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Apple Releases iOS 10.1 With New Portrait Mode For iPhone 7 Plus (macrumors.com) 50

Apple has released iOS 10.1 to the public today for all iOS 10 users, and with it comes several new features, a long list of bug fixes, and various other under-the-hood improvements. One of the biggest new features introduced is a new "Portrait" mode, which uses the dual cameras in the iPhone 7 Plus to create shallow depth of field portrait photos with plenty of background bokeh. MacRumors reports: To achieve the blurred look, the image signal processor in the device uses the wide-angle camera to create a depth map while the telephoto captures an image, dissecting the different layers of the photo to decide what to blur with an artful "bokeh" effect. It works on people, pets, and objects, but it does require good lighting to achieve the proper results. The update also [...] brings Transit directions to Japan for the first time. There have been some tweets to the Messages app. It's now possible to play Bubble and Screen effects in Messages with Reduce Motion enabled, something that wasn't previously possible. There's also a new option to replay Bubble and Screen effects. It's important to the note that the "Portrait" mode is still in beta, and will not work flawlessly. Mac Rumors has a full list of the changes made to iOS 10.1 embedded in their report, which you can view here.
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Apple Releases iOS 10.1 With New Portrait Mode For iPhone 7 Plus

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  • vs. landscape mode (Score:4, Informative)

    by vossman77 ( 300689 ) on Monday October 24, 2016 @05:59PM (#53142341) Homepage

    At first I was thinking portrait mode for the apps, it was always in portrait mode. It was never landscape mode. Whoosh. Should have said fake-bokeh mode.

  • by ScentCone ( 795499 ) on Monday October 24, 2016 @06:02PM (#53142363)
    'Bokeh' is used when referring to the quality of the out-of-focus background (or foreground) of the image, not the fact that it is out of focus. Shallow depth of field images have blurry elements. By definition. But different lenses render that OoF area differently. Some lenses have a jittery, doubled-up, or ring-like pattern, or render OoF highlights as oblong smears or as hard circles. It just depends on the lens design. So when we talk about this, it's about the quality, not the quantity or existence of blurred areas.

    Think of it like this: every lens of a given format, focal length and aperture will produce essentially the same mount of OoF areas. It's just physics. The focal plane is where it is, and the meaningfully in-focus area (say, on the subject's face) is going to be a given depth (for a given display size and resolution). Period.

    But that's like saying all pianos can play a middle C note. They can. But some sound twangy or harsh, while others sound more pleasing to the ear. Likewise with the OoF rendering by some lenses. With the piano we can say "it plays middle C, but the tone is harsh" - and with the camera, we can say that the lens when wide open can render shallow DoF and thus blur the background, but the bokeh is harsh (or, creamy, or busy, or smooth - whatever... it's the "tone," the visual quality of the blur rendering, generally considered to be more appealing the more creamy it is - though sometimes harsh, nervous bokeh is desireable for certain cinematic moods, etc).

    Sorry, pet peeve. "Shallow depth of field" doesn't mean "has bokeh." That's like saying the car's suspension has ride. All cars do! But what's the quality of the ride? More like a sports car, or a limo? Better bokeh usually comes from much higher quality glass, and more of it in the design of the lens. Big, fat, fast prime portrait lenses are built - among other things - to play that visual note more elegantly than cheaper lenses do, even though they both hit the note when told do if they can achieve the same aperture at a given focal length.
    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by thegarbz ( 1787294 )

      What are you trying to say? Your pet peeve is it that I say "I farted" doesn't mean "it smells" if I don't categorise how bad it smells?

      Shallow depth of field definitely means it has bokeh. It doesn't define the quality of it, but the fact that it exists. A wide depth of field by comparison doesn't have it regardless of lens quality.

      TL;DR Don't get peeved, it's not worth it.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by ScentCone ( 795499 )

        What are you trying to say?

        That a piece of jargon with a very specific contextual meaning is at risk of being dumbed down when it's used in the wrong context. As it was in this case.

    • (Way off topic here)

      Decades ago I read in many photo magazines (remember them?) that one of the reasons that so many pros used Leicas was the superiority of the Zeiss lenses which contributed to the "Leica look". Images shot with a Leica just had a certain look, or quality, that the pros preferred over other cameras. Then I read an article by a fellow talking about the same thing but going into more depth and, among other things, explaining why, in an image from a Leica camera, even the out-of-focus element

    • by hcs_$reboot ( 1536101 ) on Monday October 24, 2016 @08:15PM (#53143117)

      'Bokeh' is used when referring to the quality of the out-of-focus background (or foreground) of the image, not the fact that it is out of focus.

      Eeeh?! The term comes from the Japanese word "boke" and is blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image [wikipedia.org].

