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The New Portrait Mode on iPhone 7 Plus

The dual camera on the iPhone 7 Plus is becoming a real photography weapon with iOS 10.1. Stunning depth effects, that were reserved to SLR cameras so far, are now possible on iPhone photos. Apple calls this magical feature Portrait mode, that allows you to take portrait pictures like a pro.


This trick requires the dual camera, which has been built in the iPhone 7 Plus. If you only have an iPhone 7, unfortunately you will not be able to use this feature. Same goes for iPhone 6 Plus users.

In addition you will need iOS 10.1 or later on your iPhone 7 Plus.

Although Apple has announced the Portrait mode on the Keynote 2016, they could not finish the function before the release of iOS 10. So they added it later with the update to iOS 10.1.

How to use the portrait mode on iPhone 7 Plus

Once you have updated your iPhone 7 Plus to iOS 10.1, you can now use the portrait mode. Open the Camera app and swipe to the left, so that the camera mode wheel says “Portrait”.

Follow the instructions on the screen (e.g. “Move farther away“) to achieve the best result. You will get the best photos, when you stand 7.8 ft (2,40 m) off the object. However, the Photo app will tell you if you’re too far away.

The depth effect will be enabled as soon as the requirements are met. You will recognize the activated depth effect, because you will either see a yellow writing or you will see the actual effect on the screen. Before taking the picture, the depth effect is clearly visible on the preview.

Press the release as usual (on the display or a Volume button) and hold your iPhone as still as possible, because the portrait photos takes around 2 sec.

Photo taken with the Portrait mode (source: Apple)

There is one condition you really have to pay attention to, when you use the Portrait mode or the dual camera in general: you must be aware of the surrounding light! The darker it gets, the worse the photo quality will be. You will achieve the best effects with a well-lit surrounding.