What does iPhone Portrait mode do?
Photographers with DSLR or mirrorless cameras can take more beautiful portraits by choosing a wider aperture setting. The background blur, also known as bokeh, will be blurrier the larger the aperture is (such as f/1.4).
A wide aperture allows the eye to concentrate on the foreground subject of the shot by turning distracting background features, such as individuals in the backdrop of the photo or graffiti on a wall, into abstract forms and colours. The Aperture Priority option allows you to choose a larger aperture while remaining confident that the camera will utilize a faster shutter speed to prevent overexposing the picture.
The iPhone’s Camera app often sets the aperture and shutter speed automatically in Photo Mode to make the foreground and background appear sharp. You may naturally create a background bokeh if you shoot in low light and with the subject close to the camera, but when using the iPhone Camera’s default Photo Mode, you have no manual control over the aperture setting.
You can, however, add a characteristic DSLR-style background bokeh to your images for a more polished portrait if you swipe to the Camera app’s Portrait Mode.
What iPhone models support portrait mode?
In 2016, the iPhone 7 Plus was the first device to use Portrait Mode (but not available on the basic iPhone 7). Since then, the feature has been present in every generation of the iPhone.
How does the Portrait Mode on an iPhone operate?
The Camera app uses a mask to separate the foreground topic from the background when in Portrait mode. Then, manually use the Depth slider to select a wider aperture, such as f3.5. The background is then blurred by the iPhone while the foreground subject is kept sharp.
While framing your subject for the shot, you can modify the Depth slider knowing that you can also change the blur strength using the editing features in the iOS or macOS Photos app after the photo has been taken.