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The iPhone 7 Plus: Why does it have two cameras?

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As expected, people seem to be going crazy over the new iPhone 7 Plus. As photographers, one of the biggest appeals is its upgraded camera with the ability to create beautiful bokeh and an incredible zoom. But why does it have two cameras? There’s much more behind “the lens” than one would think. Here’s a great breakdown from our friends over at Techcrunch.

As long rumored, the new iPhone — one of them, anyway — has a dual-camera setup on the back. What’s the benefit of this crazy contraption?

One of the cameras on the iPhone 7 Plus has the standard, wide-angle, 28mm-equivalent lens. The other is twice that, a 56mm equivalent — more like a portrait lens. That gives you a hard optical zoom up to 2x — no losing quality just because you want to zoom in a bit. It’ll give you a little haptic feedback when you switch to digital zoom.

apple-liveblog0510But that’s not all! The two cameras, working together, can act like a pair of eyes, gathering stereoscopic data and getting a depth map of the scene. That lets the camera app automatically apply a progressive blur to the background, giving you that shallow depth of field that’s often been indicative of a far more expensive camera.

And you better believe Apple has more plans for this. Depth mapping is a powerful tech, and one that’s been pursued by both Apple and its rivals — we’re only scraping the surface here.

In addition to this, the 7 Plus also has the usual improvements Apple brings to the iPhone camera. The new generation has optical image stabilization, RAW capture, improved color gamut, and a sensor to eliminate rolling shutter artifacts from flickering lights.

[Source: Techcrunch]
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