You’ve got a wide lens and a not so wide lens. Apple keep calling it a telephoto but its not really. It’s a mid-range prime I guess. Apple doesn’t see it as 2 cameras or the ability to swap lenses. Apple sees the dual camera functionality as a zoom lens. The way it works is that every time you open the camera app it defaults to 1x, to the 28mm-ish wide lens. To get to the 56mm-ish lens you have to tap the 1x button changing it to a 2x lens. It’s not wide and zoom. It’s 1x zoom and 2x zoom, like on a bridge camera. I guess I’ve been using primes for too long so I see this more like the ability to switch between lenses but Apple have chosen a different way of thinking about it. I guess its a more consumer focused way of thinking about it.
What this means is that it’s a little fiddly to quickly put it in street photo mode. Maybe there will be an app that can open directly to the 2x lens but that still requires unlocking and tapping the app instead of the quick swipe from the home screen.
One nice thing about the 56mm lens is you can get some good street photos with it. Everyone knows how wide the normal iPhone lens is so you’re able to get closer to people with the 56mm lens on and no-one will think you’re photographing them. You look like a tourist. Kinda handy.
I’m not really going to get technical nerdy about apertures n stuff. Plenty of sites where you can read about all that. But the other main feature is the portrait mode. It’s called portrait but maybe it should be called blurry background or something because it works just fine on random things like benches, cats, bottles, droids, etc. I’ve been testing it for the past day and I can see that its not 100% perfect but for the average Instagrammer its fine and I’m sure it’ll be popular. Nice thing about it is you can see it live on screen so you know whether its working and also when you take a photo it saves an un-bokeh’d version just so you’ve got it. This feature really needs good lighting though. Maybe because the software doesn’t like digital noise.
So I’ve had the phone for a few days. Love it in every way. Here’s what I’ve been doing with it.