debates that my wife and I have, and most importantly as my mobile camera. I used to pack a small point and shoot all of the time and take my big camera with me on any big trip but cameras on phones have gotten good enough recently that not only do I never use the point and shoot anymore, I don’t even take the big camera with me on most trips. So having a great camera on my phones is extremely important and a deal breaker if they don’t perform.
The rear-facing camera on the iPhone 7 is 12 megapixels and supports up to 4k video at 30 FPS. Some people might point out that at 12MP it is lower than a lot of the Android phones on the market, but I was more excited about the ƒ/1.8 aperture, a low aperture will help a lot in low light and with sports photos. There is only a digital zoom on the iPhone 7 but it does have optical image stabilization. The quad-LED true tone flash also caught my eye when looking through the specifications, this means the flash can turn on to four different brightness’s depending on what is needed, so hopefully that means better flash photos. They also have a feature called the “Backside illumination sensor”, something that no one would want me to have, especially my wife.
Apple’s photo app was very easy to use. There is a button on the screen to take the photo or you can use the volume buttons as a physical button. The main settings are always up on the screen and quick to get at and change. The best thing though is swiping left or right lets you flip between different modes like normal photos, square photos, and panorama photos. You can also get to video recording this same way, the slo-mo video mode that records normally until something happens quickly where it slows it down, and a time lapse mode. Here is a screenshot of the app, sorry the keyboard on the screen is blurry, I wiggled the phone when pressing the screenshot buttons.
Over the month I have been using the iPhone 7 I took over 400 photos and as much as I would love to share all of those I went through and took a few photos of the same things I always take pictures of when testing various phones so anyone (like you) can go back and look at past reviews to compare how each phones photos look.
The first photo is an outside shot to check to make sure the camera doesn’t wash things out when in mid-day sunlight. For this photo, I snapped a shot to show what it's like to live the cone life with all of the construction outside of our house all this fall. I was a little concerned when I first saw the picture because the cones looked a little dull, but I realized they are just dusty and the grass is meh. The fall leaves in the background really pop, though!
This shot is our standard cat photo taken in a dark room midday with the only light source behind the cat. I was a little surprised at how light this shot looked as it was actually really dark in the room. The iPhone 7’s high aperture really helped the phone take a good photo in low light.
Next, we have three matching photos taken in three different lighting situations. The first is with no light and the flash turned off. The point of this is to see if the bright LEDs take over the photo when the phone has to overexpose the photo to get the shot. The picture is a little dull and the blue LEDs glowed a little more in the reflections but the shot isn’t too bad. The second picture is with one photo backlight turned on. The last is with just the iPhones flash. I was a little disappointed in the flash photo but the other two came out good. I will point out though that the orange in all three photos is a little flat from what it should be, the iPhone 7 could use a little tuning. All in all the picture performance was good, but not amazing. I think they left a little room here for the iPhone 7 Plus to come in with its upgraded camera and be the main photography focused phone.