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Apple iPhone 7 Review - Performance

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Apple iPhone 7 Performance

The performance section is where we look at the image quality performance of the camera. Additional sample photos and product shots are available in the Equipment Database, where you can add your own review, photos and product ratings.


Apple iPhone 7 Sample Photos

Apple iPhone 7 Lens test images

Camera Performance - Exposure is generally reliable, and by using the HDR mode you can avoid blown highlights, although it can make the image a little darker overall.

You are going to get more detailed photos from a smartphone camera with a 16 or 20-megapixel sensor, however, detail is reasonably good. If you shoot in raw using an app like Lightroom Mobile, then you can get sharper photos, as the camera's own app has quite strong noise reduction, reducing detail in images. 

We occasionally noticed some lens flare, but it was difficult to capture, as a slight change in framing was able to get rid of it. Some purple fringing was noticeable in photos of trees, with bright sky behind them.

The camera can focus on subjects around 9cm away from the camera lens, which means you can take reasonable close-up photos, but not the best macro photos. 

With optical image stabilisation, it's possible to take sharp photos at shutter speeds of 1/10s or slower, depending on how steady you can hold the phone.

The 4 LED flash is bright, but sometimes too bright, being painful for subjects having their photo taken. It also gives the image or subject a slight yellow colour cast. The Selfie flash using the smartphone's screen did a better job of keeping subject colours looking natural. 

Apple iPhone 7 ISO test images

ISO Noise Performance - Noise is low at ISO50 (or lower) and starts to become slightly visible at ISO200. Noise is more noticeable at ISO400, but still reasonable. Noise increases again at ISO800, but images should be usable. At ISO1600, noise becomes much strong, and it's probably best avoiding this setting.

Apple iPhone 7 White-balance test images

White Balance Performance - Auto White Balance (AWB) performs well under a variety of lighting conditions, leaving a slight yellow cast to images. This is likely to be pleasing to most people. These shots were taken with Adobe Lightroom Mobile as Adobe DNG files, and then saved straight to the Camera Roll without applying any adjustments or noise reduction. 

Apple iPhone 7 Digital filters

Digital Filters - There are 8 different filters built-in to the default camera app on the phone, and hundreds available by using third party apps such as Instagram, Prisma, VSCO, Lightroom Mobile and more. 

Panoramic | 1/855 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 80
Panoramic | 1/855 sec | f/1.8 | 4.0 mm | ISO 80

The panoramic mode produces a high-resolution image, particularly when the phone is held in vertical orientation, with this image an impressive 41 megapixels. 

Video - The camera records 4K video, and results are good thanks to the camera's built-in optical image stabilisation. You can also take 8 megapixel still photos while recording 4K video. You can use the bright 4 LED lights while recording videos. If you switch to FullHD or 720p video, then the camera has "Cinematic video stabilisation" which is a combination of electronic and optical image stabilisation. Slo-mo video can be recorded at 1080p at 120fps and 720p at 240fps. You can't change the video resolution settings in the camera app instead, you have to go to Settings > Photos and Camera and there you can find more advanced camera settings. 


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Photographs taken using the Apple iPhone 7

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