Apple is fulfilling its promise of bringing a DSLR feature to its iPhone 7 Plus dual-lens camera system. However, the feature that comes with the bokeh effect is only available to developers for now. It is expected to be released publicly sometime in the remaining months of this year.
On Wednesday, the Cupertino tech giant made its iOS 10.1 beta update available for developers to try out. The update features the much talked about mode that would let everyone — especially aspiring photographers — use their iPhone 7 Plus handsets as though they were professional photography lenses.
According to Apple Insider, iOS 10.1 beta contains the new Portrait mode that makes use of the two lenses of the larger iPhone’s advanced camera system. Though the release notes do not mention this mode, the Apple-centric news site maintained that initial photos taken by TechCrunch with the installed update proves that the new photography capability is already available to the iPhone 7’s larger brother.
When using the Portrait mode, users should lock onto the subject of the image they want to capture. The feature then isolates the subject from its background and the bokeh effect is simulated to the image while it is being taken. The process may seem complicated, but this is accomplished at a fast speed that it feels just like taking an ordinary photo.
To realize the DSLR photography feature, MacRumors reports that the dual-lens camera’s Portrait mode mimics the shallow depth of field of images to make the subject stand out over its background. The image signal processor is in charge of scanning the scene and recognizing the subject. Once the image’s subject is identified, the system generates a depth map using the two lenses to keep the subject in focus while altering the background to have that artful blur called bokeh.
Since the iPhone 7 Plus iOS 10.1 update is still in beta, MacRumors states that it is likely to have quirks and issues that Apple will be addressing before the official release of the update to general users. Though the Portrait mode for the iPhone 7 Plus Camera app was featured during Apple’s Sept. 7 launch event, it did not ship with the device, and it wasn’t included in the recently launched iOS 10 update either.