Apple iPhone 7 Plus vs Autumn in Canada

There is nothing like autumn in Canada, the trees shed their leaves and give us one glorious last colorful burst before carpeting the ground with gold.  Armed with the iPhone 7 Plus, I took to the forest trails around Esson Lake, which is a 2.5Hr drive from Toronto.

Below you’ll find a series of photos that test out the camera’s telephoto lens, manual as well as Auto modes. The video above was captured on the iPhone 7 Plus in 1080p. The reason I opted for FHD over 4K was that the slow motion feature is only capable of 1080p at 120fps or 720 at 240fps.  Scaling up from 1080p to 4K simply wasn’t an option if I wanted to create a video which showed off the different video capabilities of the iPhone.

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After a month with the iPhone 7 Plus’s camera we can’t deny that it’s capable of amazing photos, but that’s doesn’t mean that every shot has come out perfectly – photos taken in harsh indoor lighting are often over processed, but nature photography is where the iPhone really excelled.  What we’ve got here is the iPhone putting its best foot forward. The photos haven’t been edited and have been shot in 4.3 in full resolution. Since we weren’t planning on editing them we decided not to shoot in RAW.

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Using 2X zoom to get right in there.

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Standard photo, not using Portrait mode.

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In this instance the colors seemed washed out and less vibrant.

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Same mushrooms, different angle, accurate color representation.

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Looking at video the 1X panorama lens is what we recommend shooting in, the 2X lens looks just as good as the 1X when it comes to photos and video, but it’s missing OIS so things to have a slight amount of shake. All of the close up pans in the video had to be done a few times to avoid a minor but noticeable amount of shake. If you’re going for a smooth pan stick to the 1X, shoot in 4K and crop. I found the 2X lens really useful to get close while avoiding shadows on whatever it was I was filming.

One of the biggest complaints that I have about the camera in general is that the shutter speed can be insanely slow. Depending on the lighting it can be snappy enough, but over all it’s much slower than what we’re used to on phones like the Galaxy S7.

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I only remembered to take one selfie!

Time and time again I tried to use the digital zoom, which goes to 10X, but the photos were never really usable. Good enough to see what’s going on, but not a shareable photo if you’re trying to claim any kind of photography chops.

Check out this series of photos of birds on a bird feeder, I took about 40 close ups and these are the best of the bunch, it looks great for how far it is an that you’re using a smartphone, but it’s not a photo worth sharing.

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Bird feeder at 1X.

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Bird feeder at 2X, you can make out a bird on the feeder.

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10X Zoom – the bird looks great for how far it is. Really, this is impressive, but it’s not a beautiful or detailed and it’s not something that I would considering sharing.

Here is a photo that demonstrates one of the issues that I have with the camera, you’ll often get lens flare when shooting towards the sun, even if it’s from the side like we see below.

It is particularly common on very small lens digital cameras.  Its not a bug or an error – it is a simple phenomenon of physics and the limitations of a lens with intense direct light input. Cambridge in Color has a good article going into more detail here.

One way that sometimes works to get rid of it is to cup your hand around the lens as a temporary cover or hood to reduce the side incident light hitting the lens (this is in fact why large DSLR lenses and spotting telescopes come with a hood, to reduce lens flare).

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There is no palette as beautiful as autumn in Canada and the iPhone 7 Plus did a great job capturing it.