iPhone 7 Plus ‘Portrait Camera’ Beta Mode Hands-On [PICS]


Apple released iOS 10.1 beta today for developers, and within this release it contained the highly anticipated Portrait mode for iPhone 7 Plus users. The mode is currently is beta, but still produces some really nice effects.

Here is a quick breakdown of how the feature works. Once you launch the Camera app, a new ‘Portrait’ option appears next to Photo in the shooting mode carousel.

Once you swipe or tap over to Portrait, it says Portrait Camera (beta) will “create a portrait with a depth effect that keeps your subject sharp while creating a beautifully blurred background.” Users need to tap “Try the Beta” to get started.

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Once in Portrait Camera mode, users will continuously receive feedback on the position of your iPhone 7 Plus to nail that blurred background effect. You’ll be told to “move farther away” or “more light required”, so just do as it says, alright?

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The moment you are in the proper range and lighting conditions are suitable, you’ll see “DEPTH EFFECT” in bold on the screen in yellow, while the background will be blurred, simulating bokeh from dSLR cameras and other images taken with a shallow depth of field:

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Here are our test photos. You can see before and after photos, with and without Portrait Camera mode (a bit of a backlight below):

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For a first beta, it’s good but of course not perfect. We noticed when taking images of subjects with reflections made it difficult for Portrait mode to lock on, sometimes blurring the edges of whatever you’re snapping a picture of.

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All images posted above are untouched, but have been resized.

Portrait Camera mode is only available for iPhone 7 Plus and its dual-camera setup. The beta version of this camera mode should definitely improve, but for now, it’s not a bad start at all. Can’t wait to test this more outside.


  • Quattro

    Sorry bud… This is not simulating bokeh. People need to stop over-using that term. All portrait mode is doing is creating blur. Blur is not bokeh. Bokeh is more than blur.

  • Jon

    Isn’t that where the word ‘simulating’ is relevant? It’s not replicating bokeh. It’s using software and the dual lens to create an effect similar to the effect you get from bokeh.

  • Quattro

    To clarify… It is NOT creating an effect similar to the effect you get from “bokeh”. It is creating “blur”. Blur, on it’s own, is not bokeh. Bokeh has specific properties that don’t exist in plain blur.

    Like I said, it’s an over-used (often improperly used) term.

  • jay

    really apple that’s all? Just the camera? Can not believe people paying for that. I just picked up the iPhone and still everything is the same for three years now

  • You see it as a flaw, but that’s also part of the high points.
    Apple is consistently good at many things, and you compare the phone being the same as 3 years ago. 3 year old iPhones still perform fantastically today. Can the same be said for 3 year old Androids? devices that had been dropped from updated over a year ago, and will not improve anymore.

    just wanted make that point. It isn’t always the amount of feature you can cram into a phone, but how well that phone use utilize all the features.

  • jay

    Is not the feature is about finding the solution. No headphone jack but how charge and listen to music? At least fast charging. Than always these thing with the new features old iPhone won’t support like live pictures or back than Siri.

  • I constantly hear the “How do I charge and listen” comment/complaint, it seems to be 1 thing many people are hung up on. My reply is:

    I’ve never once needed to charge and listen. The battery is amazing, and easily lasts a full day. Sounds like an Android problem. Unless you don’t sleep every other day.

  • jay

    listen i travel a lot and when i want to listen to my music inside the car i plug the aux cord in and after four hours i like to charge my phone because want to make sure not charging it at a customer. so apple what is the solution? yeah buy a iPhone 6s plus