Reviews for the Apple iPhone 7 and 7 plus have started to flow in and most of them agree that the new range of phones from Apple is a solid upgrade even though the design remains close to identical to that of the last two generations.
While we agreed that the blazingly fast processor was the rea;l star of this year’s phones, Apple also made a really big deal about its improved cameras that it said would blow everything else pout of the water.
According to Consumer Reports, though, that may not be true. In its testing, Consumer reports found that the iPhone 7 and 7 plus had cameras which performed admirably under most conditions but were on par with those that featured in the iPhone 6S series.
This would come as a bit of disappointment to customers that were eager to try out the new dual-camera setup in the 7 plus and play around with the combination of optical and digital zoom thanks to the ‘telephoto’ lens included.
In fact, even though the iPhone 7 may not have got the dual camera setup but it also features Optical Image Stabilization this year and a camera with an improved aperture (f 1/8 instead of the previous f/2.2).
The front facing camera on the both new iPhones has also received a specification bump up to 7 megapixels from the previous 5 megapixels. This could, in fact, be the most significant upgrade to the camera experience from the point of view of the customers that are clicking more selfies and sharing snapchat stories than ever before.
Some of the findings that Consumer Reports shared were very interesting. For example, while they found that the sharpness of pictures taken from standard 28mm lenses in the iPhone 7 generation and the iPhone 6S generation were very similar to each other, the pictures were taken with the 56mm lens on the iPhone 7 plus were noticeably sharper.
They also found that the front facing camera of the iPhone 7 plus took sharper pictures than its similarly specced counterpart on the iPhone 6S. This is quite strange since Apple did not mention any difference in image processing either.
Also, there should have been a noticeable difference in the quality of pictures taken in low light from the new cameras featuring a bigger aperture but here again, no noticeable difference was found between the latest and the previous generation of iPhones.
It could be that Apple is using similar image processing algorithms in both phones and thus the end image is ending up at a very similar level.
The Quad-LED Tru-Tone flash was also given some substantial hype at the Apple iPhone event, however, that too failed to show any marked improvement over the previous generation regular flash.
All in all, the camera performance of the iPhone 7 and 7 plus failed to make substantial gains over the last generation, making all the hype around it seem a bit of overkill. It is possible that Apple may be updating its image processing algorithms in the near future though as it is also yet to release the software patch for ‘bokeh’ photography on the iPhone 7 plus.