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
- Open the Camera app and select Photo mode.
- Tap on the 1x button to switch to 2x mode.
- 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:
- Open the ProCamera app.
- Tap the More button (looks like three horizontal lines).
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.
Let us know in the comments.
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