While listening to Apple’s presentation about the new iPhone 7, I heard a pretty bold claim. They said you’ll wonder why people are still carrying around $5000 worth of equipment in a camera bag when this phone is available. A statement like that is sure to make professional photographers and experienced amateurs ask some hard questions.

There’s no question that smartphones have taken over the point and shoot market and are now the primary camera of choice for millions of people. But what’s so special about the iPhone 7 camera?

There’s no doubt the phone’s camera has some nice features. Apple has added optical image stabilization to help reduce blur. The company says this allows for an exposure time three times longer than with iPhone 6s. There’s also a larger f/1.8 aperture that lets in 50% more light. That means better images in low-light settings.  Considering how often smartphone users are pulling out their cameras in dark places, this is a big improvement.

iphone-7-low-light

The phone also features a quad-LED flash that’s 50% brighter than iPhone 6s.  Apple promises that the flash will adjust to the color temperature wherever you are for sharper, brighter photos.

These features will also make for better video. The iPhone has a very good video camera capable of shooting high-resolution video in 4K.

iphone-7-video

The biggest news for this iPhone camera is that it is dual-camera, featuring two cameras that shoot as one. It has both wide-angle and telephoto cameras offering an actual optical zoom of 2x in addition to a 10X digital zoom.

iphone-dual-lens

If you’re using the iPhone 7 Plus, there will also be a new depth-of-field effect. (That won’t arrive for a few months)  This lets you get a bokeh effect.

iphone-bokeh

The iPhone 7 will also support raw files. A raw file is uncompressed data that hasn’t been altered by a device. Pros prefer this format because it allows them greater control over the image. However, they do take up quite a lot of room. Since this phone has not removable storage, you may want to shell out for the 256GB model if you plan on taking a lot of raw photos.

It’s a nice camera, but not quite ready to replace that $5000 worth of equipment in your camera bag. And it’s not exactly cheap, the least expensive iPhone 7 starts at $649.

You can find out more about the iPhone 7 by clicking here.

What do you think? Can the iPhone 7 really stand up to a professional camera? Is it a good enough point and shoot substitute? Let us know in the comments.

~ Cynthia