Apple iPhone 7 Review

November 4, 2016 | Amy Davies | |
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Image Quality

All of the sample images in this review were taken using the 12 megapixel JPEG setting, which gives an average image size of around 3Mb.

When the light is bright, image quality of JPEGs directly from the camera is very good. The wide gamut of colours is especially vibrant when viewing the photos on the iPhone 7’s screen, but they also appear vivid and bold when viewing them on a computer.

You’d probably find it quite tricky to differentiate between shots taken with the iPhone 7 and the iPhone 6S when comparing if the light is good. However, in lower light conditions, the iPhone 7 shows a marked improvement thanks to the wider maximum aperture of the lens.

That’s not to say that low light performance is perfect, though. There’s still plenty of improvement to be made here, and it’s possible to see image smoothing appearing from mid-range ISOs like ISO 640. Still, if you’re only planning to share images at small sizes, such as online.

The filters are a fun way to experiment with different looks without having to use apps such as Instagram, while the panoramic images can be a good idea depending on the subject. Panoramas can suffer a little from jagged edges and visible joins, but again only if you really examine them closely.

Exposures are generally very pleasing, and it’s rare that you need to actually just the exposure compensation. Leaving HDR switched on to “Auto” is a good idea, as it helps to maintain detail across the frame that might otherwise have been lost to shadows, but manages to do it without looking artificial or fake. Automatic white balance copes well in a range of different lighting conditions, including artificial lighting - sometimes the colours can creep towards looking a little yellowish. You can’t change the white balance setting in the native app, but if you get one of those which allows manual control you could alter it if you prefer.

Although you can shoot in raw format, again through a third party app, there’s probably not a particularly strong argument for doing so. Yes, you could take extra control over the shot in post production, but how often you’d want to do that with basic snaps from a phone like this is questionable.

Noise

There are 7 ISO settings available on the Apple iPhone 7. Here are some 100% crops which show the noise levels for each ISO setting, with the JPEG version on the left and the RAW on the right.

JPEG

RAW

 

ISO 32 (100% Crop)

ISO 32 (100% Crop)

 
iso32.jpg iso32raw.jpg  
     

ISO 50 (100% Crop)

ISO 50 (100% Crop)

 
iso50.jpg iso50raw.jpg  

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

ISO 100 (100% Crop)

 
iso100.jpg iso100raw.jpg  

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

ISO 200 (100% Crop)

 
iso200.jpg iso200raw.jpg  

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

ISO 400 (100% Crop)

 
iso400.jpg iso400raw.jpg  

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

ISO 800 (100% Crop)

 
iso800.jpg iso800raw.jpg  

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

ISO 1600 (100% Crop)

 
iso1600.jpg iso1600raw.jpg  

Focal Range

The Apple iPhone 7's lens provides a fixed focal length of 28mm in 35mm terms, as demonstrated below.

28mm

focal_range1.jpg

Chromatic Aberrations

The Apple iPhone 7 handled chromatic aberrations very well during the review, with limited purple fringing mainly present around the edges of objects in high-contrast situations, as shown in the examples below.

Chromatic Aberrations 1 (100% Crop)

Chromatic Aberrations 2 (100% Crop)

chromatic1.jpg chromatic2.jpg

Macro

The Apple iPhone 7 offers a Macro setting that allows you to focus on a subject that is 5cms away from the camera.

Macro

macro.jpg

Flash

The flash settings on the Apple iPhone 7 are Off, On and Auto. These shots of a white coloured wall were taken at a distance of 1.5m.

Flash Wide Off

Flash Wide On

ISO 64 ISO 64

And here are a couple of portrait shots.

Flash Off

Flash On

flash_off.jpg flash_on.jpg

Filters

The Apple iPhone 7 offers 8 different digital filter effects.

Chrome

Fade

filterchrome.jpg filterfade.jpg
   

Instant

Mono

filterinstant.jpg filtermono.jpg
   

Noir

Process

filternoir.jpg filterprocess.jpg
   

Tonal

Transfer

filtertonal.jpg filtertransfer.jpg

Panorama

The Apple iPhone 7 allows you to take panoramic images very easily, by 'sweeping' with the camera while keeping the shutter release depressed. The camera automatically does all the processing and stitching.

Panorama

panorama.jpg