The iPhone 7 Plus lets you shoot images at 2x magnification with its 56mm-equivalent lens. Here's how!

When you pick up an iPhone 7 Plus, you're also getting a great multi-camera system to take photographs and shoot video. By default, you shoot with the iPhone's 12-megapixel wide-angle f/1.8 lens, but you can also amp up the magnification and take photos with the new 56mm-equivalent "telephoto" lens — both in the Camera app, or in a variety of great third-party apps.

NOTE: Though many (myself included) have argued that this system is closer in comparison to a normal or portrait lens than a true telephoto, I understand Apple's intentions here: Because they're marketing the lens in conjunction with a 2x feature, it may seem more appropriate to call it "tele" than "normal" or "portrait" to the average user — especially considering that Apple has a planned "Portrait" feature coming out that utilizes both lenses later this year. For that reason, I'm referring to the lens as Apple names it — tele, or telephoto — even though I don't necessarily agree with that branding.

How to shoot with the telephoto lens in the Camera app

  1. Open the Camera app and select Photo mode.
  2. Tap on the 1x button to switch to 2x mode.
  3. Frame and shoot your photo!

As long as you're shooting in a brightly-lit area, the Camera app will automatically select the 56mm-equivalent lens when you switch to 2x magnification; if you're in a dimly-lit area, however, you won't be able to use the it and it will automatically switch to digitally-zoomed wide-angle shot.

If you're running the iOS 10 beta, you can also use Portrait mode, which automatically will shoot with the telephoto lens — whether or not you're in good enough light to use Portrait mode's "Depth Effect".

How to shoot with the telephoto lens in third-party apps

If you run into a situation like the above where you want to make sure you're shooting with the 56mm-equivalent lens — and that lens only — you can use a third-party manual camera app that supports lens swapping. (Our current favorite is ProCamera.)

Here's how to shoot in ProCamera:

  1. Open the ProCamera app.
  2. Tap the More button (looks like three horizontal lines).
  3. Select the Tele camera option.

For other third-party apps that support the iPhone 7 Plus's multi-camera system, instructions will likely be similar — you'll just want to look for their lens selectors.


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