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by ScentCone ( 795499 )
        Yeah, yeah. That's what the word means. But since it was fashionably inserted into discussions among actual photographers, it's been used in the context of discussing the quality of the blue, not the existence of the blur. It's useful - it's a succinct word that conveys that specific meaning. Trying, here, to preserve that clarity (if you'll pardon the pun) instead of letting it dumb down like so many other terms do.
    • The technical term is a point spread function [wikipedia.org]. A lens with good bokeh will have a PSF which falls off smoothly the further you get from the center (like a bell curve [wikipedia.org]). Bad bokeh is produced by a rapid falloff (or even increases) at the edges (looking sort of like Gibbs phenomenon [wikipedia.org]).

      Note however that due to geometry, the PSF in front of and behind the focal plane are conjugates. If the PSF concentrates rays towards the center behind the focal plane for a pleasing bell-curve like falloff, then those cente
    • by abies ( 607076 )

      Reminds me a bit of discussion of wine connoisseur. Obviously, wine quality differs, it is just that blind tests give very different results than tests where they can see the label. I wonder how recognizable will be 'fake-bokeh' to lens experts versus expensive real lenses and how they will rate the 'quality of bokeh' in proper blind test.

      It would be quite sad if two 10$ cameras and bit of software can produce better perceived 'bokeh' than 1000$ lens given expert bought few days earlier...

      • I'm not too worried about that. Not least because an important part of the "portrait" aesthetic that they're going for, here, is the more flattering portrait perspective. Which is achieved by shooting from a decent working distance. The focal length on phone-cams is far too short to even come close to filling the frame with a well composed portrait that doesn't over-emphasize noses and whatnot. There's no hard and fast rule about distance, but generally you don't shoot decent looking portraits from arm's-le
  • by Ecuador ( 740021 ) on Monday October 24, 2016 @06:08PM (#53142395) Homepage

    iOS portrait mode means portrait vs landscape mode for desktop/apps, PERIOD.
    Hmm, do you put a period after you've said period? Anyway, I digress...
    If you wanted to use the word "portrait" instead of having a more accurate title like "fake bokeh" or "portrait photo background blurring" etc you could at least use "new portrait mode for camera app". This is supposed to be a site for nerds, know your crowd. Yeah, I know, I talk like I'm new here... ;)

    • Im installing the update now and it's listed as:

      Portrait Camera for iPhone 7 Plus (beta)

      I thought it was kind of weird that Apple would do the increasingly common "sell/release now, patch later" approach but then to also adopt the "all our users are now also beta testers" MO is even more of a change for Apple.

    • Yeah, because words don't have different meanings in different contexts, ever.

      Hint: "portrait mode" is fairly descriptive in a camera application

      • Hint: "portrait mode" is fairly descriptive in a camera application

        So in a smartphone camera application if somebody were to say it to you would you interpret it to mean orientation (landscape/portrait) or fake bokeh effect?

  • Yeah, for a smartphone, on a 4-6" screen pretty good. But, print them out 8x10 to hang in your home and you'll quickly understand why an f 1.8-2.8 lens is SO EXPENSIVE. The bokeh you get from a tiny pinhole sensor is no match for even a consumer grade APS-C sensor on a dSLR camera.
    • No actually, I just tried it out a bit. It's a neat trick but it's pretty hit-and-miss, it really struggles to maintain the hard edges of the foreground subject so you get the background blur bleeding and your foreground edges end up blurry. I know it's explicitly "beta" but it's a fair way off being a convincing fake of the real thing.

      They sold it as being a lot better in their presentation, in reality it's not really like that at all.

    • The problem isn't the 'bokeh' of the tiny lens and sensor. That's a discussion about the quality of the out-of-focus area rendering. No, the problem with the tiny sensors and tiny lenses with their very small apertures is that they cannot produce shallow enough depth of field in the first place to even produce an out of focus background in the first place. Basic physics. So there's no point trying to compare the OoF rendering quality (is the bokeh harsh? smooth?) of that tiny platform to a larger format sen
  • Ignore the real news (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MobyDisk ( 75490 ) on Monday October 24, 2016 @10:11PM (#53143707) Homepage

    I am just as disinterested in this as I was when all the other phone manufacturers did it years ago.

    However, the fact that Apple is shipping a camera with a significantly wider aperture, dual cameras, 2x optical zoom, and RAW support is a marvel! How about focusing (no pun intended) on that? If dual-cameras truly become standard, there's lots of interesting uses for that. Part of the reason it hasn't take-off has been that no manufacturer has offered dual-cameras consistently, so app makers had to make one-off apps that only worked on specific phones. Apple doing it could make it a standard thing. Think: 3D pictures, 3D scanner apps, better augmented reality games, ...

  • I really hope this comes back in iOS 10. I honestly feel like I am going to break my home button - it has felt flimsy lately.
  • Typical Apple - add a much needed and awaited feature in iOS 9 in the Mail App, where you can go into a mail folder and hit Edit, and in the lower corner, have the option to Trash All messages.

    In iOS 10, Apple removed this feature, but the Trash folder still retains a "Delete All" button in the same spot, but every other mail folder has now reverted to ios 8 behavior. That is, to delete all messages in a folder, it now requires Edit, then tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap tap swipe tap tap tap tap tap tap tap

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