With smartphones and their eclectic array of handy apps now an integral piece of kit for any filmmaking professional, the launch of a new iPhone has become a big event. How does the screen look? How do the speakers sound? And how much better can a camera that tiny really get, anyway? Here are the top 10 takeaways for media pros from today's Apple event revealing the iPhone 7 and it's larger sibling, the iPhone 7+.
1) Two lenses are better than one. First things first: only the iPhone 7 Plus has two lenses, and that's probably the most interesting advancement announced today. In terms of their field of view, one is the equivalent of a wide-angle 28mm lens, the other a portrait-like 56mm. That makes this iPhone the first one to offer users a legit 2x optical zoom — followed by a 10x digital zoom executed in software.
2) Artificial bokeh. The iPhone 7 Plus will be able to leverage the parallax from the dual-lens set-up to generate a depth map. Combined with technology to recognize faces in the frame, that lets the camera generate pleasing bokeh in portrait shots, simulating a nice depth-of-field effect by throwing the background out of focus. This feature will be enabled via a software update sometime after the phone ships.
3) Wide color gamut display. Both iPhone 7 displays support wide color gamut — specifically P3 color space. That means your pictures may look better on the iPhone screen itself than they will when viewed on lesser displays. The iPhone 7 has a 1334×750 screen, while the iPhone 7 Plus is 1920×1080.
4) Records raw photos to DNG. The iPhone 7 can capture raw photos in DNG format. Apparently you will be able to edit those raw shots in Lightroom right in your phone. Apple's imaging capabilities has been nipping at the heels of dedicated point-and-shoot camera manufacturers for years, but this is their first real incursion into DSLR territory.
5) Flicker detection. A new flicker sensor detects and corrects flickering light effects in stills and video.
6) Moving in stereo. Sound quality should be better than ever, with stereo speakers for the first time on an iPhone.
7) You can still use your existing headphones. Yes, the headphone jack is missing. But the iPhone 7 does at least ship with a pair of earbuds that use the Lightning jack. It also comes with an adapter that'll let you plug in your favorite high-end cans — as long as you don't expect to charge your phone at the same time. Apple is also releasing an assortment of wireless in-ear and over-ear listening options, assuming you're still feeling spendy after shelling out for an iPhone 7.
8) Now comes with up to 256 GB of storage. Apple has finally — finally! — expanded storage options. The iPhone 7 and 7+ now come in 32 GB, 128 GB and 256 GB configurations instead of topping out at 128 GB.
9) Preorders start soon. Apple is taking preorders starting this Friday, September 9; the phone starts shipping September 16 in the first 28 countries and one week later in 30 more territories. Will there be shortages? Who knows?
10) Despite it all, your old phone isn't dead yet. If you're keeping your existing phone, you can update it to iOS 10 starting September 13. iOS 10 will work on iPhones dating back to the 5, 5c and 5s models.
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