The iPhone 7plus Portrait mode: ingenious or rubbish?

Discussion in 'iPhone' started by JoFT, Jun 20, 2017.

  1. JoFT macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2014
    Since a couple of month the iPhone 7plus is out, and one very special feature is this portrait mode. I got it very early. And had to wait until the release of the portrait mode. It has some ups and downs - and it is still in a beta phase....

    My questions:

    • Does it work?
    • How does it perform?
    Lets start with some technical considerations.

    Technically it is a pretty remarkable approach:

    • The photo is shot with the "telephoto-lens of the iPhone
    • The iPhone camera scans which part of the image is where
    • the "portrait subject" remains sharp
    • the other lens is set at shortest distance to deliver a blurred image
    • and than the magic starts: the art of the photo which should be blurred will be mixed according to the information what is before and behind the subject.
    Quite ingenious approach. The simulation of a larger sensor with a smaller one...

    [​IMG] iphone portrait mode aperture.jpeg

    But what is the portrait mode like? Well - I took my lens with the nicest bokeh I own on a Full Frame camera. I tried to make the same shot with the iPhone and my Canon EOS 5DMk IV with the Zeiss Milvus 50 mm f1.4 (I know pretty unfair... to some extend...)

    Above you see the result: Matching this I would say: Well the iPhone ends up with a f5.6-ish aperture... For full frame: pretty slow... But keep in mind... This is full frame... In reality this means - to name it with typical lenses used...:

    • Full frame: f5.6: sorry, but there are -literally no such slow 50mm lenses available for full frame...
    • APS-C: f4.x: You end up with 4.x-ish values: let´s assume a 24-70mm or 24-105mm f4.0 will deliver the same amount of bokeh...
    • µ43 (Olympus, Lumix): f 2.8: In this case you get the same amount of bokeh from the iPhone as if you would own a 12-40mm f2.8 (Oly) or 12-35 f2.8 (Pana)... And this sounds much nicer...

    For more details: read the full blog...

    Glad to get some feedback...

    Attached Files:

  2. Susurs macrumors 6502a


    Jun 18, 2010
    Well, I love the portrait mode on the i7 Plus. Simple, fast, easy, and you can get very nice photos out of it. Of course, the result will not be the same as you can get with those "big brothers cameras/lenses"... but come on... it is a phone.

    P.S. I have experienced very minor glitches with the portrait mode. In some rare events it positioned the blurred background a bit incorrectly, so there were imprecise borders around the focused object. But I believe it will be improved in the future.
  3. JoFT thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2014
    I love it, too. But I wanted to know what is the real comparison.... in Full Frame equivalents....

    And some effects are really strange like the glass blurred away what you find in my blog.... But I agree: Apple will figure that out more and more...
  4. the future macrumors 65816

    Jul 17, 2002
    I think the DOF of the portrait mode in your example is between FF 5.6 and 4.0 (but closer to 5.6).

    Also, as this is "just software", I bet Apple could easily make the background more "blurry"; I guess they thought this amount of (fake) bokeh hits a sweet spot for most users/shots.
  5. JoFT thread starter macrumors newbie

    Nov 10, 2014
    In fact the Portrait Mode is not a fake blur. It is a mixing of blurs: the back and forground blur comes from the wide angle lens.... and this has not that much blur at all....

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