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Is iPhone 7’s Camera As Good As A DSLR?

Monday, September 12th, 2016 by | Filed Under: Digital Photography, iOS, Smartphones

While listening to Apple’s presentation about the new iPhone 7, I heard a pretty bold claim. They said you’ll wonder why people are still carrying around $5000 worth of equipment in a camera bag when this phone is available. A statement like that is sure to make professional photographers and experienced amateurs ask some hard questions.

There’s no question that smartphones have taken over the point and shoot market and are now the primary camera of choice for millions of people. But what’s so special about the iPhone 7 camera?

There’s no doubt the phone’s camera has some nice features. Apple has added optical image stabilization to help reduce blur. The company says this allows for an exposure time three times longer than with iPhone 6s. There’s also a larger f/1.8 aperture that lets in 50% more light. That means better images in low-light settings.  Considering how often smartphone users are pulling out their cameras in dark places, this is a big improvement.


The phone also features a quad-LED flash that’s 50% brighter than iPhone 6s.  Apple promises that the flash will adjust to the color temperature wherever you are for sharper, brighter photos.

These features will also make for better video. The iPhone has a very good video camera capable of shooting high-resolution video in 4K.


The biggest news for this iPhone camera is that it is dual-camera, featuring two cameras that shoot as one. It has both wide-angle and telephoto cameras offering an actual optical zoom of 2x in addition to a 10X digital zoom.


If you’re using the iPhone 7 Plus, there will also be a new depth-of-field effect. (That won’t arrive for a few months)  This lets you get a bokeh effect.


The iPhone 7 will also support raw files. A raw file is uncompressed data that hasn’t been altered by a device. Pros prefer this format because it allows them greater control over the image. However, they do take up quite a lot of room. Since this phone has not removable storage, you may want to shell out for the 256GB model if you plan on taking a lot of raw photos.

It’s a nice camera, but not quite ready to replace that $5000 worth of equipment in your camera bag. And it’s not exactly cheap, the least expensive iPhone 7 starts at $649.

You can find out more about the iPhone 7 by clicking here.

What do you think? Can the iPhone 7 really stand up to a professional camera? Is it a good enough point and shoot substitute? Let us know in the comments.

~ Cynthia

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3 Responses to “Is iPhone 7’s Camera As Good As A DSLR?”

  1. Markj says:

    A 2x optical zoom isn’t much, my 6 year old point and shoot does 5x optical, and as you have pointed out before using the digital zoom is pointless.

  2. Diane Meyers says:

    Since I am not strong enough to carry anything bigger than a pocket size camera I was very interested to read your article. My conclusion is that my Panasonic LUMIX with Leica technology is more likely to be upgraded to the newer LUMIX than to an iPhone. Good, but not good enough. Plus I’m preferable to Android when it cones to phones. Thanks for your photography help, I learn a lot from you.

  3. Gerald Weber says:

    I’m not paying a monthly service fee when using my DSLR camera, which I would be if I were using any brand or model of Smartphones, Ipads or Tablets or what have you to just take pictures. Access to Internet service providers aren’t req’d. at all to use the DSLR at any location.

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